Indiana Pacers @ Boston Celtics 5/21/24 Free Pick, NBA Odds, NBA Predictions

Indiana Pacers (0-0) at Boston Celtics (0-0)

Game Info: Tuesday, May 21st, 2024 at  8 p.m. EST (TD Garden)

Betting Odds: Celtics -10.5 (+100) - Over/Under (220.5)

Pick: Celtics -10.5 (+100)

The Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics will open up the Eastern Conference Finals here on Tuesday night at TD Garden in Boston. This should be a solid series as the final two teams in the east look to decide who will advance to the NBA finals this season. These two teams met multiple times throughout the regular season and they will meet once again here in the postseason so there should be no surprises expected from either side. This should be an incredible series throughout the next four or more games as these teams battle back-and-forth for a trip to the NBA finals. Indiana is the underdog coming into this one but they have already upset their first two opponents and they will look to make a third consecutive upset against Boston.

Tyrese Haliburton and Pascal Siakam were able to lead the Pacers back to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in over a decade. Now they look to advance to the NBA finals for the first time since 2000, as they open up the series on Tuesday night on the road in Boston against the Celtics. Indiana upset the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round of the postseason, and they upset the New York Knicks and the second round of the postseason, although injuries did play a major factor in both of those series. Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard were both unavailable for the Miwlaukee Bucks and Jalen Brunson broke his hand in the deciding game in the second round. 

So many people argue that the Indiana Pacers have lucked out on their way to this conference finals appearance, but it’ll be interesting to see how they come out in this game against Boston on Tuesday night and try to prove the doubters wrong. They are relatively healthy and they should be able to put up a good fight against the Boston Celtics. They shot the lights out in game seven against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, and they will look to maintain that hot shooting performance throughout the opening game of this series. Haliburton and Siakam will be the x-factors for Indiana throughout this series, and their performance will directly determine the outcome of not only tonight’s game but the entire series. 

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The Boston Celtics have had plenty of time in between both their opening round series and their second round series. They defeated the Miami Heat in five games, and they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Now they will look to win their third consecutive game one in a row to open up the third round of the postseason against the Indiana Pacers. Boston took care of business after slipping up in game two to complete gentlemen’s sweeps over both of their first two opponents. It’ll be interesting to see if they avoid slipping up in the third round during game two this time around as well. 

Jayson Tatum has been incredible throughout the first two rounds of the postseason and he will need to keep that trend up if Boston wants to advance to the NBA finals for the first time in a few years. Boston has had very little problems at home throughout the postseason posting a record of 4-2 in six games at TD Garden. They are 2-0 in series opening games, and they have been even better on the road compiling a record of 4-0 in the opening two rounds. The Celtics come into this series as heavy favorites once again, and with the elimination of the Denver Nuggets you can argue that Boston is the overall favorite remaining to take home the NBA championship this season. 

Betting trends to consider in this matchup:

- Boston is 41-6 at home 

- Boston is 55-16 after a win

- Indiana is 13-17 as a road underdog 

This should be a competitive matchup throughout the early stages of the contest much like the prior two game ones have gone for Boston. In the end I look for the Boston Celtics to grab a blowout win after they pull away from the Indiana Pacers in the opening game of this Eastern Conference Finals series on Tuesday night at home. I look for Indiana to put up a great fight throughout the majority of the game, but I expect Boston to ice it with some solid shooting midway through the fourth quarter. 

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