Indiana (0-1) at Boston (1-0)
When: Wednesday, April 17th, 2019
Where: TD Garden,
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: TNT
Opening Odds: Boston -7.5/204
It wasn’t pretty, but the goal in the postseason is just to win and advance, and that is exactly what the Boston Celtics did to the Indiana Pacers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first round series on Sunday. The Celtics will look to keep the Pacers from stealing home court when they meet in Game 2 on Wednesday night at TD Garden. Boston used a dominating third quarter Sunday, outscoring Indiana 26-8 to seize control of the series opener and an 84-74 victory. All-Star guard Kyrie Irving and forward Marcus Morris paced the Celtics with 20 points apiece, and the team held the Pacers to just 33.3 percent shooting and outrebounded them 55-42. Cory Joseph came off the bench to lead the Pacers with 14 points, as the team’s five starters combined for just 38 points on 15-of-44 shooting. It was the third victory over Indiana in the span of 17 days going back to the regular season and third straight victory over Indiana at TD Garden. Another key in the Game 1 victory was free throws. Boston was 18-of-22 from the charity stripe, while Indiana was just 12-of-21. Game 3 is set for Friday in Indianapolis.
Indiana wasn’t playing well, but still took a seven-point lead into halftime before that disastrous third quarter in which they were a dismal 2-of-19 from the floor. Guard Wesley Matthews and Joseph each recorded two 3-pointers, but the rest of the team shot 2-of-17 from beyond the arc. The only Pacer starter that scored more than eight was forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who had 12 on 4-of-11 shooting, but missed all three of his 3-point attempts.
Irving has been with the Celtics for two seasons now, but played his first postseason game with the team after missing last year with an injury and made the most of his debut. Irving recorded a team-high seven assists to go along with his 20 points, but needed 17 shots to get there. Forward Jayson Tatum, who was the only Celtic to shoot at least 50 percent (6-of-11), scored 15 points including all three from long range. Center Al Horford had a solid all-around game with 10 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.
I picked Indiana to keep it close in Game 1 and the third quarter was the difference in not only covering, but winning the game outright. They outscored or tied Boston in the other three quarters and I expect more of the same in Game 2. This time, they won’t have an ugly quarter that will doom them. Indiana keeps it close.
Pick: Pacers +7.5
Pacers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Pacers are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Pacers are 7-17 ATS in their last 24 road games.
Pacers are 4-10-1 ATS in their last 15 games after scoring less than 75 points in their previous game.
Pacers are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 Wednesday games.
Pacers are 4-12 ATS in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Pacers are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Pacers are 4-13 ATS in their last 17 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Pacers are 1-7 ATS in their last 8 vs. NBA Atlantic.
Celtics are 10-2 ATS in their last 12 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Celtics are 20-5-1 ATS in their last 26 Wednesday games.
Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Eastern Conference.
Celtics are 5-2-1 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing less than 75 points in their previous game.
Celtics are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 vs. NBA Central.
Celtics are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a ATS win.
Celtics are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest.
Celtics are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Celtics are 1-8 ATS in their last 9 home games.
Under is 6-1 in Pacers last 7 Wednesday games.
Over is 5-1 in Pacers last 6 games following a straight up loss.
Over is 14-3 in Pacers last 17 games after scoring less than 75 points in their previous game.
Under is 9-2 in Pacers last 11 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Over is 4-1 in Pacers last 5 games following a ATS loss.
Under is 7-2 in Pacers last 9 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Under is 26-8-1 in Pacers last 35 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
Under is 9-3 in Pacers last 12 road games.
Under is 6-2 in Pacers last 8 vs. NBA Atlantic.
Under is 20-7 in Pacers last 27 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Over is 4-0 in Celtics last 4 games playing on 2 days rest.
Over is 5-1 in Celtics last 6 games following a ATS win.
Over is 4-1 in Celtics last 5 vs. NBA Central.
Over is 9-3 in Celtics last 12 vs. Eastern Conference.
Over is 12-5 in Celtics last 17 overall.
Over is 7-3 in Celtics last 10 Wednesday games.
Over is 56-26-1 in Celtics last 83 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
Under is 21-10 in the last 31 meetings in Boston.