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Celtics vs Pacers Prediction, Picks, Odds for Tonight’s NBA Playoff Game

Updated:2024-06-18 15:00    Views:151

Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics NBA Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

It can be reasonably argued the Indiana Pacers would be up 2-1 in the Eastern Conference Finals if they showed a modicum of late-game composure. Instead, the Boston Celtics can clinch a spot in the NBA Finals with a win tonight. 

The Celtics have responded to every loss or close call this postseason with a dominant performance in the next game, and they have clinched each series in resounding fashion once they had the chance.

Let’s trust Boston to finish off Indiana in our free NBA picks as we dig into Celtics vs Pacers predictions, with tip on Monday, May 27, at 8:00 ET.

Celtics vs Pacers prediction

My best betCeltics -7 (-110 at Caesars)

My analysisThe Boston Celtics have their flaws. We will spend far too much time in the next 10 days discussing them. Yes, the layover between tonight’s clincher and Game 1 of the NBA Finals on June 6 will be 10 interminable days.

But the Celtics have also shown something of a killer instinct in these playoffs, admittedly partly because their opponents cannot stay healthy. Both Miami and Cleveland won their respective Game 2s but the Indiana Pacers clearly should have won Game 1.

After all three of those, Boston responded. It won those next games by an average of 16.3 points, exceeding bookmakers’ expectations by an average of 7.7 points compared to the spreads, despite each spread being at least three buckets.

The opponents’ injuries may have genuinely played a part in those impressive ATS showings, certainly against the Heat.

Miami had to get creative without Jimmy Butler available. It changed up its game plan in Game 2, taking 57.3% of its shots from deep after heaving from beyond the arc on just 45.7% of its field-goal attempts in Game 1. In Game 3, the Celtics adjusted to that adjustment, allowing the Heat to square up from long range on only 36.4% of their shot attempts.

Somewhat similarly, Cleveland had to alter its front-line rotation and emphasis without Jarrett Allen. The Celtics crushed the Cavs on the boards in Game 1, outrebounding them by 17. In Game 2, however, Cleveland shifted enough to win that worry by 13 boards. By Game 3, Boston solved that adjustment, won on the glass by nine, and never looked back.

Indiana had to alter its entire approach without Tyrese Haliburton in Game 3: Fewer 3-pointers, an offense run through Andrew Nembhard, and hope Boston would miss its own 3-pointers.

Expect the Celtics to solve that tonight, with Haliburton strongly doubted to play. Adjusting to the adjustment has led to Boston easily covering spreads this postseason. It should send the Celtics into the Finals tonight.

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