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Game 6 Celtics vs. Heat Top NBA Player Props: More Bam, Fewer Jimmies

Jimmy Butler Bam Adebayo Miami Heat Boston Celtics
Jimmy Butler 22 and Bam Adebayo 13 of the Miami Heat react during the third quarter against the Boston Celtics in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals Megan BriggsGetty ImagesAFP

Picks Summary


We knew the Boston Celtics would be hard to kill. Even after they went down 0-3 to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, and the mainstream sports media was writing their obituaries, the Celtics were still very much alive.

Now that the Celtics have won back-to-back games, the onus is on Miami to get the job done at home this Saturday night. Will Jimmy Butler deliver one of his patented monster playoff performances in Game 6?

Maybe. Butler is certainly capable of dropping 50 points on any given night, but we’re recommending Under 28.5 for Saturday’s basketball props, with the vig priced at even money on the early NBA lines as we go to press.

It’s Bam Adebayo who’s hoarding all the betting value for Game 6. Miami’s big man is a value pick to go Over 17.5 points at -115 juice. To round out our trio, we’re going Under 13.5 points with Heat forward Caleb Martin at -125 or longer on the NBA odds board.


Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat

Saturday, May 27, 2023 – 08:30 PM EDT at Kaseya Center



Have the Celtics Solved Jimmy Butler?

To a degree. After shooting 12-for-25 in each of the first two games against Boston, Butler has been relatively quiet from the floor. Here are his point totals for each of the first five ECF games:


  • Game 1: 35
  • Game 2: 27
  • Game 3: 16
  • Game 4: 29
  • Game 5: 14

Games 3 and 5 were blowouts that saw Butler play limited minutes; he only shot 9-of-21 in Game 4, but also made a series-high 12 trips to the foul line, canning 10 attempts. Judging by that 28.5-point total, the betting public thinks something similar will happen in Game 6 now that they’re back in Miami.

It could, but we’re betting against it at even money. The Celtics took the past two games on the strength of offensive rebounds and turnovers; while they can’t expect Miami to cough the ball up 16 times again like they did in each of their two losses, Boston can still keep crashing the boards against the smaller Heat and prevent those second-chance opportunities that could put Butler over the top.

FantasyData projects Butler to score 24.92 points this Saturday, so it’s not like he’s doomed to lay an egg in Game 6 – it’s more a simple case of the betting public expecting too much from Jimmy Buckets.

NBA Pick: Jimmy Butler Under 28.5 Points (-103) at Caesars Sportsbook



Can Bam Adebayo Get Inside?

Not so easily against Boston. Adebayo has done plenty of damage in the paint this series, and there have been some signature power dunks along the way, but much of Adebayo’s scoring has come from the short mid-range. He didn’t even have a single foul shot in Game 5.

Adebayo still had 16 points on 8-of-15 shooting, and that was in just 32 minutes, as he and Butler both got the early hook. In the first two games, Adebayo scored 20 and 22 points while playing 37 and 38 minutes respectively – and he did it at the Garden.

This time around, we’re betting on history repeating itself to some extent. FantasyData have Adebayo down for 19.04 points this Saturday, and that’s in a projected 33 minutes of action. There’s a very good chance he plays more, maybe even five extra minutes for overtime with Boston favored by 2.5 points.

NBA Pick: Bam Adebayo Over 17.5 Points (-115) at BetMGM



Is Caleb Martin for Real?

As real as anything Miami’s conjured up in these playoffs. Martin has stepped up in the absence of Tyler Herro and Victor Oladipo – and now Gabe Vincent, who’s listed as day-to-day with a sprained left ankle. At 13.5 points, Martin’s total for Game 6 is lower than his scoring output for each of the first five games of this series, including his 14 points this past Thursday.

What if we told you that Martin is only projected to score 9.71 points at FantasyData? That would be consistent with Martin’s regular season average of 9.6 points, which included 7.3 points in four games against Boston.

Granted, 9.71 points is also considerably fewer points than Martin has scored per game in these playoffs. He’s up to 12.9 now after coming to life against the Celtics – still below his total for Saturday.

There’s every chance Martin will make another strong impression in Game 6; he did go Over 11.5 points in Game 4 as recommended in this space. But now that they’ve added an extra bucket to Martin’s total? Bet accordingly.

NBA Pick: Caleb Martin Under 12.5 Points (+104) at Caesars Sportsbook



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