Indiana Pacers (48-34) Vs. Boston Celtics (49-33)
NBA Basketball: Sunday, April 14, 2019 (TD Garden)
Line and Odds: Boston Celtics (-7), O/U (209.5)
In tonight’s Eastern Conference Playoff match up, the Pacers head to Boston for game one against the Celtics. We should have a close series on our hands given the teams’ records and their seeding.
Despite some nagging injuries the majority of the Celtics will be ready to go for game one. Unfortunately, the team is missing Marcus Smart for the next four to six weeks. This is a major blow to their defense, and Smart’s energy was certainly infectious to the rest of the team.
Coming into the playoffs, the Celtics were 6-4 in their last ten and they’re 28-13 at home this year. They’ve owned the season series against the Pacers, going 3-1 in their games against Indiana.
For Boston to win tonight, they’ll need Kyrie Irving to have a solid game, but the x-factor is likely Al Horford. The Pacers have an elite shot blocker in Myles Turner, but if Al Horford can stretch the floor and pull Turner out of the paint, it’ll open up driving lanes for Kyrie Irving to break down the rest of the Pacer defense.
Look for Gordon Hayward to have a good game as well, as he’s started to return to form recently. Over his last ten, he was putting up 16.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 58.5% from the floor.
The Pacers are relatively healthy tonight, save for the season ending injury to Victor Oladipo. Indiana did alright in his absence however, and expect them to still put up a fight against the Celtics.
Offensively, the key for the team is Bojan Bogdanovic. He had some big games in last year’s first round against LeBron and the Cavaliers, and he might pull off more of the same this year.
For the Pacers to win, they’ll need solid outside shooting, but where they can really shine is on the glass. Between Myles Turner, Domantas Sabonis and Thaddeus Young, the Indiana big man rotation is far better at rebounding than that of Boston. If they can dominate the boards tonight and limit opportunities for Kyrie Irving in transition, they should be in a good position to win.
Indiana Pacers Trends
Indiana is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Indiana’s last 7 games
Indiana is 7-16 ATS in its last 23 games on the road
Indiana is 2-10 SU in its last 12 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Indiana’s last 11 games on the road
Boston Celtics Trends
Boston is 5-10 ATS in its last 15 games
Boston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Boston’s last 5 games
Boston is 0-5 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Boston is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games at home
ESPN NBA Scores Boston Celtics Vs. Indiana Pacers
While the Celtics have had the Pacers’ number this year, I expect that to lead to some complacency on Boston’s end. Furthermore, without their star player, Indiana really has nothing to prove, which typically leads to some upsets early on in a series. I’m taking Indiana to at the very least cover tonight.
Pick: Indiana Pacers (+7)