Tuesday NBA Props: Jimmy Butler Drops Dimes

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler (22) plays against the Philadelphia 76ers during the second quarter in game six of the second round of the 2022 NBA playoffs at Wells Fargo Center.
Image Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

And then there were four.

The penultimate round of the NBA playoffs gets underway on with Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday. The Celtics will travel to Miami to take on the Heat, who finished with the best record in the East this season. The Heat were able to get through the 76ers with relative ease while the Celtics needed seven games to dispatch the Bucks. Boston is favored to win the series despite not having homecourt advantage. However, the Heat step in as two-point favorites in Game 1.

Let’s dive into some of the top NBA props from Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Odds via DraftKings and updated as of 1 p.m. ET on May 17.

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Celtics vs Heat Player Props

Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics reacts after hitting a three-point shot during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at TD Garden on December 13, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Image Credit: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Boston Celtics: PF Jayson Tatum

The prop: 6.5 rebounds
The odds: Over +110/Under -145

The Celtics were able to win Games 6 and 7 to secure a victory over the Bucks in a grueling series. Unfortunately, things won’t get any easier for them on Tuesday. They’ll have to travel to Miami for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals against a Heat squad that is much fresher. The Celtics are still favorites to win the series, but they could struggle in Game 1.

Still, the over on Tatum’s rebound prop has some value. He didn’t exactly thrive on the glass in his last series, but he did average 8.5 rebounds over the final four games. That’s in line with his average of 8.0 rebounds per game during the regular season, so asking him to hit the Over on 6.5 against the Heat is reasonable. The fact that this prop is available at better than even money is also appealing.

Editor’s Note: New to NBA Props? Check out our NBA Props Betting Guide to get up to speed! 

Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat dribbles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 21, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Image Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Miami Heat: C Bam Adebayo

The prop: 8.5 rebounds
The odds: Over -140/Under +105

The Over on Adebayo’s rebound prop isn’t nearly as juicy as Tatum’s, but it’s also providing some value. Adebayo averaged 10.1 rebounds per game during the regular season, but he struggled on the glass vs. the 76ers. He recorded eight rebounds or fewer in all four games against Joel Embiid, but that’s as tough of a matchup as there is for a center. Things should be much easier against the Celtics, even with Robert Williams back in the rotation.

The Celtics could also miss a few more shots than usual following their grueling Game 7, which could open up a few additional rebounding opportunities. Overall, this seems like the perfect time to buy low on Adebayo.

Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler dribbles the basketball in a game against the Dallas Mavericks
Image Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Heat: SF Jimmy Butler

The prop: 5.5 assists
The odds: Over +100/Under -130

Butler may be a grade-A pain in the ass, but the guy is clearly a great basketball player. He led the Heat to the No. 1 seed in the East during the regular season, and he’s gotten them past the Hawks and 76ers relatively easily.

Butler is also capable of beating teams in multiple ways. He operated primarily as a scorer in Game 6 vs. the 76ers, but he had at least six dimes in three of the four previous games. Butler also averaged 5.5 assists per game during the regular season, and he’s playing approximately 3.5 additional minutes per game during the postseason.

Kyle Lowry also remains out for the Heat, which should benefit Butler as a distributor. He’s increased his assist rate by +2.9 percent with Lowry off the court this season, resulting in an average of 6.5 dimes per 36 minutes. Butler should play at least 36 minutes if Tuesday’s game is competitive, so the Over makes a ton of sense at even money or better.

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Marcus Smart #36 of the Boston Celtics brings the ball up court against the Charlotte Hornets during their game at Spectrum Center on March 09, 2022 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Image Credit: Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

Boston Celtics: SG Marcus Smart

The prop: 13.5 points
The odds: Over -115/Under -110

Smart is technically questionable for the Celtics, but it seems like there’s no chance he’ll actually sit. Smart is an absolute bulldog, so it’s hard to imagine him missing a playoff game.

Still, his foot injury could limit his effectiveness as a scorer. He was excellent in Games 4 through 6 vs. the Bucks, averaging 18.0 points per game on 55.0% shooting, but he came crashing back to reality in Game 7. He was just 2-9 from the field and 1-6 from 3-point range, and he finished with just 11 points.

Smart’s median expectation is probably somewhere between those two outcomes, but there are enough factors working against him to justify the under on Tuesday. The combination of his injury and potentially tired legs could be tough to overcome.