Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics

Pundits don’t see much suspense in the Pacers-Celtics series…

but there’s money to be made. Not sure we can say the same for people betting on the NBA Draft…

Pacers-Celtics Already Decided?

What Happened: Tonight marks the start of the Eastern Conference finals featuring the Boston Celtics and Indiana Pacers. For the Celtics, advancing this far was merely a formality. Few had the Pacers winning two playoff rounds though, and the odds for the series reflect what the betting market thinks of each team.

Why It Matters: Boston is a whopping -1100 favorite to win this series; aka there is no value in taking Jayson Tatum’s side to advance to the NBA Finals. If you truly think the Pacers are the better team and can pull off the upset, well, good luck — they are right there for you at +700.

Even if conventional wisdom leans heavily one way, that doesn’t mean you can’t find opportunities to grab a profit betting on this series.

For instance, FanDuel is currently offering +120 odds that the series will go over 5.5 games. The Celtics didn’t sweep either the Heat or Cavaliers, losing Game 2 in both series before snapping back into form.

If Boston’s attention wanders in the ECF, Indiana has the firepower to make them pay. You might not think the Pacers are Finals-bound, but if you like them to push Boston, money is there to be made.

How We’re Feeling Today

Bronny James

Shocked by how willing some people are to throw away perfectly good money.

MGM sportsbooks revealed that USC guard Bronny James is currently the most bet player to be taken in the top spot of the 2024 NBA draft. Folks, what are we doing here?

This draft class is regarded as pretty weak, and James obviously has the name recognition. But still, he’s not going No.1 overall. No way, no how.

James was a top prospect coming out of high school. He has been medically cleared by the league after a scary cardiac arrest episode suffered in August of 2023.

He also averaged fewer than five points a game for a bad USC team last season. And while the allure will help drive interest in the younger James, there is no guarantee that LeBron will follow wherever his son is drafted.

There’s a lottery ticket and then there’s burning money. Whoever is betting on Bronny to be the top pick, consider yourself in the latter camp.

The Look Ahead

Myles Turner POINTS The Pacers big man has a line of 16.5 for tonight’s Game 1 between Boston and Indiana, and it’s a plus-money play at several sportsbooks as of this writing. If the Celtics were fully healthy (aka if Kristaps Porzingis was playing) we’d be much more leery of this play. But Turner can stretch defenses with his shooting ability and size, as we saw in Game 7 against the Knicks. Turner is averaging 17.5 points a game this postseason, and with Porzingis expected back before the series is over, the Indy big better get his points now while he can.