Sunday, February 25, 2024

Pacers vs. Celtics pick: Two NBA player prop bets for Friday

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We have Pacers vs. Celtics predictions as Indiana looks to avenge its early-season overtime loss to Boston. 

The game is tough to handicap from a side or total perspective.

But there’s always value in the NBA player props market.

Using The Action Labs’ player props tool, I’ve found two prop bets worth wagering on for this one.

All lines are current at the time of writing and provided by FanDuel Sportsbook

Pacers vs. Celtics pick

Al Horford over 2.5 assists (-138) 

Al Horford is one of the NBA’s savviest players. He’s a true veteran, having played in the NBA for four teams over 17 years.

The skills Horford brings to Boston are invaluable. 

Horford can play at the four or the five, working either through the post or stretching the court and shooting from 3, providing spacing for Boston’s lengthy wings.

Not to mention he crashes the glass. 

However, Horford’s most underrated asset is his playmaking.

He sees the floor well, hitting cutters or spot-up shooters from the high post. 

Horford has averaged over four assists per game in his five seasons with Boston.

Although that number is down to 2.9 this season, he’s been on a tear recently. 

Horford has recorded at least three assists in eight consecutive games and 21 of his past 30.

That includes a 10-assist game last week in Portland. 

And this is a great playmaking matchup for him.

Indiana is an aggressive defense, gambling for steals but also allowing for easy access to the rim. 

Horford has used that aggressive style to his advantage, baiting defenses and drawing double teams before finding the open man for an easy bucket.

Al Horford
NBAE via Getty Images

Horford has recorded 10 assists across two games vs. Indiana this season, cashing over 2.5 in both. 

The Pacers also play at a top-10 pace, per Dunks and 3s, meaning opponents have more possessions to record assists.

Per Props Cash, the Pacers have allowed the fifth-most assists per game this season, a whopping 26.2. 

Given Horford’s recent trends, the matchup and the pace, I’m all in on Horford over 2.5 assists (-130) against Indiana. 

The Action Labs’ player props tool projects Horford for 3.3 assists on Friday, giving us plenty of value over the number posted at FanDuel Sportsbook. 

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Pacers vs. Celtics pick

Jayson Tatum over 8.5 rebounds (-130)

Everyone knows Jayson Tatum from his elite scoring.

However, don’t overlook his rock-solid rebounding. 

Tatum’s been a plus-rebounder for three consecutive seasons, ranking above the 80th percentile in defensive rebounding percentage in each campaign, per Dunks and 3s. 

However, Tatum has upped his counting statistics this year, on pace for a whopping 8.9 rebounds per game. 

Tatum’s rebounding numbers jumped significantly as the season progressed.

Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum
NBAE via Getty Images

Tatum cashed over 8.5 rebounds in only 15 of his first 38 games, but he’s eclipsed that number in 19 of the past 30. 

Tatum is about to face one of the NBA’s worst rebounding teams.

The Pacers have the worst defensive rebounding percentage in the NBA and are among the bottom half of teams in offensive rebounding percentage, per Cleaning the Glass.

And given the Pacers play at a top-10 pace, there are plenty of available rebounds.

Per Props Cash, the Pacers allow the fourth-most rebounds per game in the NBA, at 45.2. 

The last time Tatum matched up with Indiana, he snagged 12 boards.

The Action Labs’ player props tool projects Tatum for 9.9 rebounds on Friday, so I’m encouraging a wager on over 8.5 rebounds (-130) at FanDuel Sportsbook

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