The Pacers’ defense has been slipping of late, despite their efforts to chase the play-in. Our NBA picks are counting on Jaylen Brown to take advantage tonight when the Celtics play host.
As the NBA season winds down, basketball enthusiasts and bettors alike turn their attention to an exciting matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Indiana Pacers. Indiana is still trying to fight for a spot in the play-in tournament, while Boston is aiming for the top seed in the East.
With Jaylen Brown poised for a big game against the Pacers’ struggling defense and Indiana missing its rising star Tyrese Haliburton, this showdown offers a wealth of intriguing betting opportunities.
Find out your best options with our free NBA betting picks and predictions for the Pacers vs. Celtics on Friday, March 24.
Pacers vs Celtics best odds
Pacers vs Celtics picks and predictions
Jaylen Brown has been a force to be reckoned with in the NBA this season, scoring 26.7 points per game on an impressive 49.2% shooting. Tonight, as the Boston Celtics take on the Indiana Pacers, there’s a strong likelihood that Brown will score Over 26.5 points. One contributing factor is his previous performance against the Pacers, where he put up an impressive 30 points, showcasing his ability to excel against their perimeter.
The Pacers’ defensive struggles provide an ideal scenario for Brown to capitalize. Ranking last in the entire NBA in defense against shooting guards, they allow an average of 25.1 points per game to players at the position.
The Pacers have one of the weakest defenses in the league. With a defensive rating of 117.8, they’re ranked 26th in the NBA. In the last three games, Indiana has continued to struggle defensively, ranking Bottom 3 in opponent field goal percentage, allowing 50.2% shooting from the field, the type of resistance Brown can carve up.
Indiana’s recent game against the Toronto Raptors provides further evidence of its defensive troubles. The Pacers allowed both Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet to score 28-plus points, showcasing the team’s inability to handle high-scoring players.
Finally, the Pacers’ Buddy Hield, standing at 6-foot-4, will be tasked with guarding Jaylen Brown. Hield’s size disadvantage could make this a challenging assignment for him, as Brown’s physicality and skillset will likely prove too much to handle. All these factors combine to create a perfect storm for Brown, making it highly probable that he will score Over 26.5 points against the Indiana Pacers tonight.
My best bet: Jaylen Brown Over 26.5 points (-110)
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Pacers vs Celtics spread analysis
The Pacers’ defense is likely to struggle against the formidable Celtics offense in tonight’s matchup. A double-digit spread usually gives me reason to pause, but it makes sense tonight. The Celtics hold a significant advantage on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, making it challenging for Indiana to keep pace. With the fourth-ranked offensive rating (118.6) in the league, the Celtics are poised to exploit Indiana’s poor defense.
Adding to the Pacers’ difficulties, Tyrese Haliburton, one of the league’s best young players, has been sidelined for the last six games. The star guard remains out and Indiana’s chances of keeping the game close without him are drastically reduced. Without Haliburton, it will be tough for the Pacers to create enough scoring opportunities against a tough and dynamic Boston defense.
It’s worth noting that the Celtics have failed to cover the spread twice against the Pacers this season. However, considering their strong offensive and defensive advantages, as well as Haliburton’s absence, it’s more likely that the Celtics will cover the -12 spread in this game. Indiana’s defensive struggles and lack of offensive firepower without Haliburton should provide Boston with ample opportunities to dominate the matchup and come out on top by a significant margin.
Pacers vs Celtics Over/Under analysis
The total for tonight’s game is set at 234.5 across all sportsbooks, and recent trends suggest that the Over might be a viable option. In the Pacers’ last four road games against teams with a home winning percentage of greater than .600, the Over has hit four times. Similarly, the Over has hit in the Celtics’ last four games following a straight-up win of more than 10 points. Additionally, in the last five meetings between these two teams, the Over has prevailed in four instances.
A key factor that could contribute to the Over being a logical play tonight is Indiana’s struggle to defend against talented wing scorers, a significant setback when facing a team like the Celtics. Boston boasts one of the most dominant one-two punches on the perimeter in basketball with Brown and Jayson Tatum. The Pacers’ inability to contain these players may lead to an elevated point total for the Celtics, pushing the game toward the Over.
However, it’s important to consider the Pacers’ potential difficulties in scoring points against the Celtics. Indiana may struggle to contribute enough points to reach the total of 234.5, which could make betting the Over a riskier proposition. While recent trends and the Pacers’ defensive challenges favor the Over, bettors should carefully weigh Indiana’s ability to generate points against Boston’s tough defense before making a decision.
Pacers vs Celtics betting trend to know
Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Find more NBA betting trends for Pacers vs. Celtics.
Pacers vs Celtics game info
|Location:||TD Garden, Boston, MA|
|Date:||Friday, March 24, 2023|
|Tip-off:||7:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||Bally Sports Indiana, NBCS-Boston|