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Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics Game 1 Expert Pick And Predictions – May 21, 2024

Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics Expert Pick And Predictions – May 21, 2024

INDIANA PACERS VS. BOSTON CELTICS EXPERT PICKS AND PREDICTIONS—MAY 21, 2024—Greetings, basketball fans. Welcome back to our NBA playoff coverage here at Godzilla Wins. We are now in the conference finals round, with four teams vying for a spot in the Finals. The game on tap for tonight features the Indiana Pacers (55-41 SU, 51-42-3 ATS) traveling on the road to take on the Boston Celtics (72-20 SU, 47-40-5 ATS).

Here is a look at which squad has the edge going into the series opener and why.


When: Monday, May 21, 2024 @ 8:00 PM ET

Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA



Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics Odds






Indiana Pacers

(55-41 SU, 51-42-3 ATS)





Boston Celtics

(72-20 SU, 47-40-5 ATS)





Odds courtesy of DraftKings

Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics – Series Recaps & Betting Trends

Can The Pacers Continue Their Improbable Postseason Run?

The Pacers’ backs were against the wall in their second-round playoff series against the New York Knicks. They had been defeated in Game 5 by a whopping 30 points (121-91) and were on the brink of elimination. Simply put, it was gut-check time. First, as was the case through the first six games of that series, the Pacers protected home court, defeating New York 116-103 in Game 6.

With the stage set for a Game 7 at Madison Square Garden, the numbers did not favor the Pacers once again because they have not played well on the road in the postseason. In fact, they were 1-5 on the road and had been dropped all three games at MSG. While their Game 6 outing was impressive, their Game 7 performance topped that one.

Indiana jumped out to an early 39-27 lead after the first 12 minutes of action. When these teams entered halftime, the road team led by a 70-55 margin while shooting a blistering 76.3 percent from the floor. The Knicks’ injury woes continued as Jalen Brunson suffered a broken hand. Although the Knicks fought valiantly until the end, it was the Pacers that cruised to an easy 130-109 victory, securing a spot in the conference finals for the first time in a decade.

Tyrese Haliburton led the offense with 26 points on 10-for-17 shooting, six rebounds, and five assists. He also connected on six of his 12 attempts from beyond the arc.

Pascal Siakam and Andrew Nembhard added 20 points each. Aaron Nesmith finished with 19 points and four rebounds, while Myles Turner contributed 17 points and five rebounds on 7-for-11 shooting from the field.

The Pacers shot 67.1 from the floor, which was the highest shooting percentage in NBA playoff history. Head coach Rick Carlisle told his team that they would need to produce a historic performance to beat the Knicks on their floor in a winner-take-all Game 7,  and they did exactly that.

Will The Celtics Open Another Playoff Series With A Dominant Win At Home?

Although the Pacers have earned their flowers for their playoff run, the Celtics are a great team in their own right. They finished with the best record in the association at 64-18. They were ranked in the top five in both offense and defense during the regular season.

While they dropped a pair of Game 2s on their home floor against the Miami Heat and  Cleveland Cavaliers, they won each of the next three games both times, closing out their first two playoff opponents in five games. In the series finale against the Cavaliers, Jayson Tatum paced the team’s offense with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists.  In addition to connecting on nine of 16 shot attempts,  he also had four steals.

Al Horford produced a turn-back-the-clock performance, finishing with 22 points, 15 boards, and five dimes. He also knocked down six of his 13 attempts from 3-point range. Derrick White added 18 points, six assists, and five rebounds,  while Jaylen Brown contributed 11 points and seven assists.

The Celtics won the opener of their first two series by 20 and 25 points, respectively. Will that trend continue or will the Pacers find  a way to keep defying the odds?

Now that we have set the table for this matchup let’s examine the betting trends for both teams.

The Spread

Boston’s 8-2 postseason record partially explains its 10-point favorite status heading into Game 1 (per Here is a look at how both teams have fared against the spread this season.

  • In the Pacers’ last 16 Tuesday night games, they are 12-3-1 against the spread.
  • Indiana is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 matchups against the Celtics.
  • Boston is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 Tuesday home games.

Prediction: Boston Celtics (-10)


The projected over/under total for this matchup opened at 218.5 points, but the line total has climbed to 222 points (per Here is why going with the “over” is the smart choice.

  • The total has gone OVER 13 times in the Pacers’ last 18 outings.
  • The OVER total cashed in 10 times in Indiana’s last 13 May games.
  • The total has gone OVER 14 times in the Celtics’ last 20 games against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • The OVER total is 12-6 in Boston’s last 18 matchups against the Pacers.
  • In the Celtics’ last nine contests against Central Division teams, the OVER total prevailed six times.

Prediction: OVER 222 points

Player Prop Bet

Tatum is the Celtics’ leading scorer in the playoffs at 24.3 points per contest. But to make things a bit interesting, my key player selection for this matchup is Jaylen Brown.  He currently has -125 odds of scoring more than 24.5 points and -105 odds of finishing with less than 24.5 points.

Here is a look at how his numbers stack up against the projected points total for this matchup.

  • Brown is averaging 23.0 points per contest during the regular season and playoffs.
  • In five games against the Pacers this season, Brown has averaged 28.4 points per contest.
  • During the playoffs, he is averaging 23.1 points per outing.
  • Brown has played against Eastern Conference teams 53 times this season (including the playoffs). In those contests, he is averaging 22.9 points per outing.
  • The Celtics’ guard averages 24.4 points per game in 21 matchups against Northwest Division opponents,
  • Over his last 10 outings, Brown has averaged 23.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest, exceeding the points total for this matchup five times during that stretch.

Prediction: Jaylen Brown OVER 24.5 points

James Tillman’s Pacers vs. Celtics Picks

Spread: Celtics (-10)

Over/Under: OVER 222 points

Player Prop Bet: Jaylen Brown OVER 24.5 points

FUN My Pillow


  • James Tillman III, Contributor

    James is an accounting professional by day and a freelance writer at night. James has been publishing sports content for over 13 years for various outlets. The list includes FanSided, Latest Basketball News, Odds USA, Last Word on Sports, (OBCOM), and Sportsbook Review James always researches team/player trends to ensure he is offering his betting audience the best advice possible. Simply put, he takes his writing very seriously. He is an NBA handicapper who keeps a watchful eye on most of the sports leagues. His preferences, when it comes to betting content, pertain to the NBA and the NFL. Alongside his work for Godzilla Wins and, James has also published sports betting content with other betting sites such as ODDS USA and Eat Watch Bet. Although betting on sports is never an exact science, James always does his best to keep it simple when it comes to offering predictions on games, which in turn, inspires confidence in novice bettors.

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