Matchup: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics
Date/Time: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 8 p.m. (ET)
Basketball Odds from VietBet
Point Spread: Boston -2
Indiana comes into its final two games of the regular season with nothing on the line as far as playoff position. Its 1-4 straight-up (0-5 against the spread) record down the stretch helped ensure it would remain in the No.3 spot in the Eastern Conference and this past Sunday’s 90-80 loss to No.2 New York as a 3.5-point road underdog sealed the deal. The total stayed UNDER the 193.5-point line against the Knicks after going OVER in five of its last six games.
George Hill and Paul George have already been ruled-out of Tuesday night’s game with minor injuries. This means that the rest of the Indiana Pacers’ lineup will have to try and replace a combined 31.6 points on a team that is ranked 22nd in the NBA in scoring with an average of 94.7 points a game. Fortunately, Indiana still boasts a second-ranked defense in the league that is allowing an average of just 90.5 points a game. It is also ranked first in the league in rebounds with 45.9 a game; however 11.3 of those boards belong to Hill and George.
The Boston Celtics have also stumbled a bit down the stretch with a 3-5 record SU and ATS in their last eight games. The slide ensured that they will face the No.2 seed New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs. As far as this contest, the only player that has been ruled out is Jason Terry, but do not be surprised if the number of players listed as OUT grows by the time tip-off for this game rolls around.
Boston is another team that is not really known for its ability to put big numbers up on offense on a consistent basis, but they have the edge over Indiana with an average of 96.6 points a game. The Celtics also have the advantage in points off the bench (33.4 to 26) which could be a huge factor in this game especially in the second half as more and more starters are likely to take a seat on the bench.
Free NBA Pick
It is hard to know which way to go in this one given that preserving its health is the biggest motivation for either team. While the best bet in a matchup like this could be the UNDER with two defensive-minded teams on the court, the free NBA pick if playing a side is with Boston covering the points at home where it is 13-5 ATS in its last 18 games at TD Garden.
Boston 92 Indiana 88
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