Celtics vs. Pacers Game 4 NBA Best Bet: Boston Has Figured Out Its Way Around Indiana

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The top-rated sportsbooks have released their NBA odds for Game 4 between the Celtics and Pacers. For your best bets, I’ll recommend investing in the Celtics.

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NBA Best Bet: Celtics -7.5 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Celtics -7.5 (-110)
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Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers

Monday, May 27, 2024 – 08:00 PM ET at Gainbridge Fieldhouse

The New Look Isn’t New Anymore

Boston won Game 3 even though Indiana scored 69 first-half points.

We saw a similar development in Game 4 of Indiana’s series against the Bucks, where the Bucks, playing for the first time without both of their star scorers, looked different than before and, for a while, could use this element of surprise to their advantage.

Just as the Pacers’ defense figured things out in Game 4 against the Bucks, a superior Boston defense figured things out in Game 3 against the Pacers.

Indiana’s Haliburton-less offense carried an element of surprise in the first half of that game. But Boston, having figured out the Pacers, held them to 42 second-half points. Haliburton reaggravated his hamstring injury in Game 2 and is listed as ‘questionable’ for Game 4.

No matter what, the Haliburton situation will hurt Indiana’s outlook for Game 4: if he plays, he probably won’t be 100%, in which case Indiana suffers because a hurt Haliburton won’t be as effective as his backup point guard T.J. McConnell; if Haliburton doesn’t play, then we get a Pacers offense that the Celtics have figured out.

Boston’s Top-Notch Defense

At the beginning of this series, the Celtics were discomposed by Indiana’s reliance on scoring in transition. But, especially in the second half of Game 3, Boston showed its newfound comfort with defending in transition.

Boston locked down the Pacers largely by getting back on defense in an organized fashion and stopping Indiana’s transition attack before it reached the paint.

In the half-court, the Celtics boasted their versatility. Scheme-wise, they could employ a zone to give Indiana a different look. But their versatility is most salient in the switching potential for their different players.

Jayson Tatum can guard a guy like Myles Turner, locking down Indiana’s center on the perimeter. Jrue Holiday can make adjusting easy for Boston’s head coach because of his ability to guard different positions.

Boston is also very active: swipes and blocks undercut Indiana’s endeavor to score in the paint, while Haliburton’s injury reduces its ability to score behind the arc.

McConnell is not a shooter, so the Celtics know to go under on his screens. They showcased their ability to stick with McConnell as he tried to drive inside to attack the spaces created by going under.

Indiana’s Defense

Boston’s offense had its “off” game that it has once in every postseason series.

Marred by cold shooting for much of the night, the Celtics seemed like they were going to lose Game 3 largely because of the lack of rhythm in their offense. By the end of the game, they missed an absurd 17 open three-point attempts.

With Indiana having given them a scare, expect them to be more in tune offensively, building off of their successful comeback effort. As evident in the Celtics’ offensive rating in Games 1 and 2 and as has been evident throughout the postseason, the Pacers have an awful defense.

They are allowing 119.2 points per game over the whole year. Boston’s above-average offense will score enough points for the team to cover the spread if the Pacers just allow their average point total.

Boston has been locked in in close-out games. In the first round, the Celtics beat Miami 118-84 to clinch the series. Most recently, they beat Cleveland by 15 to close out that series. Expect Boston, therefore, to be at its best tonight.

NBA Best Bet

We’ll see if Indiana can be mentally stronger in Game 4 than in Game 2 when it had to respond to let a win slip away in its previous game.

But a mentally locked-in Indiana team would still have too much to overcome because Boston has figured out Indiana’s offense and has found Indiana’s defense unchallenging.

NBA Best Bet: Celtics -7.5 (-110) at BetOnline

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Celtics -7.5 (-110)
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