Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics: Predictions and odds for Eastern Conference Finals

CLEVELAND, OHIO - MAY 13: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics and Jrue Holiday #4 of the Boston Celtics celebrate during the fourth quarter in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round Playoffs at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on May 13, 2024 in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 Nick Cammett/Getty Images)

The NBA Conference finals are set, and four teams will compete for the two coveted spots in the NBA Finals. The top-seeded Boston Celtics will face the underdogs Indiana Pacers in Game 1 on the Eastern side of the bracket on Monday night, setting the stage for a thrilling series.

Boston Celtics have been a force to reckon with in the playoffs, showcasing their dominance and skill. They cruised to a 4-1 first-round series victory against the Miami Heat, who were without their star player, Jimmy Butler. In the second round, they continued their winning streak, recording another 4-1 series win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, leaving no doubt about their championship aspirations.

The Indiana Pacers outlasted the Milwaukee Bucks in the first-round of the NBA Players to set up a series against the New York Knicks in the semifinals. The Pacers then put on a thrilling show that led to Game 7, with Indiana taking the series 4-3 and will make their first conference finals appearance since 2014.

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Eastern Conference Finals: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics Game predictions Celtics in five

Steve Aschburner writes: "Why five? Because the Celtics demonstrated against Miami and Cleveland they cannot sweep, regardless of how heavily favored they might be. It doesn’t matter how many, anyway. Boston is the team playing under pressure here. It won 17 more games than Indiana during the season and has knocked on the door of a championship for most of the Tatum-Brown era. The Pacers, by contrast, took a nice step to 47 victories, but are just off a three-year playoff drought. In this showdown, Boston wins on experience, depth and urgency."

Yahoo Sports: Celtics in five

Ben Rohrbach writes: "Boston's rotation is playoff proven, with or without Porziņģis. The Celtics have been on this stage six times in the past eight seasons, and the Pacers will be making their first conference finals appearance in a decade. While Siakam has championship experience, that disparity in experience counts for plenty. Just as concerning for Indiana: Its offense is its greatest asset, and Boston's was even better during the regular season. Meanwhile, Indiana has the worst defense left in the playoffs, and Boston has the best."

The Athletic: Celtics in five

Staff writes: "I do think Indiana is gonna push pace even more than usual and see if getting into the Boston bench deeper than Boston wants to go and/or wearing down their guys that played so much, a little like they did to the Knicks, is (a possibility). If I was in Rick Carlisle’s shoes, that’s what I’d be doing. But the Celtics are well-rested. They’ve got two of the top 10 players in the world, and Derrick White and Jrue Holiday are just fantastic two-way players. The amount of dribble penetration Indiana got is gonna go down, even without Kristaps behind them to rim protect. I just think Boston has too much firepower. All the respect for what the Pacers have done, but I just think Celtics in five."

ESPN: Majority experts pick Celtics

14 out of 16 expects pick the Boston Celtics to beat the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference finals. Two expects pick the Pacers to cone out on top.

Eastern Conference Finals: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics Game 1 odds, betting line

The Boston Celtics are favored to defeat the Indiana Pacers in Game 1, according to the BetMGM odds.

  • Spread: Boston (-10.5)

  • Moneyline: Boston (-470); Indiana (+360)

  • Total Over/Under: 221.5

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Eastern Conference Finals: Indiana Pacers vs. Boston Celtics schedule





Game 1

TD Garden, Boston, MA

Monday, May 21 at 8 p.m. ET


Game 2

TD Garden, Boston, MA

Thursday, May 23 at 8 p.m. ET


Game 3

Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

Saturday, May 25 at 8:30 p.m. ET


Game 4

Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

Monday, May 27 at 8 p.m. ET


Game 5

TD Garden, Boston, MA

Wednesday, May 29 at 8 p.m. ET


Game 6(If necessary)

Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN

Friday, May 31 at 8 p.m. ET


Game 7(If necessary)

TD Garden, Boston, MA

Sunday, June 2 at 8 p.m. ET


How to watch: Catch select NBA Playoff games on ESPN+

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pacers vs. Celtics: Predictions and odds for Game 1