Menu Close

Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics Game 2 Expert Pick And Predictions – May 23, 2024

Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics Expert Pick And Predictions – May 23, 2024

INDIANA PACERS VS. BOSTON CELTICS EXPERT PICKS AND PREDICTIONS—MAY 23, 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 (55-42 SU, 52-42-3 ATS) taking on the Boston Celtics (73-20 SU, 47-41-5 ATS).

Here is a look at which squad has the edge going into Game 2 and why.


When: Monday, May 23, 2024 @ 8:00 PM ET

Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA



Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics Odds






Indiana Pacers

(55-42 SU, 52-42-3 ATS)





Boston Celtics

(73-20 SU, 47-41-5 ATS)





Odds courtesy of DraftKings

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

The Pacers Prove They Belong In Same Class As Celtics

The Pacers were not given much of a shot against a Celtics team that won a league-best 64 games. This sentiment is supported by the fact they were a 10-point underdog going into the series opener.

However, the Pacers had the game all but wrapped up in the waning moments of Game  1. But thanks in part to multiple miscues, they gave the Celtics an opportunity to send the game into overtime, giving the home team new life.

The Pacers were outscored 16-11 in the extra frame and suffered a 133-128 loss. All five of the Pacers’ starting unit scored in double figures, with Tyrese Haliburton leading the way. He scored 25 points on 8-for-18 shooting, along with 10 boards, three rebounds, and three steals.

Pascal Siakam turned in a solid performance, finishing with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists. Myles Turner chipped in with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists. And from a defensive standpoint, he turned away two shots. As was the case in the first two road games against the Knicks, Indiana played well enough to win but failed to make a few key plays down the stretch — something head coach Rick Carlisle spoke about following the game.

“It’s unfortunate we did so many good things in this game that it came down to a couple of mistakes at the end, but it’s the NBA playoffs,” Carlisle said via ESPN. “We’ve got to learn from it and we’ve got to bounce back.”

Haliburton remains confident, saying that he knows the Pacers can compete with the Celtics. Based on what we saw in Game 1, it would be difficult to say otherwise.

Will The Celtics Drop Another Game 2 At TD Garden?

In their previous two playoff series openers, the Celtics won those games by 20 and 25 points, respectively. Given that, it would have been reasonable to presume that trend would continue against a Pacers team not known for its defensive prowess.

These two squads finished as the top two scoring teams in the association during the regular season, and that continued in Game 1. Although Boston was dominant in both of their previous season openers,  that would not be the case against Indiana. In fact, the Pacers would have won the game if not for committing 22 turnovers.

One of the costly turnovers occurred late in the fourth quarter. That miscue allowed the Celtics to force overtime with a three-pointer from Jaylen Brown.

Overall, those turnovers resulted in 32 points for the home team. And in a game where the final margin was five points, those miscues were the difference between winning and losing. Jaylen Brown stated that he was not satisfied despite the team rallying to take Game 1. To be honest, no one on that team has any reason to be. The one silver lining is that the Celtics got a wake-up call in both of their previous playoff series, and they responded with three consecutive wins each time.

Will that trend unfold going forward, or will this series be longer than most of us expected?

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

The Spread

Despite being a few plays away from losing the series opener, the Celtics come into Game 2 as a nine-point favorite (per Here is a look at how both ball clubs have fared against the spread this season.

  • The Pacers have covered the spread four times in their last five games.
  • In their last 15 May games, the Pacers are 11-4 against the spread.
  • The Celtics have failed to cover the spread four times in their last five outings.
  • Boston has covered the spread only twice in their last seven games against Central Division opponents.
  • In their last nine May games, the Celtics are 3-6 against the spread.

The Celtics are 19-15-2 ATS in the 36 games they have been favored to win by nine points or more 36 times this season.  The Pacers are 1-2 against the spread when playing as an underdog of nine points or more. Considering that Boston not only failed to cover but nearly lost the series opener, I am going in the other direction for Game 2.

Prediction: Indiana Pacers (+9)


The projected over/under total for this matchup opened at 224.5 points. However, that line has climbed slightly to 225 points (per Here is why going with the “over” is the smart choice.

  • The OVER total has a 73.7-percent success rate in the Pacers’ last 19 outings (14-5).
  • The OVER total has prevailed 13 times in Indiana’s last 18 matchups against Eastern Conference opponents.
  • In the Pacers’ last nine contests against Atlantic Division teams, the OVER total prevailed six times.
  • In Boston’s last 19 games against the Pacers, the OVER total has hit 13 times.
  • The OVER total has a 70-percent success rate in the Celtics’ last 20 games against Eastern Conference teams (14-6).
  • In the Celtics’ last six Thursday games, the OVER total is 5-1.

Prediction: OVER 225 points

Player Prop Bet

Jayson Tatum poured in a game-high 36 points, including 10 in overtime, making him the key player to watch for the home team. He currently has -105 odds of scoring more than 30.5 points and -125 odds of finishing with less than 30.5 points.

Do Tatum’s numbers favorably compare to the estimated points total for this matchup? Let’s look at the tale of the tape to find out.

  • Tatum is averaging 26.7 points per contest during the regular season and playoffs.
  • In five games against the Pacers this season, he has averaged a whopping 35.2 points per contest.
  • During the postseason, Tatum is averaging 25.4 points per outing.
  • Tatum has suited up against Eastern Conference teams 57 times this season (including the playoffs). In those contests, he is averaging 26.7 points per outing.
  • In 21 matchups against Central Division opponents, the Celtics forward is averaging 26.9 points per game.
  • Over his last 10 outings, Tatum has averaged 25.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per contest, exceeding the points total for this matchup only three times during that stretch.

Prediction: Jayson Tatum UNDER 30.5 points

James Tillman’s Pacers vs. Celtics Picks

Spread: Pacers (+9)

Over/Under: OVER 225 points

Player Prop Bet: Jayson Tatum UNDER 30.5 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.

    View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *