Pacers vs Celtics Series Preview | Odds, Best Bets, Predictions for Eastern Conference Finals

Pacers vs Celtics Series Preview | Odds, Best Bets, Predictions for Eastern Conference Finals article feature image
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Adam Glanzman/Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum

The Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics meet in the Eastern Conference Finals starting on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET.

Action Network's daily NBA podcast, BUCKETS, broke down the matchup as well as their best bets in the series market.

Be sure to subscribe to BUCKETS to listen to new episodes throughout the postseason. You can listen to the Pacers-Celtics preview episodes and read our analysts' series market best bets below.

Pacers vs Celtics Eastern Conference Finals Preview, Best Bets

Pacers-Celtics Over 5.5 Games

+145

Sean Little: I think this is too much value to pass up.

Let's just be honest on what goes on with the Celtics. We know this for a fact: They give up a game. They just flat-out will hand you a game in the series. I'm talking about years and years of them doing this. This is not something I'm just pulling out of thin air. We just saw it in the first two rounds. Miami just shot absolutely lights-out, and then against the Cavs they almost dropped a couple of games where they had to kind of put it together and close out some of those games.

So they will hand you at least one game in the series. We can go on about how they play with their food and don't necessarily take care of business game in and game out.

I think that is the one thing that does make me nervous about Joe Mazzulla is that it seems like he hasn't had those boys locked in every night. It seems like in some of these games they're just out there lackadaisical, just lollygagging like this isn't the playoffs.

So I'm confident that the Celtics will give the Pacers a game and then offensively the Pacers could just run them off the court in another game, just flat-out like what they did at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks. They're also really strong at home; they haven't lost at home in the playoffs.

So I think the Pacers should be able to get a couple of games. You could bet Celtics in six — I've seen that as high as +400 in the market — but I think +145 on over 5.5 games is way too generous.

Best Bet: Pacers-Celtics Over 5.5 Games (+145)

Celtics -1.5 Games

-340

Brandon Anderson: At -340, that's implying that the Celtics win in six games or less 77% of the time. What I want to be able to do here is set it and forget it. I just want to set my bet and then it's like when you set up a CD and you get some interest back on the end of it, well I've got a two week Celtics CD and I'm gonna get back 29% ROI.

Last round, we did the same bet and got back 26%. It's not a ton, it's not like the +400 or +1000 bets that I love to make. But it's close to a sure-fire bet sort of thing as I think you can get and still get a decent amount of ROI back.

This is also a rollover type of situation. If you took my advice last round and put one unit on Celtics -1.5 games, you came back with 1.26 units. Now, put that 1.26 units on Celtics -1.5 games in this round, and you can come out with 1.63 units. This makes for one month of not watching the Celtics do anything but make us 63% of free ROI.

Boston is just much better. I think they could sweep, but I'm not going to bet it. I think they could win in five. I think they could win in six. They're just going to win, and I don't want to screw around with whichever game Boston is going to decide to screw around with.

Just give me this series price and we don't have to worry about the rest.

Best Bet: Celtics -1.5 Games (-340)

Jayson Tatum Eastern Conference Finals MVP

-210

Brandon Anderson: In the regular season, Jayson Tatum averaged 32.5 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists against the Pacers. So, naturally, I'd be looking at Tatum to lead the series in points and Tatum to lead the series in rebounds. He's around -500 for both.

So, guess what? If Tatum leads the series in points and rebounds and the Celtics win the series, he's going to be named Eastern Conference Finals MVP. The Celtics are -1200 to win the series. Tatum is around -210 to win MVP at some sportsbooks.

That seems badly mispriced to me if we are effectively admitting, yeah, he's going to lead in rebounds and points. We know that and we're conceding that to you. We don't want your money. That's how sure we are it's going to happen.

If you're leading in points and leading in rebounds and we're also conceding that the Celtics are winning the series, that's the MVP. That's how the MVP works. We give it to the leading scorer on the winning team.

Best Bet: Tatum MVP (-210)

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