Celtics vs. Pacers Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Will Indy Keep Its Hot Streak Going?
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Domantas Sabonis (11) of the Indiana Pacers.
- The updated odds of Tuesday's matchup between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers make the Celtics 3-point favorites on the road.
- The Pacers have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA lately winning eight of their past 10 games.
- Can the Celtics slow down the fast charging Pacers? Check out our break down of the matchup including a pick.
Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions
- Spread: Celtics -3
- Over/Under: 214.5
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: NBA League Pass
The Boston Celtics, losers of four of their past five games, travel to Indiana to take on the surging Pacers. Should we back the Pacers as a short home dog or trust the Celtics to stop the skid?
The Pacers may be a bit of a surprise to the casual fan. Sitting at 39-25, just four games behind the Celtics in the loss column, the Pacers have overcome numerous injuries on their road to success.
As a result, they have one of the deepest rosters in the NBA with a well of players to call on when their starters miss time. Tonight, the Pacers will be without Malcolm Brogdon, while Doug McDermott (toe) and Victor Oladipo (knee) are listed as questionable. The past two games Oladipo has played through his questionable tag with this same injury.
Turning to the Celtics, they will be without Jaylen Brown again as he nurses a hamstring injury. Otherwise, the Celtics should be at full strength as they try to even up the season series after their 122-117 loss to the Pacers on December 11.
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Will the Celtics Stop the Skid?
The Pacers were listed as 1.5-point favorites at home in December. Now, they’re listed as 3-point home dogs with only two major differences between then and now. The first is Marcus Smart will be available to play for the Celtics in lieu of Jaylen Brown. The second is Victor Oladipo is expected to be available instead of Malcolm Brogdon.
So why the change? Let’s look at the on-court matchup.
The Pacers are the worst team in the league at getting to the free throw line, averaging just 15.1 made FTs on 19.1 attempts. But last time these two teams met, the Pacers took 36 free throws and made 30 of them. That is literally twice as many points off free throws than they average during the season. I do not expect a repeat of that in this game, but I still have my reservations about backing the Celtics.
The Celtics do not have an answer for Domantas Sabonis. He is in the midst of a tremendous season and should be able to dominate the Celtics’ frontcourt.
On the other side, the Celtics desperately need Jayson Tatum to step up to win this game. Over the past two games, Tatum has been slumping. Opposing defenses are latching onto him in the pick-and-roll and making him work harder for good looks. The Pacers have the length and depth to switch and to keep sending fresh legs at him throughout the game. The Pacers can make life difficult for Tatum; I expect that to be the difference in this one.
One of the major stories of the season has been how great the Celtics are against the spread (37-23-3 ATS). But the Pacers have also quietly excelled in this spot: They are 5-3 ATS and straight-up when listed as a dog of 4.5 points or less.
At the time of this writing, the Celtics have 78% of spread tickets for a whopping 96% of the money. However, the Celtics have 77% of moneyline tickets for only 66% of the money. Based on the Pacers’ trend of covering as short dogs and also winning outright, this might be something sharp money is considering.
The Celtics are struggling to find a groove lately, and while I trust Brad Stevens to right the ship in time for the playoffs, I don’t think that time is now. This Pacers team is too hot, and this line feels too sharp.
The PICK: Lean Pacers ML, but only if Oladipo plays