The 2024 NBA Eastern Conference finals get underway Tuesday evening as the top-seed Boston Celtics host the sixth-seeded Indiana Pacers in Game 1. Boston won both of its 2024 NBA playoff series by a 4-1 count, while the Pacers needed six to get by the Bucks and seven to beat the Knicks. Both teams are relatively healthy entering this round, though Boston will be without center Kristaps Porzingis (calf) for at least the first two games, while Indiana's Bennedict Mathurin (shoulder) is done for the year.

Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET at TD Garden in Boston. The latest Pacers vs. Celtics odds via SportsLine consensus list Boston as 9.5-point favorites, while the over/under is 221.5. Before making any Celtics vs. Pacers picks, be sure to check out the NBA predictions and betting advice from the SportsLine Projection Model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times and has returned well over $10,000 in profit for $100 players on its top-rated NBA picks over the past five-plus seasons. The model enters the conference finals in the 2024 NBA playoffs on a sizzling 94-61 roll on all top-rated NBA picks this season, returning more than $2,800. Anyone following the model has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Celtics vs. Pacers and just locked in its picks and NBA playoff predictions. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NBA betting lines and trends for Pacers vs. Celtics:

  • Celtics vs. Pacers spread: Celtics -9.5
  • Celtics vs. Pacers over/under: 221.5
  • Celtics vs. Pacers money line: Celtics -467, Pacers +345
  • BOS: The Celtics are 3-0-1 against the spread when playing on four or more days of rest.
  • IND: The Pacers are 25-17-2 ATS as an underdog this season.
  • Celtics vs. Pacers picks: See picks at SportsLine

Why the Celtics can cover

Covering big spreads is nothing new for Boston. The Celtics have been favored by at least 7.5 points in every playoff game this year. They are 5-3 ATS, with four of those covers coming at a spread of 9.5 or higher. In total, Boston is 49-39-3 ATS this season when favored and 26-21 ATS as a home favorite.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are determined to bring Boston a title and they've both played extremely well in the postseason. Tatum leads Boston with 24.3 points per game in the playoffs, while Brown is right behind at 23.1. Derrick White has been very steady at the point as well for Boston with 18.2 points per game in the postseason and a 4.8 assist-to-turnover ratio. See which team to pick here.

Why the Pacers can cover 

Indiana is the league's top scoring team, and it also topped the NBA in field goal percentage, 2-point percentage and assists per game in the regular season. While the defense struggled at times during the year, the Pacers have made great strides on that end of the court in the 2024 NBA playoffs. Indiana is allowing 9.4 fewer points per game in the postseason, despite facing two teams ranked in the top seven in offensive rating in the Bucks and Knicks.

Boston also has shortcomings on both sides of the ball, including ranking in the bottom five of the NBA in free throw creation. Getting to the line slows down the game, and the Celtics' inability to do that plays right into the hands of Indiana, which ranks second in pace. Also, the Celtics force the second-fewest turnovers per game, which will allow Indiana's second-ranked offense to have even more possessions. Finally, Boston enters Game 1 on a mini-slump versus the spread, as it has covered just once over its last four playoff games. See which team to pick here.

How to make Pacers vs. Celtics picks

SportsLine's model is leaning Over on the total, projecting 228 combined points. It also says one side of the spread hits over 50% of the time. You can only get the model's pick at SportsLine

So who wins Celtics vs. Pacers, and which side of the spread hits over 50% of the time of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Pacers vs. Celtics spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that has returned more than $2,800 on its NBA picks this season, and find out.