Pacers vs Celtics NBA Free Pick & Prediction [Game 1]

Indiana (0-0) at Boston (0-0)
When: Tuesday, May 21st 2024
Where: TD Garden,
Boston, MA

Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Boston -10/218.5

The Boston Celtics took care of business in their second round series and now have the benefit of extra-rest heading into the Eastern Conference finals on Tuesday night. The Indiana Pacers are coming off a grueling seven-game series against the New York Knicks, but advanced to the next round after a dominate performance in Game 7 on Sunday. Indiana knows they face an uphill battle and are +600 underdogs to win the best-of-seven series. NBA series odds have the Celtics at -800 to win, which isn’t surprising for the best team in the Eastern Conference.

This will be a battle of the top two offenses in the league and Indiana showed why they are No. 1 on Sunday. The Pacers led the NBA in scoring during the regular season, when it averaged 123.3 points per game. Top-seeded Boston averaged 120.6 points per contest in the regular season, which ranked No. 2. The Pacers shot 67.1 percent from the field — an NBA playoff record — when they beat the Knicks 130-109 in Game 7. Boston won three of five meetings against Indiana during the regular season with the home team coming out victorious in four of them.


Tyrese Haliburton led the way on Sunday with 26 points for the hot shooting Pacers. Haliburton averaged a team-high 20.1 points per game during the regular season, but Pascal Siakam is the team’s leading scorer in the playoffs (21.2). All five starters scored at least 17 points in the Game 7 win and the team shot an NBA record 67.1 percent for the game. Myles Turner is averaging 17.5 points during the playoffs while shooting over 50 percent from the field and 45.7 percent from beyond the arc.


Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are easily the top offensive players for the Celtics and nothing has changed during the postseason. Through 10 playoff games Tatum is averaging 24.3 points and 10.4 rebounds, while Brown is at 23.1 points and 6.6 rebounds. Boston advanced by defeating the Miami Heat in the first round and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the conference semifinals – both in five games. The Celtics will likely be without center Kristaps Porzingis, who will reportedly miss at least the first two games of the series with a calf injury.

I really think this total is too low. These are the top two offenses in the league and the Pacers are coming off a record-breaking shooting night. The total points scored in the five meetings this season are 253, 264, 219, 234 and 259. The Game 1 total is only 221.5. I’m leaning Pacers +10, but I like the Over much better.

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

Pick: OVER 221.5