Home World NBA playoffs, odds for Monday, May 27 – Chicago Tribune

NBA playoffs, odds for Monday, May 27 – Chicago Tribune

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Despite facing a 12-point halftime deficit in Game 3, the Celtics roared back in the second half to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the NBA’s Eastern Conference finals.

The Pacers felt the absence of star guard Tyrese Haliburton, and complicating matters more, his status remains unclear for Indiana’s do-or-die Game 4 on Monday.

Can Boston complete the sweep and move on to the NBA Finals? Let’s break down the matchup.

Pacers vs. Celtics odds

  • Spread: Celtics -7.5 (-105), Pacers +7.5 (-115)
  • Moneyline: Celtics -275, Pacers +230
  • Total: Over 222.5 (-110), Under 222.5 (-110)

Odds vis BetMGM

Celtics outlook

After a quiet Game 2 performance, Jayson Tatum exploded in Game 3 with 36 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists on 52% shooting and 50% from 3-point range. Tatum’s deep ball has been missing for most of this postseason, as he’s shooting just 29.2% from long range, but Celtics fans were thrilled to see him get back on track.

I’d consider playing the over on Tatum’s scoring prop (29.5 points) for Game 4. The Celtics’ star has scored 30+ points in six of seven games against Indiana this season. The Pacers are excellent at staying attached to shooters on the perimeter, but they lack a true point-of-attack defender to slow down Tatum’s isolation scoring.

Al Horford was also unconscious from long range, hitting seven 3-pointers in the game. Boston is expected to have Kristaps Porzingis fully healthy for the NBA Finals. While Horford has performed admirably in a starting role, the soon-to-be 38-year-old center is better suited playing reserve minutes.

Limited to cheering duty in Game 3, Tyrese Haliburton is questionable for Game 4.
Limited to cheering duty in Game 3, Tyrese Haliburton is questionable for Game 4. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Pacers outlook

The Pacers nearly pulled off the shocking upset in Game 3 despite the absence of Haliburton, largely thanks to exceptional backcourt play from Andrew Nembhard and T.J. McConnell. Nembhard finished with 32 points and nine assists on 12-of-21 shooting (57%); the former second-round pick is developing into a big-time player in his sophomore season.

McConnell had another star performance off the bench in a postseason full of them for the veteran guard. He finished with 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting (59%), six assists and nine boards. His defense was also critical in holding Jrue Holiday and Derrick White to a combined 7-of-21 shooting (33%).

Keep an eye on the injury report regarding Haliburton’s status for Game 4, but even if he plays, don’t be shocked if his role is limited. Haliburton “desperately” wanted to play through the injury in Game 3, but Rick Carlisle made it clear that the team made the decision for the player.

Celtics vs. Pacers pick

As 7.5-point road favorites in Game 4, the Celtics are expected to wrap up the series on their terms with a sweep. Building this 3-0 lead wasn’t easy — Games 1 and 3 both went down to the wire — but the Celtics have handled those clutch situations with aplomb and are poised for a spot in the NBA Finals.

Likely without Haliburton again, it’s difficult to envision the Pacers extending the series on Monday, even playing at home. However, rather than lay the points with Boston on the road, I prefer the avenue of Tatum’s points prop as the Celtics’ star leads his team to a closeout win.

Pick: Jayson Tatum over 29.5 points (-122 at FanDuel)



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