Pascal Siakam

NBA Playoffs 2024 Expert Picks & Preview: Celtics vs. Pacers Game 3

Our NBA experts Christopher Walder, Nick Holz, and David Caraviello are here throughout the playoffs offering up their spread, moneyline, OVER/UNDER, and player prop picks for all of the action.

In complete control of this best-of-seven series with a 2-0 lead and Indiana Pacers All-Star Tyrese Haliburton hobbled by a nagging hamstring, the Boston Celtics now travel to Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Saturday for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals just two victories away from heading back to the Finals for the second time in three years. 

Let's take a closer look at all of our expert picks for this matchup.

(Related Link) 2024 NBA Playoff Series Prices

NBA Expert Picks Results: Conference Finals

Nick Holz6-05.39
David Caraviello2-2-0.1
Christopher Walder3-5-1.66

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Boston Celtics Vs. Indiana Pacers Game 3 Preview & Picks

Matchup Page: Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers, 8:30 p.m. ET

Same-Game Parlay: Boston Celtics vs. Indiana Pacers Game 3 (Still to come)

Boston Celtics-6.5 (-115)-275O 223.5 (-110)
Indiana Pacers+6.5 (-105)+220U 223.5 (-110)

Christopher Walder's Pick: Boston Celtics ATS -6.5 (-115)

Since May 6, 2022, teams that lost Game 2 of a best-of-seven series on the road by at least 16 points, which Indiana did against Boston on Thursday at TD Garden, go on to win Game 3 with a 7-2 record SU and 6-3 ATS. Something to be aware of, though, is that those two losses SU occurred in the last three attempts, including in the first round this year between the Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans.

What helps the Pacers' cause is that they're a perfect 6-0 at home this postseason, scoring 121 points per 100 possessions to lead the Association. They'll absolutely need Haliburton to suit up, though, because even after going 7-6 during the regular season with him unavailable, he's still the catalyst of Indiana's offense and it needs to be all hands on deck to even strike fear in the heart of the Celtics.

Head coach Rick Carlisle seemingly waved the white flag in the fourth quarter of Thursday's 126-110 defeat by sitting a majority of his starters. He explained afterwards that he wanted to get a look at some of his second-unit players, which can be interpreted as either Carlisle wanting to rest his key guys heading into a crucial Game 3, or perhaps him knowing that Haliburton's injury is serious enough to keep him out. It sounds like Haliburton will give it a shot, but there's no chance he'll be anywhere near 100 percent.

With that being said, a fun statistic to take note of is that the Pacers are just the fourth team to still be playing after consecutive playoff losses in which they shot better than 50 percent from the field, which they also did last round against the New York Knicks. Those teams are 0-3 covering the spread the next game, and with Haliburton hurt, Boston should cover here.

David Caraviello's Pick: Indiana Pacers ATS +6.5 (-105)

Is it time to worry about the Pacers? Game 2 of this Eastern Conference final looked like another nip-and-tuck affair down to the wire, until Haliburton reinjured the hamstring that forced him out for 10 games in January. With Indiana’s leader in the locker room, Boston pulled away to a rare home cover and a 2-0 series lead.

But Indiana is 6-0 at home in the playoffs to this point, Haliburton has dealt with nagging injuries throughout the playoffs, and we’ll give Indiana one chance to get back in the series within the friendly confines of Gainbridge Field House.

Christopher Walder's Pick: Pascal siakam OVER 30.5 PTS + REB (-104)

Until Kristaps Porzingis returns from his calf injury, which could happen as soon as Game 4 on Monday night, the Celtics' options in defending Pascal Siakam are rather limited. He's been the best player on Indiana this series and perhaps the entire playoffs, averaging a team-best 26 points and 8.5 rebounds while shooting 62.5 percent from the field through two games in Beantown.

Siakam has nailed the OVER in combined points and rebounds in both games, including 33 in Game 2 (28 points and five rebounds) despite not playing the final 9:25 of the fourth quarter. If Haliburton can't go, the two-time All-Star will be called upon even more so to provide scoring, but no matter what, this prop feels safe with Boston having yet to figure out how to contain Siakam's diverse offensive repertoire. 

Nick Holz's Pick: Myles Turner 2+ Made Threes -135

Turner has nailed 42.2% of threes over his last 10 games.

Most impressively, he's shooting 62.5% from deep in the Eastern Conference Finals. The former Texas big man has become a stretch five while knocking down 2+ three-pointers in seven of nine postseason games.

Bet on Turner to continue his hot shooting in Game 3 at Gainbridge Field House on Saturday night.

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