The first annual NBA In-Season Tournament has been very entertaining, and we are on to the quarterfinals. There are two tremendous matchups tonight, and we are here to break down the NBA In-Season Quarterfinals and give our best betting picks.
Monday’s slate features the first quarterfinal matchup in both conferences. In the East, the Indiana Pacers will host the Boston Celtics at 7:30 p.m. ET. Following that is the New Orleans Pelicans taking on the Sacramento Kings at 10 p.m. ET. Both games will be broadcast on TNT.
Below is our NBA In-Season Tournament Quarterfinals odds preview and predictions for what should be a great night of NBA action.
Celtics vs. Pacers: Bet This Side of the Total
The Boston Celtics currently have the best record in the NBA at 15-4, and it is easy to see why. They rank in the top 10 in scoring on both ends of the court, and the addition of Kristaps Porzingis in the offseason really helps space out the floor while giving them an actual presence down low.
However, Porzingis will not play tonight as he continues to recover from a calf strain. In his absence, Boston has continued to dominate everything in its path, going 3-0 and winning by an average of 14.3 points per game.
Although they are facing one of the most high-powered offenses in the NBA, they also have the pleasure of matching up with the worst defense in the league. The Pacers rank last in scoring (125.9), points in the paint (63), and opponents shooting percentage (50.4%). While they give up the least three-point attempts and makes per game, the Celtics are among the best three-point shooting teams in the NBA.
In the season’s first matchup, Boston put on an offensive clinic, putting up 155 points on 57% shooting from the field and knocking down 20-of-25 three-point attempts. Boston’s defense also showed up in a big way, limiting Indiana’s offense to only 104 points on 45.5% shooting.
The Pacers were playing without Tyrese Haliburton in that game, but he alone is not enough to make up a 51-point deficit. Haliburton is having a career year, putting up 27 points per game on 52% shooting from the field. He is listed as questionable tonight but is expected to play after missing Indiana’s last game against the Heat.
No matter how good Boston’s defense is, having Haliburton on the court will give your offense a boost. The problem is the Celtics can counter with one of the deepest rotations in the league that features Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Jrue Holiday, and Derrick White, all of whom are averaging over 12 points per game, with Tatum putting up a team-high 27.4 points.
The oddsmakers expect a lot of scoring, as the total sits around , which has gone up about 10 points since the Celtics vs. Pacers odds were released. Even with some key injuries on both sides, expect a high-scoring night and this game to go easily over the total.
Celtics vs. Pacers Prediction: Over
Pelicans vs. Kings: New Orleans Cruises to In-Season Quarterfinal Victory
The Pelicans’ offense ranks around league average, but they have been playing much better basketball lately. Over the last two weeks, they are averaging 117 points per game and have an offensive rating of 120. The defense has also been playing much better lately, ranking ninth in defensive rating over the last 10 games.
Both Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram are playing at a high level right now, and they may be one of the most feared one-two punches in the league. Bringing back C.J. McCollum makes this squad even more dangerous. In his two games since returning from injury, McCollum is averaging 19.5 points, 6.5 assists, and two steals per game.
While the defense remains a concern for the entire season, with a scoring trio of McCollum, Williamson, and Ingram, the Pelicans will be tough to beat on any given night.
On the other side, Sacramento has won three of its last four, with wins over Golden State, Minnesota, and Denver. They are putting up 123.6 points in those games, but the defense continues to be a big problem. They rank 21st in scoring (116.7), do not rebound the ball well, and struggle at defending the interior, allowing 51.7 points per game in the paint.
During the In-Season Tournament, the Kings have been very impressive. They are 4-0, and De’Aaron Fox is playing out of his mind, averaging 36 points per game with 8.7 assists and 8.0 rebounds. Going up against a league-average defense, Sacramento should still be able to put up a big number, especially since these teams both play with a quick pace.
New Orleans will be without Larry Nance Jr. and Matt Ryan, hurting their defense down low. However, outside of Domantas Sabonis, the Kings are not very good at scoring inside the paint.
Even with a few players out, the Pelicans are getting healthy at the right time and should be able to counter a top-10 scoring offense. Look for this NBA In-Season quarterfinal matchup to go punch-for-punch and for New Orleans to keep this game within the number or even win the game outright.
Pelicans vs. Kings Prediction: New Orleans
NBA In-Season Tournament Quarterfinal Props
Below, we have included the NBA prop bet odds for tonight’s In-Season Tournament matchups.