MNO Sports >Cycling Trails >Celtics vs. Pacers picks, odds, best bets for Game 1: Why all signs point to Boston taking series opener - CBSSports.com

Celtics vs. Pacers picks, odds, best bets for Game 1: Why all signs point to Boston taking series opener - CBSSports.com

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The 2024 NBA postseason is well underway, and the basketball betting market is hotter than ever. CBS Sports will provide daily picks for the duration of the postseason. Sam Quinn will make at least one pick for every game between now and the NBA Finals.

Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers

The Celtics have won Game 1 of their past two series by 45 combined points. The Pacers have lost Game 1 of both of the series that they've played in thus far this postseason. The Celtics have nearly a week of rest. The Pacers just played a road Game 7 on Sunday. The Pacers are 2-5 on the road this postseason with a -43 point differential. The Celtics may only be 4-2 at home in these playoffs, but their point differential in those games is +60. Essentially, all of the data going into this series suggests that Boston is the vastly superior team, and until Indiana gives us a reason to think otherwise, there's no good reason to deviate from that logic. The Pick: Celtics -9.5

The Pacers and Celtics were the two best offenses of the regular season. They have also been the two best offenses of the postseason, albeit flipping spots (with the Pacers at No. 1 and Celtics at No. 2). Kristaps Porzingis is probably the most important single defender of this series because of his size at the rim against the relatively small Pacers, but he's hurt. If the Pacers could drag the Knicks, the NBA's slowest regular-season team, into a track meet, they should be able to do that against the Celtics as well. The Pick: Over 221.5

Most offenses try to switch-hunt Tyrese Haliburton in pick-and-roll. The Knicks certainly did. But the Celtics? They don't even need to. All five of their starters are so dangerous that when they encounter a defender they want to pick on, they just let whoever matches up against him initially go to work. The Heat tried to bait the Celtics away from Jayson Tatum and Derrick White by letting Tyler Herro guard Jaylen Brown. Brown torched him. I'm expecting Haliburton to start this series on Jrue Holiday, so I'm grabbing his over. The Pick: Holiday Over 12.5 Points

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