Celtics vs Pacers NBA Free Pick & Prediction [Game 3]

Boston (2-0) at Indiana (0-2)
When: Saturday, May 25th 2024
Where: Gainbridge Fieldhouse,
Indianapolis, IN

Time: 8:30 ET | TV: ABC
Opening Odds: Boston -4/224

The Boston Celtics got back to their dominating ways in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals after a hard-fought Game 1 victory. Boston will now head to Indianapolis in hopes of all but locking down the series when they play Game 3 on Saturday night at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, where the Pacers are a perfect 6-0 this postseason. To make matters worse for Indiana fans, the Pacers finished Game 2 without the services of Tyrese Haliburton, who injured his left leg and is questionable for Saturday. Boston is now a 7-point road favorite with a total pegged at 222.5.

From a betting perspective, there’s not much value left on taking the Celtics to win the series. A Boston sweep has gone from +240 to -140, while a 4-1 series victory would pay +175. If Indiana can get two wins, it would pay +800. Boston winning in the full seven is +1700. If you want to take a flier and think the Pacers can actually come back in this series, the payouts are enormous. Just to win the series is +3000. If Indiana wins the next four games, it would pay +10,000, and a 4-3 series win is +5000.


Boston played much better in Game 2 after a lackluster effort in the series opener. Jaylen Brown followed his Game 1 drama with a 40-point night on 14-of-27 shooting. Jayson Tatum scored 23 points but struggled to 1-of-7 from beyond the arc and turned the ball over four times. Derrick White also finished with 23 points but was more efficient, shooting 8-for-15. Boston’s defense was also terrific, proving to any doubters that they are the best team in the East.


Indiana lost the first two games in their last series and managed to come back to win 4-3, but that was the injury-plagued New York Knicks. Indiana’s defense has been their achillies heel all season and it’s showing in this series. They also committed a whopping 16 turnovers that led to easy Boston points. The Pacers were also outscored in the paint 54-34. Pascal Siakam was terrific with 28 points and 13-of-17 shooting but the rest of teammates failed to show up. Aaron Nesmith (nine points) and Myles Turner (nine points) to name two. The reserves scored 40 points led by Obi Toppin’s 11.

With or without Haliburton, this Indiana team plays much better at home and won’t just lay down. They have won all six games there and are getting seven points in this one. I’m hoping Haliburton plays, but either way, I’m taking the home dog.

Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today.

Pick: Pacers +7