Are the Boston Celtics headed to the NBA Finals?
The sports betting mathematics say it’s the likeliest possibility as the Celtics are a +150 favorite ($100 wins $150) to make it out of the Eastern Conference at most American sportsbooks. Obviously, implied probability doesn’t guarantee anything, but it’s impossible to ignore how clean the C’s path to the championship is shaping up to be.
Boston has home-court advantage against the Milwaukee Bucks without Khris Middleton and Las Vegas oddsmaker Jeff Sherman told NESN he has some serious concerns about Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler’s knee. Butler missed Miami’s closeout win against the Atlanta Hawks and Heat guard Kyle Lowry also missed the last two games of the series with a hamstring injury.
Both players are expected to return against the Philadelphia 76ers, but lingering knee and hamstring injuries aren’t exactly ideal for basketball players who are constantly making explosive cuts and drives.
One professional is kicking himself for not buying Boston stock a whole lot earlier.
“I know a guy who bet some 25-1 on the Celtics to come out of the East,” the bettor told NESN. “I’m kicking myself for not getting a piece of that, but I wasn’t a believer. This was back in early February when they were a few games over .500. I didn’t think the Celtics were a championship contender.
“But they closed the season better than anybody,” the bettor added. “They were 25-25 through 50 games and finished 26-6 down the home stretch while avoiding the injury bug. That’s the other part. They’re finding their stride while other teams have been playing without key guys.
“The Celtics are dangerous and they’re healthy.”
There will always be people who don’t believe in a young, defensively driven Celtics team — like TNT analyst Charles Barkley — but bettors and bookmakers are adamant that the stars are aligning for the Green Teamers.
Wild, isn’t it?
“They’re over a two-dollar favorite against Milwaukee in this series and I would still make them small chalk against Miami even without home court,” the bettor explained. “That’s how much I respect Boston right now. And Jayson Tatum is proving that he’s a cold-blooded killer with the game on the line.
“I expect the Celtics to meet the Suns or Warriors in the NBA Finals.”