NBA Eastern Conference Showdown: Boston Celtics at Indiana Pacers
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
The Indiana Pacers have started the season as one of the hottest teams through the quarter-mark, as winners of 21 of its first 26, and the team will host the Boston Celtics in a game NBA oddsmakers find the Pacers to be 12-point favorites in.
The Pacers have been strong on the heels of the league’s best defense. The Pacers surrender a league-best 89.9 points per game while averaging 98.2 on the offensive end. Reigning Most Improved Player of the Year Paul George is a huge reason for the success on both ends of the court, and the defensive stopper has evolved into an efficient scorer in his short time in the NBA.
George is averaging a career-best 23.8 points per game while also posting an outstanding PER of 23.5. The Pacers have four other players averaging double figures, the four other starters: David West, Lance Stephenson, Roy Hibbert and George Hill.
The Pacers have lost two of its past three contests with losses to Detroit on Dec 16 and Miami on Dec 18, but the team will face Brooklyn twice consecutively following tonight’s game.
The Boston Celtics have not been as bad as some projected they would be due to the great coaching of first-year coach Brad Stevens. The C’s are 12-16 currently, but lead its poor division and consequently if the playoffs started today, the Celtics would be in, and have home court advantage. The team has used a very good defense to mitigate the deleterious effects of a middling offense, as the C’s allow just 96.5 points per game. The team scores 95.5, and is hoping that number begins to rise when Rajon Rondo eventually returns from injury.
With Rondo out, Jeff Green is the leading scorer with 16.3 points per game. Green is seeing 33.7 minutes per night, and the increase in time has helped. Previous coach Doc Rivers limited Green’s minutes last year coming back from heart surgery, but the combo forward is now fully healthy and his confidence has grown as he’s begun to look more like the Green that Danny Ainge traded for when he sent Kendrick Perkins to OKC.
Boston Trends: UNDER 4-0 in last 4 vs teams with winning SU records; 1-5 ATS in last 6 when starting 5 combined for 160 minutes or more in previous day; 5-1 ATS in last 6 following ATS loss.
Indiana Trends: OVER 6-0 in last 6 following SU win; OVER 5-0 in last 5 Sunday games; 10-1 ATS in last 11 on 1 days rest.