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Pacers vs. Celtics Game 1 NBA Computer Pick: Boston To Show Indiana Real Competition

Jayson Tatum Boston Celtics Eastern Conference Second Round Playoffs Massachusetts
Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics goes up for a shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second quarter in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Second Round Playoffs at TD Garden on May 15, 2024 in Boston, Massachusetts. Adam Glanzman/Getty Images/AFP

There are only four teams left in the NBA Playoffs! Therefore, we checked the NBA odds and went to the AI Computer model for help choosing our picks to play at top-rated sportsbooks.

For more of our betting analysis, check out:

NBA Pick


Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics

Tuesday, May 21, 2024 – 08:00 PM ET at TD Garden


Our AI Model thinks the Celtics and Pacers will combine for 218 points in tonight’s game. However, the total is 221.5 on Caesars. Therefore, the Under is the play for Game 1 of this series.

The Pacers Can’t Sustain Offensive Success

The Indiana Pacers have scored at least 141.3 points per 100 possessions in three of their last four games. The offense was always this good. They’ve led the league in points per 100 possessions, effective field goal percentage and turnover percentage.

However, the Pacers haven’t faced a balanced team like the Celtics in the playoffs.

Instead, the Pacers escaped the Bucks, who didn’t have Giannis Antetokoumpo, and took on the Knicks, who were plagued with injuries. Neither team had much depth to compete against the Pacers. However, even without Kristaps Porzingis, the Celtics have performed the best defensively among the Bucks, Knicks and the Pacers. Boston has the depth to stick around against Indiana too.

Boston’s Defense Has Done Some Good Things

While Boston has rarely forced turnovers and gives us good looks, the Celtics have also minimized offensive rebounds and foul shots per game in the playoffs. Teams have struggled to add a high rate of offensive rebounds and continue to rarely see the foul line against the Celtics.

This is the difference between the Celtics and the other teams. Boston hasn’t allowed more than a 12.7 free throw rate in the entire playoffs. They’ve also held teams to no more than 22% of offensive rebounds in most games in the playoffs. That will hurt the Pacers. If Indiana doesn’t shoot lights out like Game 4, Game 6, and Game 7, the Pacers won’t have any other ways to win the game. They just need to shoot lights out, which is unlikely against Boston.

The Pick

If the Pacers don’t shoot incredibly well and Boston’s defense is able to minimize damage, this game is going Under the total. I’m with the AI Model here.

NBA Pick: Under 221.5 (-110) at Bet365

*The line and/or odds referenced in this article might have changed since the content was published. For the latest information on line movements, visit OddsTrader’s free betting odds tool.

*21+ Seek help with a gambling addiction at 1-800-Gambler

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