Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics - 12/22/13
Boston Celtics (12-15) at Indiana Pacers (21-5)
NBA Basketball: Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm (Bankers Life Fieldhouse)
The Line: Indiana Pacers -11.5 -- Over/Under: 186.5 See the Latest Odds
The Boston Celtics will be in for a tough game tonight when they invade Bankers Life Fieldhouse to take on the Indiana Pacers.
The Celtics have lost four of their last six and will be hoping to avoid a third straight defeat after losing to the Wizards by 106-99 last night. Avery Bradley led the way with 26 points while Jared Sullinger added 22, but the Celtics fell to 12-16 on the season and 7-8 at home despite leading by as many as 18 points early in the game. Unfortunately, blowing early leads looks to becoming a habit for the C's as they squandered a 21-point lead in a 107-106 loss to the Pistons on Wednesday.
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Meanwhile, the Pacers have lost three of their last six but are coming off their biggest win of the season, a 114-81 home victory against the Rockets to snap a two-game slide. Paul George led the way with 24 points, Lance Stephenson added 16 while Luis Scola added 13, but this victory was all about stilfing the Rockets' three-point threat and they did just that, holding Houston to just four of 22 from the arc which really shrunk the court and made it tough to penetrate into the paint. With the win, Indiana improve to 21-5 on the season and 12-1 at home.
In ATS trends, the Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss and 1-5 ATS in their last six games against a team above .600, while the Pacers are 16-6 ATS in their last 22 home games and 1-4 ATS in their last five games following a win.
Head to head, the Celtics are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings overall and 11-5 ATS in the last 16 in Indiana.
The Pacers are heavily favored in this game and you would think that they should be able to cruise past the lowly Celtics in front of their home crowd, but I actually think the C's can keep the score respectable here. Indiana should definitely win and win easily, but other than the demolition of the Rockets on Friday, the Pacers haven't won a game by more than 12 points since Nov 29 against the Wizards.