Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Celtics vs. Pacers picks, odds, best bets for Game 2: Stay the course with Boston, Al Horford drops bombs

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The 2024 NBA postseason is well underway, and the basketball betting market is hotter than ever. CBS Sports will provide daily picks for the duration of the postseason. Sam Quinn will make at least one pick for every game between now and the NBA Finals.

Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers

I’m pretty conflicted about the Game 2 line. On the one hand… the Celtics were +20 in free throws and +8 in turnovers, yet they still needed overtime just to win Game 1. That suggests these teams may not be as far off as we figured entering the series. On the other hand, Indiana got the type of game it wanted in the series opener. The Celtics fired 45 3’s and only made one-third of them. Boston played at Indiana’s frantic pace. They still won. Ultimately I’m trusting the season-long sample more than Game 1. If Boston can adjust to Indiana’s pace, their superior talent should still have the meaningful edge. If Game 2 looks like Game 1, we’ll recalibrate from there. The Pick: Celtics -9

I might just pick the over in every game of this series. Indiana’s defense just has no chance against Boston whatsoever. If the Celtics are scoring 133 points in a game in which they shot only 33.3% from 3, they might pursue the 150+ mark they hit against the Pacers the first time they played in the regular season. Jrue Holiday’s bully-ball tactics destroyed the Pacers in Game 1. Boston started to run more Derrick White-Jayson Tatum pick-and-roll late in Game 1, a move that Indiana has no good answer for. This is going to be an offense-centric series. The Pick: Over 224.5

Al Horford attempted 12 3-pointers in Game 1. NBA.com tracking data showed that nine of them were wide open. The Pacers have seemingly come to the conclusion that they would rather sacrifice easy Horford 3-pointers than play everyone straight up because so much help is needed to defend against Boston’s perimeter players. Horford is fine bombing 3-pointers in response. The Pick: Horford Over 1.5 3-Pointers

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