NBA Playoffs 2019: Celtics vs. Pacers odds, picks, Game 3 predictions from proven model on 77-62 roll

Darren Collison and the Indiana Pacers will look to get back on track after dropping both Game 1 and 2 in Boston, as they host Al Horford and the Boston Celtics on Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET in the 2019 NBA Playoffs. The Pacers have struggled to get anything going against Boston's defense through two games, averaging just 83 points. A return to Indiana could help the Pacers, as they averaged 109 points and posted a 29-12 record when playing at Bankers Life Fieldhouse this season. Sportsbooks list Indiana as a three-point home favorite, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 205 in the latest Celtics vs. Pacers odds. Before you make any Celtics vs. Pacers picks, be sure to see the NBA playoff predictions from SportsLine's advanced computer model.

The model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks. It entered Week 27 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 294-242 record on all top-rated plays, returning more than $3,500 in profit to anybody following them. And it has been particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA picks against the spread, entering Week 27 on a strong 77-62 run. Anybody who has followed it is way up.

Now it has locked in on Celtics vs. Pacers. We can tell you it's leaning over, and it also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see that selection at SportsLine.

The model is well aware how much worse Boston has played on the road this season. Kyrie Irving has seen his scoring average drop from 25 points per game at home to just 22.8 on the road, while his 3-point percentage dropped from 44 percent at home to 37 percent on the road. The same can be said for Horford, who saw his points, rebounds, and assists all drop by at least one when playing on the road this year, while his shooting percentage fell from 56 percent to 50 percent.

Indiana was much better defensively when playing at home this year, allowing just 101 points per game on 43.3 percent shooting, as opposed to 108.3 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Still though, no matter how good its defense is in this game, Indiana needs to find a way to put some points on the board. And they might have done just that in Game 2, as Bojan Bogdanovic emerged as a go-to scorer. Bogdanovic dropped 23 points, 12 of which came from beyond the arc. His usage rate nearly doubled from Game 1 (18 percent) to Game 2 (33 percent), and if he can replicate that in Game 3, Indiana certainly has a chance.

But just because Indiana has been terrific on its home floor doesn't mean it'll win or even cover the Celtics vs. Pacers spread Friday in the NBA Playoffs 2019.  

The model is also well aware that Boston has the x-factor in this series. The Celtics have the one thing Indiana does not -- an All-Star. Indiana was able to remain afloat during the regular season, even without Victor Oladipo, because of its stifling defense. When it comes to the playoffs, you need a go-to scorer, though, and the Pacers simply do not have one. 

Meanwhile, Irving has terrorized Indiana's vaunted defense. Irving averaged 29 points, seven assists, and six rebounds through the first two games, and unless Indiana finds an answer for him, this series might not even make it back to Boston.

Who wins Game 3 of Pacers vs. Celtics? And which side of the spread can you bank on in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the Pacers vs. Celtics spread you need to jump on, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.

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