Indiana Pacers @ Boston Celtics | NBA Playoffs Betting Tips and Predictions
Game One was a little on the ugly side, but the Boston Celtics are likely very happy to have won. However, if they do not figure out how to generate some offense, there is a good chance the Pacers could steal a win in Boston. If Indiana can’t score some points, they are going to find themselves in a big hole heading back to Indianapolis.
Spread: Boston by 7.5
Money Line: Pacers +270; Celtics -325
*Odds via BetOnline.ag
The Pacers were a defensive team with the potential to score some points on any given night during the regular season. They hoped they could be that team again in Game One of their first-round series with the Boston Celtics Sunday. On the defensive side of the court, they were. They held a good Boston Celtics offense to just 84 points. There was just one problem—they scored even less (74). On a positive note, they did commit nearly as turnovers (13) as Boston (17). But their shooting, whether it was because of Boston’s defense or not, was horrible. They managed to make just 28 of 84 shots (33.3 percent) only six of 27 three-point attempts and only 12 of 21 free throws. During the regular season, they averaged 47.5, 37.4, and 75.2 percent respectively. If the Pacers are going to have a shot at leaving Boston with series tied at a game apiece, they are going to have to figure out how to generate more offense. They certainly have to score more than eight points in a single quarter and shoot better than 2-19 (like they did during the third quarter Sunday). During the regular season, teams shot 46.5 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from the three-point range against Boston.
The Celtics had probably hoped they would play a cleaner, more well-balanced game against the Pacers in Game One. But since they didn’t, they are probably just glad that they were able to escape such an ugly game with a win. Defensively, they were not bad. They couldn’t have been with the Pacers scoring only 74 points. But on the offensive end, they were lacking making only 28 of 77 shots (36.4 percent). During the regular season, they averaged 46.5 percent from the floor. They were not bad from three-point range hitting ten of 28 (35.7 percent; averaged 36.5 percent in the regular season). Going forward, they will need to keep up the defensive pressure, continue to shoot well from three-point range, but also shoot much better from inside the arc.
Indiana Pacers @ Boston Celtics Head-to-Head
The Celtics won the regular season series with the Pacers, three games to one. But the one loss was in Indianapolis and by just one point. However, one of the wins in Boston was by a single basket. From a historical perspective, the Celtics lead the all-time regular-season series with 98 wins to 79 for the Pacers. They have met in the postseason five times and have played a total of 25 games. Boston has won 13 times to 12 for Indiana. But the Pacers have won the last two series, both in the first round (2005: 4-3; 2004: 4-0). Boston won the first three series, and lead the current one, 1-0.
Odds and Predictions
Bojan Bogdanovic has become the de facto go-to guy for the Pacers since Victor Oladipo went down. If the Pacers are going to have a chance to get back in the series by stealing a win in Game Two, they are going to have to get him going. In Game One, he was only 4-11 from the floor. If he can’t, then someone else will have to. Otherwise, this game could get ugly early. Both teams are going to play a better offensive game this time, and Indiana is going to keep it much closer than they did in Game One. But they are still going to lose. Without a dynamic scorer (like the injured Oladipo), they don’t stand a chance. Take Boston to win (-325) but look for Indiana to cover the spread (+7.5) in what will be another defensive battle.
Expert Betting Tip
There will be more scoring in this game, but defense is still going to decide the game. These guys are not going to cover the over (203).