After losing Game 1 of their best-of-seven NBA playoff series against the Boston Celtics on Sunday, the Indiana Pacers look to even the score in Game 2 on Wednesday night. In order to win Wednesday’s game in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, the Pacers will need to shoot far better than they did on Sunday, when they managed just 29 points in the second half before losing 84-74. The 74 points were a season low. Indiana’s leading scorer, Bojan Bogdanovic, who averages 18.0 points per game, scored only 12 on 4-of-11 shooting from the field. Tipoff for Game 2 is set for 7 p.m. ET. Boston is favored by eight in the latest Celtics vs. Pacers odds, up from an open of 7.5, while the over-under for total points scored is 206.5. Before making any Celtics vs. Pacers picks of your own, look at the predictions for the NBA Playoffs 2019 from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks. It entered Week 27 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 294-242 record on all top-rated plays, returning more than $3,500 in profit to anybody following them. And it has been particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA picks against the spread, entering Week 27 on a strong 77-62 run. Anybody who has followed it is way up.
Now the model has honed in on Celtics vs. Pacers. We can tell you it is leaning over, and it’s also generated a strong against the spread pick that cashes in nearly 60 percent of simulations. That one is only available at SportsLine.
The model has factored in that Boston plays championship-level defense. In fact, the Celtics have the sixth best defensive rating in the NBA at 107.0. They’ve been especially tough in their last five games, posting a defensive rating of 105.4, which ranks third in the league. That defense presents a major problem for an Indiana team playing without its top scorer, Victor Oladipo (knee).
In addition, Al Horford poses a significant matchup problem for several teams, including the Pacers. Down seven at halftime on Sunday, the Celtics fed their big man early and often in the second half and helped turn the game. Horford finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Boston has covered three times in five games against the Pacers this season.
But just because Boston won Game 1 does not guarantee it will cover the Celtics vs. Pacers spread on Wednesday night.
Despite its loss in Game 1, Indiana proved it can defend Boston well enough to win. The Pacers held the Celtics to their lowest point total of the season and just 36.4 percent shooting. Indiana also forced 20 turnovers.
The Pacers also uncharacteristically missed several open shots in Game 1. The team shot 33.3 percent from the field, 22.2 percent on 3-pointers and a ghastly 57.1 percent from the free throw line. In four regular season games against Boston, Indiana was 43.2 percent from the field and 38.2 percent on 3-pointers, showing that the Pacers are capable of much more against the Celtics’ defense.
So who wins Pacers vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread can you bank on in nearly 60 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Pacers vs. Celtics spread to jump on, all from the model that’s up more than $3,500 on top-rated NBA picks this season.