After his team lost 116-99 to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, Jimmy Butler had a message for everybody.
"All I'm going to say is, we'll be OK."
The Miami Heat have been more than OK thus far in the playoffs, coming to within one game of reaching the NBA Finals. But will they get that one game? And how much pressure will be on them if they fail in Game 5?
BetOnline customers will have to ask themselves that question as these teams line up at 8:30 PM ET at the TD Garden, where the Heat has taken both meetings.
Here are the odds to win the series as of now:
Miami Heat -265
Boston Celtics +225
Over at ESPN, they seem to like Boston's chances. An algorithm they use over there gives the Celtics a 46% chance of winning the series - that is, of finishing a four-game winning run - and that would roughly translate to a price of -127 / +107 (within the current context) in favor of the Heat. So if you like the accuracy of that algorithm, you could get value with Boston.
If you believe in past results, you're not in the Celtics' camp. Never - we repeat, never - has a team come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series in the NBA. And that takes in 150 chances. Teams with a 3-0 lead have ended the series before Game 7 147 of those 150 times.
One of ESPN's "voices," Mike Greenberg, expects Boston to win, and claims that Miami uses players in key roles "who wouldn't even be in the rotation on most good teams in the NBA."
Well, we have made the point that the Heat has a number of players who were not drafted when they became eligible for the NBA, but that's just a testament to the evaluation of Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra.
And it's been working.
Here are the pro basketball betting odds on Game 5 on the Eastern Conference finals, as they are listed at BetOnline:
Boston Celtics -9 (-105)
Miami Heat +9 (-115)
Over 217.5 Points -109
Under 217.5 Points -111
And don't forget that with Odds Boosters, you can get incredible payouts on pre-selected parlays on this game, and every day of the week!
Game 4 was not a pleasant experience for Miami. They were ahead by six points at the half, but then disappeared. They were outscored 66-43 in the second half, with Jayson Tatum pouring in 25 points in those 24 minutes alone. And the three-point shooting advantage the Heat had in rolling through the first three games was reversed, as the Celtics shot 40% and had 54 points in triples, while Miami had just 24 points on treys by way of a dismal 25% shooting.
Miami got to the free throw line more (28 times, to the Celts' 18), but will that also reverse itself as Boston finds itself in front of a friendly crowd?
Spoelstra had answers for Tatum in the first three games, as he employed different looks, including a zone that was difficult to deal with. He had more points, rebounds AND assists than anyone on the floor in Game 4.
Boston's Marcus Smart, a former defensive player of the year, says, "We understand the odds are stacked against us." Butler insists that "all year long, we've been better when we've had to do things the hard way."
Meanwhile, Celtics fans are bringing up the exploits of their 2004 Red Sox, who came back from an 0-3 deficit to beat the New York Yankees.
And Miami fans may be getting just a little bit jittery.
But not the players. They have demonstrated that they are as tough mentally as any team in these playoffs. And that will help them make this close. Grab the points.
Obviously, NBA action is fantastic at BetOnline. And it comes to you in so many different ways. Of course, you got the sides and totals, but there are also plenty of possibilities with Prop Builder, as well as great exotic payouts through Odds Boosters, and of course, live betting after the game tips off...... And they make it easy to open an account; just use a credit card or choose from MANY cryptocurrency options!