Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers Prediction, NBA Odds

Edgar Chaput | Updated Dec 03, 2023

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics

The first of the In-Season Tournament quarterfinals is Monday night when the Boston Celtics take to Indiana to play the high-scoring Pacers.

Boston
43-12
AT
December 04, 2023, 7:30 PM ET
Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Indiana
31-25
Pointspread -4.5 -110
Moneyline -210
Over / Under o +243.5
Pointspread +4.5 -110
Moneyline +170
Over / Under u +243.5

Boston made it out of the group as a winner, but only with a 3-1 record. Conversely, the Indiana Pacers were a perfect 4-0, which included one of the most gonzo games of the season so far against fellow Group A rivals the Atlanta Hawks. Since then, the Pacers were involved in a duet of matches in Miami versus the Heat. They lost on Thursday but won on Saturday, 144-129. Boston has rested all weekend since defeating a short-handed 76ers side on Friday, 125-119.

The NBA odds have more faith in the Celtics to advance, pinning them at -4.5.

Celtics vs. Pacers NBA Betting Odds

Boston and Indiana have already danced this season. It was during the second week of the calendar at TD Garden when the Celtics blasted the Pacers 155-104. That was the second-most points Boston scored in a game in franchise history. That match alone spoke volumes about what ails Indiana this season: defence.

Indiana has played 18 matches. On the one hand, there’s tons of basketball left. On the other hand, enough has been played to suggest each club’s identity. The Pacers are the number one scoring side in the entire NBA (128.8 points a match) and the absolute worst defensively (125.9). It’s incredible to think that if Indiana does not score an average of 126 points they lose the contest. The over is 16-2, to no one’s surprise. Indiana is 10-8 ATS.

Monday’s match will be a stern test for Boston’s fourth-ranked defence (107.4 points per contest). They also hold opponents to the third-lowest field goal percentage at 44.0 per cent. It’s a different Celtics squad in that regard from last season where defence, at times, felt like an afterthought in head coach Joe Mazzulla’s scheme. In fact, the over is only 8-10-1. The Celtics are 8-9-2 ATS.

Boston Celtics

It’s only a matter of time before Boston finally loses at home. They came perilously close on Friday night against a Philadelphia 76ers roster without Joel Embiid or Tyrese Maxey. Boston still won, but the 126-119 final hints at the nail-biter this was.

The Celtics looked a little too confident strolling into the match. Jaylen Brown got things started with a steal and a flush seconds into the first quarter, but it belied how intense the 76ers would play from that point onwards. A mixture of surprisingly stout defence and sloppy play from the Celtics resulted in 20 turnovers and only 77 shots taken. Jayson Tatum (21 points) was guilty on seven of them, an alarming amount. Furthermore, it was an extremely rare case of him getting into such serious foul trouble that he was ejected in the third quarter for a second technical. Whenever it looked like Boston would pull away, Philly clawed back. Al Horford and Derrick White had excellent nights, scoring 20 and 21, respectively.

Kristaps Porzingis is listed as out.

Indiana Pacers

The two games in South Florida versus the Miami Heat exemplified exactly what Pacers fans get this season. They were a lot of fun, featured incessant scoring, and the defence was terrible.

On Thursday, the visiting Pacers stormed out for a first-half lead, only for the Heat to completely expose them with counter-attacks stemming from turnovers, ultimately winning 142-132. On Saturday, the defensive play was better if conceding 129 points instead of 142 constitutes improvement (129 is still a lot). Tyrese Haliburton was missing in action due to injury and is still listed as questionable heading into Monday’s contest.

The Pacers shot 65.9 per cent from the field. That’s an insane figure. They scored 76 points in the paint! Bruce Brown led the way with 30, but consider these three-point shooting stats: Brown was 4-for-6, Obi Toppin was 4-for-5, and Aaron Nesmith was 4-for-6. T.J. McConnell came off the bench and went 10-for-11 overall! Wild stuff.

NBA Prediction: Who Will Win Celtics vs. Pacers?

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