Pacers vs. Celtics Game 1 Prediction, NBA Playoff Odds

Edgar Chaput | Updated May 21, 2024

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics

On Tuesday night the Eastern Conference Finals gets underway as the Indiana Pacers and Boston Celtics play Game 1 from TD Garden.

May 21, 2024, 8:00 PM ET
TD Garden
Pointspread +9.5 -105
Moneyline +333
Over / Under o +223.5


Betting Action


Pointspread -9.5 -115
Moneyline -450
Over / Under u +223.5


Betting Action


Boston has waited for this series since last Wednesday when they ousted the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. The Indiana Pacers required more time to vanquish the New York Knicks, but eventually got the job done courtesy of a brilliant shooting performance in Game 7 in New York on Sunday.

For Game 1 of the East Finals, the NBA playoff odds heavily favour the host Celtics, pegging them at -9.5.

Pacers vs. Celtics NBA Betting Odds

By virtue of having contested in the semifinal of the In-Season Tournament, Indiana and Boston have already gone into battle five times. The Celtics took three of those matches. That said, the Pacers eliminated the Celtics in the maiden tournament.

In what seems like a repeat of the first two rounds of the postseason, the odds don’t give Indiana much of a chance to conquer Boston. The latter are -909 to win the series, with a sweep coming in at +270, a gentleman’s sweep at +179, a 4-2 series win at +400, and 4-3 win at +600.

Suffice it to say, the figures are far wider for the Pacers. For the series as a whole, Indiana is +600. Even the likeliest outcome, a 4-2 Pacers victory, is priced at +1400, with a seven-game series at +2000. Fives games and a sweep in their favour are for those who like to live dangerously priced at +3500 and +8000, respectively.

Both sides are relatively healthy even though they’re missing some key figures. In the Pacers camp, Bennedict Mathurin’s season ended before the playoffs even began.  On the Celtics’ side, Kristaps Porzingis has started to take shots at practice but is considered out for at least the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals. Big man Xavier Tillman is day-to-day (personal reasons).

Indiana Pacers

A lot has been made of Boston’s comparatively easy road to the semifinals. People aren’t wrong, but Indiana, even as an underdog, has had providence give them some margins for error. After ousting a Bucks side lacking Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard, they took care of a Knicks squad in the sophomore round that had, well, nobody at times.

To Indiana’s credit, they’ve taken advantage of all the opportunities and have largely resembled the club they were in the regular season, leading the NBA playoffs as the highest-scoring team (114.2 points per game) courtesy of the best shooting percentage (50.7 per cent). Helping that figure was a stunning 67 per cent efficiency in New York in Game 7 on Sunday afternoon.

Tyrese Haliburton is one of the best facilitators this postseason (8.1 assists per match) to go along with 18.8 points. Pascal Siakam is living it up as the guy with championship experience (21.1 points, 7.5 rebounds) and Myles Turner is wreaking havoc (17.5 points, 6.5 rebounds). In fact, seven players are averaging at least 10 points per contest in 13 playoff games. The threat can truly come from anywhere with this team.

Boston Celtics

After writing about how the Pacers vanquished hobbled Bucks and Knicks teams, it’s only fair to remind readers that the Celtics dispatched a skeleton Miami Heat crew before ousting a Cleveland Cavaliers side that lost more and more players as that second-round series went along.

There is also a feeling of “here we go again” with this crew. Not so much Porzingis (injured) and Jrue Holiday (first year in Boston), but more so Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford, and Derrick White. The players who have partaken in many if not all of the Eastern Conference Finals appearances of the past seven seasons, most of which, save one, ended in defeat. Elimination at this stage (and, frankly, defeat in the NBA Finals) would live a bitter taste of “all for naught”. The Pacers will not make life easy, but it’s time for Boston to make good on all that potential.

NBA Prediction: Who Will Win Pacers vs. Celtics?

NBA Predictions