Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics
|Date & Time||Sunday April 14, 2019, 1:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Boston -7 -- Over/Under 209.5
The Boston Celtics play host to the Indiana Pacers at the TD Garden in Game 1 of the NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs on Sunday afternoon.
The Indiana Pacers were a young team on the rise at the early stages of the season, but they finished the regular season with nine losses in their last 13 games to finish with an overall record of 48-34 which earned them the fifth seed. Victor Olapdio led the team with season averages of 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game, but it’s been an injury-riddled season as he played just 36 games, Bojan Bogdanovic averaged 18.0 points per game while Domantas Sabonis was reliable off the bench with averages of 14.1 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. The Pacers were projected by many to make a deep run in these playoffs as they’ve just been so resilient, but without Oladipo on the court, it’s going to be tough to remain competitive against elite competition.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics would view the season as a failure if they achieve anything less than a championship after the playoff run they went on last season. Kyrie Irving led the team with averages of 23.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game, Jayson Tatum averaged 15.7 points with 6.0 rebounds per game while Al Horford averaged 13.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game, while Marcus Morris averaged 13.9 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, but the Celtics were dealt another injury blow at just at the wrong time as Marcus Smart went down with an oblique injury which could see him miss up to six weeks.
Looking at the betting trends, the Pacers are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Conference Quarterfinals games, 7-16 ATS in their last 23 road games and 40-19-1 ATS in their last 60 Sunday games. The Celtics are 0-8 ATS in their last eight home games, 9-2 ATS in their last 11 Conference Quarterfinals games and 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record.
Head to head, the over is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings, the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings and the Pacers are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings.
The Pacers showed plenty of resiliency to stay in the playoff race after Victor Oladipo went down, but you just wonder how much they have in them now that they’re at the big dance. The Celtics never really clicked into top gear this season, but they’re coming into this one with plenty of momentum after winning six of their last eight regular season games. The loss of Smart is big for the Celtics, but I don’t think they’ll miss him in this series or in this game. The Pacers are 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings, but I like the Celtics to kick off the series with a win and cover here.