NBA Eastern Conference finals predictions for 2024: Celtics vs. Pacers chances

May 23, 2024

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The Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics will play in Game 1 of the 2024 Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday, according to the NBA predictions and choices produced by this model.

Tuesday night marks the beginning of Game 1 of the 2024 NBA Eastern Conference finals, with the sixth-seeded Indiana Pacers taking on the top-seeded Boston Celtics. Boston prevailed 4-1 in both of its NBA playoff series in 2024, while the Pacers took seven games to defeat the Knicks and six games to defeat the Bucks. Both teams are fairly healthy going into this round, but Bennedict Mathurin of Indiana (shoulder) is lost for the season and center Kristaps Porzingis of Boston (calf) will miss at least the first two games.

The cutoff time is 8:00 p.m. ET at Boston’s TD Garden. Boston is listed as 9.5-point favorites in the most recent Pacers vs. Celtics odds provided by top punters’ consensus, with an over/under of 221.5. Check out this Projection Model’s NBA predictions and betting recommendations before selecting a Celtics vs. Pacers team.

Over the previous five plus seasons, this Projection Model, which simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, has produced well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA choices. With a scorching 94-61 record this season on all of the top-rated NBA choices, the model reached the conference finals of the 2024 NBA playoffs with a return of more than $2,800. Anyone using the model has seen significant profits.

The algorithm has now locked in its forecasts for the NBA playoffs and the Celtics vs. Pacers matchup. The NBA odds and trends for the Pacers vs. Celtics game are as follows:

Celtics -9.5 vs the Pacers spread

Pacers at Celtics over/under: 221.5

Money line for Celtics vs. Pacers: Celtics -467, Pacers +345

BOS: When playing after four or more days off, the Celtics are 3-0-1 against the spread.

IND: This year, the Pacers are 25-17-2 ATS while playing as the underdog.

Reasons the Celtics are able to cover

For Boston, covering wide spreads is nothing new. This season, the Celtics have favored themselves in every postseason game by a minimum of 7.5 points. They are 5-3 against the spread, and four of those four covers have a spread of at least 9.5. All in all, Boston is 26-21 ATS as a home favorite and 49-39-3 ATS when favored this season.

Both Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have performed really well in the postseason and are committed to winning a championship for Boston. In the playoffs, Tatum leads Boston with 24.3 points per game, with Brown behind closely at 23.1. For Boston, Derrick White has also been a rock solid point guard in the postseason, averaging 18.2 points per game with a 4.8 assist-to-turnover ratio. Choose your team from this list.

Why the Pacers are able to cover

In addition to being the highest scoring team in the league, Indiana led the NBA in assists per game, field goal percentage, and 2-point % throughout the regular season. Despite occasional difficulties during the season, the Pacers’ defense has improved significantly for the 2024 NBA playoffs. Despite playing the Bucks and Knicks, two teams in the top seven in terms of offensive rating, Indiana is giving up 9.4 fewer points per game in the postseason.

Boston has issues on both ends of the court as well, as seen by their poor free throw production, which places them in the bottom five in the NBA. Getting to the line slows down the game, and the Celtics’ inability to do that plays right into the hands of Indiana, which ranks second in pace. Additionally, the Celtics force the second-fewest turnovers per game, giving Indiana’s offense—which is rated second—even more opportunities to gain possession. Ultimately, Boston has covered only once in its previous four postseason games, and it comes into Game 1 on the heels of a mini-slump against the spread.

How to select the Pacers vs the Celtics

According to this model, which projects 228 total points, the total is leaning over. It also states that more than 50% of the time, one side of the spread hits.

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