Celtics vs Pacers Game 3 Picks, Odds | Eastern Conference Finals

The conference round of the NBA Playoffs continues with one standalone matchup on Saturday night, as Celtics vs. Pacers Game 3 takes center stage at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

The Celtics are 7-point road favorites on the spread in Saturday's contest, while the total is set at over/under 222.5 total points at DraftKings.

Here's everything you need to know about Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Pacers and Celtics -- the latest betting odds, as well as our expert picks and prediction for the NBA Playoffs on Saturday, May 25.

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Celtics vs Pacers Odds

BOS @ IND Odds

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Celtics vs Pacers Picks & Prediction

The top two scoring teams in the NBA made it to this year’s Eastern Conference Finals, with the Pacers ranked 1st at 123.3 points per game and the Celtics ranked 2nd at 120.6 – and while the overall level of competitiveness may be a bit underwhelming with Boston listed at -10000 (99.1%) to win the series entering Game 3, these teams certainly haven’t disappointed in the scoring department thus far, as the Celtics and Pacers combined for an average of 248.5 points per game in the first two matchups of this series. Which is a monster number, but it’s becoming somewhat of the norm when these two squads meet up, as they also combined for an average of 245.8 points per game in five regular season meetings, with the winning team scoring 118+ points in all five of those contests.

However, despite ranking 2nd in the NBA in scoring, the Celtics still prefer to play slow and lean on their 3rd-ranked defense (111.6 DRtg), and there’s no shame in that, as Boston ranks 23rd in the league in pace (97.2). With that in mind though, the Celtics certainly aren’t afraid of a good ole’ fashioned track meet either, which was on full display in the first two matchups of this series, highlighted by Boston averaging 129.5 points per game on 50.3% from the field and 36.6% from 3-point range in wins over Indiana in Games 1 and 2.

The Celtics lead the entire NBA in 3-point attempts per game (42.5), and they knock them down at the second-best clip (38.8%), which equates to the best offensive rating (123.2) in the league by a considerable margin. It’s one big math equation for Boston. The Celtics know, in any given matchup, they are basically unbeatable if they hoist up more 3-point attempts than their opponent and hit them at their season-average percentage, especially when you consider the fact they also play elite defense.

On the other side of that same coin though, the Celtics’ high volume in 3-point attempts also yields a natural level of variance in their results on a regular basis, regardless of opponent strength or game location, which leads to Boston losing some real head-scratchers along the way, such as home losses to the Heat and Cavaliers in their previous two series; a pair of teams with far less offensive weaponry than the Pacers, and they both still managed to capitalize on one of Boston’s subpar outlier performances to steal a win apiece.

Indiana isn’t going to steal a game by locking down Boston defensively though. The Pacers ranked 27th in points allowed per game (120.2) and 24th in defensive rating (118), and their poor defensive play has continued throughout the playoffs, as Indiana ranks 15th out of 16 playoff teams in points allowed (113.3) and 14th in defensive rating (120.9) since the start of the postseason, and surrendered an average of 121.5 points per game to Boston in the first two games of this series.

Make no mistake about it. The fact that Indiana has reached this point is no fluke, and I expect them to show a spark of life at home in Game 3. The Pacers may not be able to stop Boston at the defensive end, however, the same goes for the Celtics to a lesser extent, highlighted by Indiana shooting 53% from the field and 37.5% from 3-point range on the way to a pair of losses in the first two games of this series. 

Push comes to shove, I think we’ll see the Pacers shift into desperation-mode and bounce back with a gutsy effort this Saturday, but my best bet for Game 3 is on the “over” in the third matchup of a series in which both offenses have reigned supreme over the opposing defense thus far.

Pick: Over 222.5 (-110)

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Celtics vs Pacers Game Time & TV Channel

Date: Saturday, May 25
Matchup: Central vs. Atlantic
Venue: Gainbridge Fieldhouse
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Time-TV: ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET

Celtics vs Pacers Betting Stats

1) Boston Celtics
(1st Place, Atlantic)

  • Odds to Win Finals: -210
  • Odds to Win Conference: -10000
  • SU: 64-18
  • ATS: 43-38-1
  • O/U: 37-44-1
  • PPG: 120.6
  • OPPG: 109.2

Click this link for the latest betting trends and market movements for Celtics vs. Pacers from VegasInsider Senior Reporter Patrick Everson!

6) Indiana Pacers
(3rd Place, Central)

  • Odds to Win Finals: +7500
  • Odds to Win Conference: +3000
  • SU: 47-36
  • ATS: 45-37-1
  • O/U: 42-40
  • PPG: 123.3
  • OPPG: 120.2

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