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Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics

May 23, 2024

The Boston Celtics escaped Game 1 and now look to take a 2-0 series lead when they clash against the Indiana Pacers in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Finals Thursday night inside the famed TD Garden in Boston, MA. They tip it off at 8:00 p.m. as the Celtics look to take a solid series lead over the upstart Pacers.

Bookmaker has installed the Celtics as a solid 8.5-ppoint favorite in a pivotal game for both teams.

Boston Celtics' Betting Preview

The Celtics raced out to a nice lead in a Game 1 win over the Pacers and then had to hang out for dear life late as they got lucky, forcing the game into overtime, where they eventually won it, 133-128. 

They needed a huge effort from Jayson Tatum and a late defensive miscue by the Pacers to even get them into an extra quarter. Tatum ended the game with 36 points. 

Boston will have to play better defense when it comes to guarding the perimeter, and if they can stop the Pacers from penetrating the lane, they should be able to win this game. They just need to play a complete game and close out the Pacers, who are a very gritty and tough team to overcome. 

The Celtics must also clean up on the glass and win the battle on the boards. 14 turnovers will not cut it, so look for them to be more careful with the basketball. 

Indiana Pacers Betting Preview

The upstart Pacers have shown they have significant staying power. They have also proven that they are not going to go away quietly in this series, and they know they let a win slip away on Tuesday night. They had the powerful Celtics backed up against the ropes, but they could not deliver the knockout blow, and it might come back to haunt them.

They are such an athletic team that sometimes they feel they can just get up and down the floor and rely just on their athletic ability. However, as they discovered in Game 1, they also need to slow the pace and tempo down at times and work for a good shot.

Veteran power forward Pascal Siakam leads them on offense and has significantly improved this postseason. He is averaging around 21 points per game to go along with a team-high eight rebounds. He is also getting some help and timely buckets from teammate Tyrese Haliburton, who is playing the point, as well as anyone left in the postseason.

Look for the Pacers to push the pace early on and try to really put pressure on the Celtics' interior defense; if they can't, then that is when they will allow Haliburton to put the ball on the floor and create his own shot. 

Game Odds, Series Trends, and Free Picks 

The Celtics are 3-2 in their five games, and 2-2 in their last five games against the spread. They're also 19-19 in their road games against the spread. The totals have gone over four out of their last five games and 22 out of their last 41 games at home. The Pacers are 4-1 in their last five games and 3-2 in their last five games against the number. They are 22-19 in their road games against the spread, and the totals have gone over in five of their last five games. 

Pick: Indiana Pacers +8.5