Stephen Nover's NBA Game of the Week
(NBA) Miami vs. Boston, 05/29/2023 8:30 PM, Score: 103 - 84
Total: 203.00 | -110.00 Over
Result: Loss
The Heat and Celtics meet in Game 7 for the Eastern Conference championship. The talk is all about how the Celtics have a great chance to be the first team in NBA history to come back from a 3-0 playoff deficit.

That's fine and dandy. But when it comes to betting, I find a different angle - the total. It is the lowest of the series by far. The totals have ranged from 209-to-216 in the first six games.

This one is much lower because of the perception there will be tremendous defensive intensity.

Sure neither team will be holding back. But there is way too much good 3-point shooting in today's NBA. That offsets any extra defensive effort.

The Celtics are averaging 108.8 points in the series. Miami is averaging 110.1 points. The Celtics were the fourth-highest scoring team during the regular season at 118 points per game.

There have been at least 207 combined points scored in each of the six games.

Even if the referees let the teams play super physical, there still are going to be fouls called. If the game is called tight, there will be lots of fouls called. The Heat were the second-best foul shooting team in the league. Boston ranked sixth in free throw percentage.

Jimmy Butler shot 5-for-21 from the field in Game 6. Miami still scored 104 points. It's worth noting that Gabe Vincent, who is averaging 20.3 points during his last three games, played 41 minutes this past Saturday in Game 6. So it appears he's past his ankle injury.

The Heat are a strong defensive team. But they are dealing with a stacked deck on the road going against Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who is shooting much better going 18-for-34 from the floor the past two games. It's an added bonus if Malcolm Brogdon can play for Boston after missing Game 6 with an arm injury.

Bottom line is the oddsmaker has overcompensated on the total because it's Game 7 giving value to the Over.