The Boston Celtics will be looking to snap a two-game straight-up losing streak on home court when they host the struggling Indiana Pacers on Friday as 7.5-point favorites on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston returns home after tallying a 116-106 win in Cleveland against the Cavaliers on Tuesday that marked the team’s first straight-up victory in five contests going into Friday night’s Pacers vs. Celtics betting matchup at TD Garden.
While the Celtics close out the week assured of a berth in the NBA playoffs for a fifth straight year, they are far from assured of home-court advantage in the first round. The team remains stalled in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, one game back of the fourth-place Pacers, and continue to lose ground on the NBA championship odds, where it has tumbled to a lengthy +1800.
The Celtics haven’t helped their own cause with inconsistent play since early February. Boston has compiled a 9-12 SU record over its past 21 outings, and has emerged as a major disappointment to bettors, covering just twice in eight outings, and going 8-13-1 against the spread in 22 contests since Feb. 5.
The team has also enjoyed no advantage playing at home. The Celtics opened the season on a 22-6 SU run in games at TD Garden, but have struggled to go 4-8 SU and 2-10 ATS in their past 12 such outings, capped by a crushing 115-96 loss to the San Antonio Spurs as 1.5-point home underdogs last Sunday.
However, the Pacers arrive in Boston amid struggles of their own. Indiana is coming off a 107-99 loss in Oklahoma City as 6.5-point underdogs Wednesday night that extended its current SU slide away from Bankers Life Fieldhouse to nine games.
Point production has been a massive concern during their current road swoon. The Pacers have averaged just 99.1 points per game over their nine road losses, and have failed to crack the 90-point mark on two occasions.
Not surprisingly that has translated into dismal results at the sportsbooks, where Indiana has covered just once in its past nine road dates, and has failed to post ATS wins in consecutive games while going 4-16 ATS in its past 20 away dates.
Following Friday’s contest the Celtics travel to Brooklyn, where they close out the month of March with a Saturday night date with the Nets before opening a home-and-home series with the Miami Heat at TD Garden on Monday.
The Celtics have taken 11 of 12 SU from the Nets since January 2016, but are winless ATS in their last four meetings with the Heat, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.