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Odds and Ends

Heat need Butler to score in Game 1

by Sam Panayotovich
Updated On: September 15, 2020, 11:06 am ET

Here we go again. 

11 days ago, we made our first and only player prop bet on Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler. We discussed buying low on a very good player at a great number. Butler's prop was only 20.5 points on the heels of his 13-point performance in Game 2 against the Bucks. We bought low on Over 20.5 and Jimmy poured in 30 points. 

That number is back for tonight's series opener against the Celtics and it's staring me right in the face. PointsBet Sportsbook is dealing Butler's point prop at O/U 20.5 juiced -115 each way.

Butler has been an up-and-down scorer so far this postseason. He's averaging 21.8 points per game over nine playoff contests, but he's really been boom or bust. Butler has scored 28, 18, 27, 6, 40, 13, 30, 17 and 17 points in that order. 

If you've been blind betting his point props over, you probably hate his guts. 

Thing is, Butler is such a Swiss army knife that he can affect a basketball game without putting the ball in the basket. He only scored 20 points twice in the Bucks series, but he was chasing Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton around the floor on defense. Miami suffocated Milwaukee and won that series in five games. 

I'm putting my faith in Erik Spoelstra and the Miami scouting department tonight. They've got to know that Butler needs to be more involved on offense against Boston. 

Spo has successfully run the Heat offense through Butler in both series openers this postseason. Jimmy scored 28 points in Game 1 against Indiana and he torched Milwaukee for 40 points in that opener. He took 15 and 20 shots respectively and combined for 25 free throw attempts in those games. 

More of that please.

I fully expect Jimmy to don his cape and be a dude tonight. He'll have to be aggressive on offense to set the tone for the series. In the conference finals, your best players have to be even better than usual. Let's aim for 16 shots and 12 free throws. If we get there, he's going over. 

Play on Jimmy Butler Over 20.5 points (-115).

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Sam Panayotovich

Sam Panayotovich is a sports betting analyst from the South Side of Chicago. He'll probably pick against your favorite team a lot. Follow him @spshoot