NBA Playoffs: History of Heat vs. Celtics In Postseason

NBA Playoffs: History of Heat vs. Celtics In Postseason
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

The Miami Heat became the second team in NBA history to reach the conference semifinals as an eight seed on Friday, setting up a showdown with the Celtics.  

The best-of-seven series, which tips off at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, is the sixth postseason series between the franchises, including last year’s Eastern Conference Finals.  

Since the first meeting in 1988, the Celtics hold an 80–53 lead in the rivalry's regular season series, while the Heat hold a 3–2 lead in playoff series (16–14 in individual playoff games). wanted to break from Florida sports betting updates to stack up how Miami’s done historically against one of the NBA’s cornerstone franchises ahead of Game 1 to put the teams’ rivalry in a greater context.  

Heat vs. Celtics NBA Playoff History

YearPlayoff RoundResult
2010Eastern Conference 1st RoundCeltics won in 5 games
2011Eastern Conference SemifinalsHeat won in 5 games
2012Eastern Conference FinalsHeat won in 7 games
2020Eastern Conference FinalsHeat won in 6 games
2022Eastern Conference FinalsCeltics won in 7 games

Read up on the best Florida sportsbook apps expected to go live when sports betting launches in the Sunshine State.

Heat or Celtics Have Upper Hand In Eastern Conference Finals?

The Celtics are commanding favorites at BetMGM Sportsbook in Game 1 of the series, with the New York-based operator giving Boston -350 moneyline odds (to Miami’s +260), with a spread of -7.5 in favor of the home side.  

As far as title futures are concerned, BetMGM Sportsbook has Boston as the commanding favorite leaguewide, at +110, while Miami is the longshot at +1200.  

When it comes to Eastern Conference futures, the Celtics are listed at -500 to win the series, while the Heat comes in at +375.  

BetMGM and other sportsbooks like FanDuel Florida will hold all the latest odds whenever the state passes sports betting.

Based on history, we should take nothing for granted, however, with Miami winning three of their last four playoff series against the Celtics.  

The Heat’s last postseason series win over the Celtics, like this year’s, came with Miami as the underdog — as the Erik Spoelstra-coached squad was the fifth seed (to Boston being the third seed in the East).  

Better yet for Heat fans is that Miami has already toppled the top seed in the East (Milwaukee, in five games) and the fifth-seeded Knicks (in 6 games) to get to this point.  

If Miami’s able to thwart the No. 2 seed in the East, they will become the first team since the 1998-99 Knicks to reach the Finals as an eighth seed (though New York did it in a strike-shortened season).  

That road to history begins at The Garden on Wednesday night, as Miami looks to secure their third straight upset victory of the postseason.  



Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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