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Cellar-Dwelling Celtics Host Indiana

Indiana Pacers vs Boston Celtics Preview

Not many could have predicted the Celtics (15-17 SU, 15-17 ATS) would be sitting at the bottom of the Atlantic Division as the all-star break approaches. Boston shoots for just its fourth win in 12 games when it faces Indiana (15-15, 14-16), a team the Celts have beaten in nine of the last 11 meetings.

Indiana Pacers vs Boston Celtics
  • Date/Time: February 26, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: TD Garden
  • TV Coverage: ESPN
  • Opening Odds: Celtics -4 | O/U 218.5 (Line History)
  • Pacers vs Celtics Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

Boston’s recent struggles are reflected in the opening point spread, which represents the fewest points the Celtics have been favored by at home against the Pacers since 2016. Early action still faded Boston, pushing the line down to -3 at the time of writing.

Indiana News & Notes

Playing their first game in a week due to a couple of COVID-19 postponements, the Pacers struggled offensively through most of Wednesday’s 111-107 loss at home to Golden State. Indiana committed 19 turnovers and was dismal from behind the arc, missing 22 of 29 three-point attempts.

Domantas Sabonis had 22 points and 16 rebounds, although the Indy big man managed just five points in the second half and didn’t record an assist in the final two quarters. Malcolm Brogdon paced the Pacers with 24 points, but Myles Turner (14) and Doug McDermott (15) were the only other Indiana players to crack double digits in scoring.

The loss dropped the Pacers to 3-6 ATS in their last nine games and 6-12 ATS in their last 18. They’ve also failed to cover the spread in four straight as an underdog and are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games against teams playing .600 ball or higher at home.

Boston News & Notes

Things are getting tense in Boston after the Celtics’ struggles continued Wednesday in Atlanta with a blowout loss to the Hawks. Boston gave up 40 points in the opening quarter and allowed Trae Young and Danilo Gallinari to combine for 71 points — the seventh straight game in which the C’s have allowed an opposing player to score at least 30 — en route to falling to 3-8 SU in its last 11.

The Celtics’ offense wasn’t much better, particularly the all-star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tatum missed 16 of his 20 shots from the field to finish with 13 points and Boston’s star wings combined to go 1-for-14 from behind the three-point line. The Celts missed 21 of their 24 shots from behind the arc.

A return home might be exactly what the Celtics need, especially without fans in the stands to get on them if things start going south. Boston has covered eight of its last 11 at TD Garden, where it has lost just five games this season. The Celtics also have a tendency to bounce back strong from poor performances, going 8-3 ATS in their last 11 following a double-digit defeat.

Betting Pick: Celtics -3

Coming off Wednesday’s blowout loss in Atlanta that felt like rock bottom, expect Boston to bring an inspired effort and cover this short number.

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Shark Bites
  • Indiana is 6-12 ATS in its last 18 games.
  • Boston is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 home games.
  • Indiana is 2-6-1 ATS in its last 9 games vs Boston.