NBA Picks: Pacers at Celtics Betting Odds and ATS Predictions

Doc Moseman@DocsSportsCorrespondent IApril 15, 2013

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 15:  Roy Hibbert #55 of the Indiana Pacers has the ball knocked away by Ben Gordon #8 of the Charlotte Bobcats as teammate Jeffery Taylor #44 battles during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 15, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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The Indiana Pacers and the Boston Celtics clash this Tuesday night at TD Garden in a matchup between two teams trying to hone their form for the start of the NBA Playoffs later this week. This Eastern Conference contest is set to tip off at 8 p.m. (ET), and the game will be broadcast nationally on TNT.

Indiana settled into the No.3 seed in the East as a result of just one straight up victory in its last five games to go along with a 0-5 record against the spread. The total stayed “under” the 193.5-point line in Sunday’s 90-80 loss to New York as a three-point road underdog after going “over” in five of its previous six games.

The Celtics will try and create some momentum for a first-round matchup against the No.2 seed Knicks after stumbling to a 3-5 record both SU and ATS in their last eight games. The total has gone over in their last four outings.

Pacers at Celtics Betting Storylines

It remains to be seen if the Pacers will rest any more of their starters for Tuesday night after already declaring Paul George and George Hill “out” with minor bumps and bruises. With nothing to gain in the standings, it will probably be a short night for David West and Roy Hibbert even if they do get the start.

This means it will be up to some role players and a bench that averaged just 26 points this season. Overall, Indiana remains one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league with an average of 94.7 points a game. What makes this team so dangerous heading into the postseason is a defense that is ranked second in the NBA in points allowed in giving up an average of 90.5 points a game. With Hibbert pulling down a team-high 8.3 rebounds along with a combined 15.3 boards from George and West, the Pacers lead the league in rebounding with an average of 45.9 a game.

Boston is pretty much in the same boat as it is locked into the seventh spot in the East standings with nothing to gain over its last two regular season games. The only player listed as definitely “out” for Tuesday night is Jason Terry, but do not be surprised if a few more big names suddenly turn up on the latest injury report. If the bench is called upon to try and win this game, Boston’s role players should have a slight edge over the Pacers in scoring with an average of 33.4 points this season.

The Celtics also have the advantage of playing this game at home, where they have gone 27-13 SU as opposed to a dreadful 14-26 SU record on the road. They have remained somewhat profitable at TD Garden this season with a 21-17-2 record ATS. This is another team that is not known for lighting up the scoreboard on a regular basis with an average of 96.6 points a game, but it has been effective on defense in allowing an average of 96.5 points a game to its opponents.

Pacers at Celtics NBA Betting Odds and Trends

BetOnline has opened Boston has a two-point home favorite over the Pacers with the “over/under” line set at 201.

The Pacers are 8-20 ATS in their last 28 games against the Atlantic Division and 0-4 ATS in their last four games following a SU loss. The total has gone over in seven of their last eight games following a SU loss.

The Celtics are 13-5 ATS in their last 18 home games and 14-6 ATS in their last 20 games following a SU win. The total has stayed under in their last six games against a team from the Central Division.

Head-to-head in this matchup, the underdog is 5-2 ATS in the last seven meetings, and the total has stayed under in four of the last five games played in Boston. The Celtics have won both meetings this season both SU and ATS with the total staying under in both.

NBA Picks: Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics ATS Betting Predictions

Games such as this at the end of the regular season become very difficult to handicap given the uncertainty over who will or will not play for either team. Both the Pacers and the Celtics would like to come away with a win but not at the expense of any possible injuries, so stick with Boston at home to grind out a win that is enough to cover the two-point spread.

Take # 704 Boston (-2) over Indiana (Tuesday, April 16, 8 p.m.)