Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics
Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics shoots the ball against Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat during the fourth quarter in Game Five of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals at FTX Arena on May 25, 2022 in Miami, Florida. Andy Lyons/Getty Images


  • Boston Celtics enter Game 5 as heavy favorites despite being down 3-1
  • Jayson Tatum showing up in Game 4 may have oddsmakers convinced they can keep winning
  • A questionable Gabe Vincent does not bode well for the Miami Heat

The Boston Celtics are looking to be the first-ever NBA franchise to come back from being down 3-0 in a series to win it all against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals, and oddsmakers believe that the series will extend to Game 6.

According to Covers.com, the Celtics are heavily favored to win Game 5 based on the money lines provided by Bet365 (minus-310), Betway (minus-300), Pinnacle (minus-308), William Hill Sports Book (minus-323), 888sport (minus-300) and BetVictor (minus-350).

The Celtics' triumph in Game 4 may have played a larger role than expected in convincing oddsmakers that they can push the Heat to a do-or-die scenario as the series shifts back to Boston for tonight–particularly that of Jayson Tatum's performance.

After being derided in the fourth quarter of their previous three matchups against Miami, Tatum finally showed up in the final frame to put away the Heat after scoring 11 of his 33 points to negate a Miami comeback.

Outside of the Celtics' top dog, the production provided by the starters, particularly Jaylen Brown's 17 points and Derrick White's 16, gave them the lift they needed to build an unassailable lead.

Additionally, Grant Williams dropping 14 big points off the bench was also important to their success as his four three-pointers came about when the Heat were looking to go on a mini-scoring run.

Another factor that may have influenced the oddsmakers to view the Celtics as the favorites is due to the status of Gabe Vincent.

The undrafted point guard out of UC Santa Barbara dropped a playoff career-high of 29 points in Game 3 to give the Heat a 3-0 lead but was rendered ineffective come crunch time of Game 4.

While he successfully corralled the ball after Tatum blocked it in the fourth quarter, Vincent turned his left ankle in an effort to avoid stepping out of bounds.

Though he did come back to the game after getting it evaluated, the official injury report lists him as questionable due to a left ankle sprain.

His potential absence in Game 5 will be another obstacle that the Heat will have to overcome as they already have Victor Oladipo and Tyler Herro on the outside looking in.

However, there is hope that Herro will return to postseason action very soon as he had just been cleared to resume non-contact court work according to sources.

Despite having a perceived home-court advantage, the Celtics' 4-5 home record in the 2023 postseason might instead have bettors be wary of Boston being able to force a Game 6.

The NBA playoffs have seen 150 teams go up 3-0 and while there have been three franchises that were able to force a Game 7, they were never able to fully complete it and advance to the next round.

Game 5 takes place at the revered TD Garden in Boston at 8:30 PM ET on TNT.

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics
Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics gestures during the fourth quarter in Game Seven of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on May 15, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images