NBA Betting Tips: Celtics and Pacers set for high-scoring tussle

 | Tuesday 21st May 2024, 9:28am

Tuesday 21st May 2024, 9:28am

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The conference finals are set for the 2024 NBA postseason, and today's NBA betting tips will focus on the match-up between the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers, making it the seventh time in play-off history that these sides will square off.

The Celtics picked up 17 more wins than Indiana during the regular season, and are on the cusp of securing another appearance in the NBA finals. Below, I've given my thoughts, as well as two picks ahead of game one in this best-of-seven game series.

NBA Betting Tips - May 21

  • Boston Celtics -10.5 vs Indiana Pacers @ 1/1
  • Over 221.5 points @ 10/11

Boston Celtics -10.5 vs Indiana Pacers @ 1/1

I think most people - myself included - expected Boston to make it to the Eastern conference finals without any trouble, and they've done exactly that. They've lost just two games so far this postseason - one against Miami in the opening round, and one in the following series against Cleveland.

However, Pacers fans have seen their team secure a place in the conference finals for the first time in a decade, despite only finishing as the sixth seed in the regular season.

Will that inexperience come back to haunt Indiana? Perhaps, and fatigue may also play a part as they've just come through a gruelling seven-game series with the Knicks, but they'll take confidence from the fact that they've already eliminated two of the top-three seeds in the Eastern Conference so far this postseason in Milwaukee and New York.

The Celtics will be well-rested entering this series as they eliminated the Cavaliers on May 15, and will have had five days of rest before game one on Tuesday. More importantly, the C's are used to this stage and the pressure that comes with it - they're making their sixth conference finals appearance in the last eight years.

I think Indiana's biggest strength so far in the play-offs has been that they've shown no fear, and they'll need to do the same against Boston, despite being a young side. The C's are the stronger outfit on both ends of the floor, and have the postseason experience to match.

Boston Celtics -10.5 at 1-1

Over 221.5 points @ 10/11

Offence is the name of the game in this series, as both sides have demonstrated elite scoring prowess in their respective previous play-off match-ups.

Indiana led the NBA in scoring during the regular season, while the Celtics ranked second, so I'm anticipating a high-scoring affair on Tuesday night. The five regular-season games between the teams averaged 245.8 points, so the total of 221.5 seems low to me.

The Pacers have been potent in the play-offs, too, scoring a league-best 114.2 points-per-game through two rounds, while also leading the postseason in field goal percentage (50.7) and in three-point percentage (38.1).

Attack is the best form of defence in Indiana's case, and if they're to stand any chance of causing an upset in this series, they have to shoot the lights out early doors.

Over 221.5 points at 10-11

You can read all our latest NBA Betting Tips at our dedicated Betfred Insights NBA content hub.

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