Pacers vs Celtics NBA Free Pick & Prediction [Game 2]

Indiana (0-1) at Boston (1-0)
When: Thursday, May 23rd 2024
Where: TD Garden,
Boston, MA

Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Boston -8.5/224.5

The Boston Celtics came into the Eastern Conference finals as huge favorites to easily advance to the Finals in a couple of weeks. However, the Indiana Pacers made sure to let everyone know, they won’t just lay down. In a thrilling Game 1, the Celtics rallied late to force overtime and then pulled out a 133-128 victory. Indiana is lamenting over not being able to close out what would have been a huge series-opening victory. Boston was a 9-point favorite and this handicapper nailed the Over 221.5. The line for Game 2 is the same, but the total has gone up to 224.5.

For the series, Boston is now an even bigger favorite at -2000 to advance past the Pacers. If you take Indiana to comeback and upset the Celtics in the series, you’ll get back +1000. As for the number of games, Boston in a sweep has gone from +270 to +240, a 4-1 series win is +140, a six-game win is +450 and the Celtics are +650 if they need the full seven games to dispatch the Pacers. For Indiana, a 4-2 series victory, which was +1400, is now +2000. Seven games is +2500. Should the Pacers somehow win the next four games, you would get back a whopping +6600.


Despite giving the game away on Tuesday, the Pacers are confident they can hang with the top-seeded Celtics. Indiana recorded an incredible 38 assists and had great ball movement all night. Tyrese Haliburton had 10 assists to go along with 25 points. Myles Turner had just four assists, but scored 23 points – mostly in the first half. Pascal Siakam had a solid night (24 points and 12 rebounds), while the Pacers’ bench was very good again with both Obi Toppin (15 points) and T.J. McConnell (13 points) contributing. Indiana turned the ball over 22 times.


Boston jumped out to a 12-0 lead and it looked like another blowout win. However, the Pacers got back in it and made Boston play a close game for a change. The Celtics were up to the task and showed their mettle down the stretch. Jayson Tatum led the way with 36 points and 12 rebounds, but did miss some open shots. Jrue Holiday was terrific, finishing with 28 points, seven rebound and eight assists. Jaylen Brown recorded 28 points but was just 1-of-4 from beyond the arc.

The Pacers are definitely much better than what Boston has played this postseason in Miami and Cleveland. They’re deep and they can score. The defense may not be great, but if they can score enough, they can at least cover these large spreads. I like the Over again, but it went up too much for me to make it a Best Bet. Instead, I’ll take the points.

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

Pick: Pacers +9