NBA Betting Tips: Celtics to extend series advantage

 | Thursday 23rd May 2024, 10:25am

Thursday 23rd May 2024, 10:25am

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My NBA betting tips for Thursday will focus on game two between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers in the Eastern conference finals.

The Celtics stole game one by pulling out a five-point win in overtime on Tuesday, so the Pacers will be looking to respond here before heading back to Indiana for game three.

NBA Betting Tips - May 23

  • Boston Celtics -8.5 vs Indiana Pacers @ 5/6

Indiana were seconds away from stealing the opening game of the series at TD Garden on Tuesday, but ultimately came up short in overtime. They'll have a shot at redemption on Thursday night as they return to Boston for game two.

The Pacers led 117-114 with 10 seconds left in regulation but turned it over on an inbounds pass in their own backcourt. Rick Carlisle will know that his team will need to clean up their turnovers if they're to have any chance of tasting victory on Thursday night - they committed 22 in game one.

While the disappointment from the opening encounter will sting, the Pacers have vowed to not let it linger. They have bounced back well from losses all season - in fact, they lost game one in both of their two previous play-off series, but came back to win.

The Celtics remain heavily-favoured for tonight's match-up at 1/4 on the money line, and with good reason. Their home record throughout the 2023-24 campaign has been immaculate, and I'm expecting them to make defensive adjustments to limit the Pacers' scoring. They also head into game two knowing what to expect.

Boston have lost game two in each of their first two series of the play-offs against Miami and Cleveland, but they'll be determined not to let history repeat itself here. They demonstrated on Tuesday that they can get high-quality open looks on the attack, as the Pacers' defense is one of the worst in the league.

In addition, I believe a major difference in this game will be the the Celtics' bench. They scored just 13 points in game one, and the C's will make adjustments to properly utilise their rotation.

Although the Pacers will be motivated, it's hard to see Boston not continuing to exploit the paint with Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown, and ultimately take a 2-0 lead to Indiana for game three.

Boston Celtics -8.5 vs Indiana at 5-6

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