NBA preview and tips: Indiana Pacers at Boston Celtics
The Celtics took advantage of a tired Sacramento Kings last time out, just as we expected. They crushed the Kings 132-109 despite being lower scorers on their travels. Indiana were also winners, 118-114, against the Toronto Raptors. Both sides are playing on fresh legs here with a day of rest for the visitors and two for the home side, and that does put Boston in a slightly advantageous position. Regardless of rest, the Celtics always push the pace at home and score big. Boston are averaging close to 121 points per game at home, whilst the Pacers are allowing 118ppg on their travels. There seems no question that the starting point for this game is the Celtics pushing towards the 125 mark. Can Indiana keep pace? Well, probably. The Over is 23-12 in Boston home games, partly because they score like they do, and partly because their style invites other teams to join the party. The Pacers put up 118 at Toronto and 109 at Charlotte. Those numbers here should be good enough to send the total over, but just over a week ago they beat Milwaukee 139-123 in their backyard. They've averaged around 118ppg through their last six on the road.
Both teams are now getting healthier and the Pacers rank as one of the teams who play at a quicker pace in the NBA. While the Celtics are marginally in the bottom half of the pile, they do play a little bit quicker at home, and they're also one of the more efficient teams. Looking towards the trends, Boston are 35-16 to the Over in their last 51 games as an 11-point favourite or greater. We've also seen nine of 11 go over the total when Boston are a home favourite of 11 points or more. The Over is 5-2 in Indiana games where they are an underdog of 11 points or more. The Over is 11-4 on the back of Indiana winning their previous game, and also 6-1 against teams with a winning record. Four of the last five meetings between the sides have eclipsed the 230-point mark, with their meeting just last month finishing 142-138 to Boston in Indiana. Everything here points towards a high-scoring game and even if the Celtics are rolling, Indiana surpassing the 105-point mark may be enough to send the game over.
The action starts at 19:00 EST (23:00 UK time)
George Dempsey provides basketball tips as The NBA Tipster on Tipstrr
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