NBA

Celtics-76ers Betting Odds, Preview, and Predictions | FanDuel Sportsbook

The Boston Celtics (54-24, 41-36-1 ATS) are in Philadelphia to take on the 76ers (51-27, 44-32-1 ATS) in a rematch of February’s exciting game that saw Jayson Tatum drill the game-winning three and Joel Embiid barely mistime a ludicrous game-tying heave. Boston leads the season series 3-0 and are coming in 7-3 in their last 10, with a blowout of the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks. Philadelphia is 5-5 in their last 10 with losses to the Bucks, Nuggets, Suns, Warriors, and Bulls. According to Fanduel Sportsbook, the 76ers are 2-point favorites.

Point Spread: Philadelphia 76ers -2.5

O/U: 227 points

ML: 76ers -138, Celtics +118

Featured Same Game Parlays

Injury Reports

Robert Williams III (knee injury management) will sit the first game of the team’s back to back. Jaylen Brown (lower back) is questionable. Brown was also questionable on Friday against the Utah Jazz, but played through the discomfort. He notably struggled on the offensive end, so his status will be worth monitoring up until tipoff.

Meanwhile, the Sixers are fully healthy for tonight’s contest.

Celtics Projected Starters

PGMarcus Smart

SG: Derrick White

SF: Jaylen Brown

PF: Jayson Tatum

C: Al Horford

76ers Projected Starters

PG: James Harden

SG: Tyrese Maxey

SF: Tobias Harris

PF: PJ Tucker

C: Joel Embiid

Boston Celtics Overview

Massive lead swings and clutch shooting defined the last game between these two teams. It came down to the wire, but the Celtics should be feeling good about tonight because of how they won that game. Put simply, they did not get a typical Jayson Tatum performance. He went into takeover mode in the closing minutes, but Tatum was nowhere to be found in the first half and ended with 18 points on 7/17 from the field. Fortunately, after a period in late February/early March where he didn’t quite look like himself, he’s fully returned to form. Tatum is averaging 35.4 over his last five games on 60.2% from the field and 48.8% from three. If that’s the Jayson Tatum that comes to play tonight, the Sixers will really need to work to keep pace offensively.

One thing the Celtics may amend is their plan with Joel Embiid in the 4th quarter. Embiid exploded for 41 points, 14 of them coming in the final frame. The Celtics utilized the same game plan against him they did earlier in the season: let him drive to the basket and get his points early, make him settle for contested jumpers late. It worked to perfection then, but Embiid nearly won the game from the mid-range and the free throw line. It’s a tough matchup for Joe Mazzulla to navigate. On one hand, you feel more comfortable with him shooting jumpers instead of getting to the basket. On the other, he’s shooting nearly 50% from the mid-range on the season. It will be interesting to see if the Celtics send even more pressure Embiid’s way late in the game, trying to minimize his shot attempts if the game gets close.

Philadelphia 76ers Overview

The Celtics didn’t get the performance they expected from Jayson Tatum, and the Sixers can say the same about their explosive young guard Tyrese Maxey. He didn’t play a bad game by any means, but didn’t post big scoring numbers that Sixers fans are used to seeing. After finishing with just 8 points, he quickly got back on track. Over the last 19 games since that Boston matchup, he’s averaging 23.1 ppg, and has only dipped below 20 points four times. If the Celtics are able to successfully tighten up on Embiid, Maxey’s play will likely be the x-factor for Philly if they want to take down Boston for the first time.

If Maxey steps his production up, then the Sixers will probably have a better night from three this time around. Philadelphia’s ability to stretch the floor at all positions is almost unparalleled, and on the year, they’re first in three point percentage at 38.7%. However, they shot a bit under their average last time (33.3%), and are facing similar inconsistencies from deep the Celtics dealt with for most of March. The Sixers had a few chances to put the Celtics away in that February game, but they couldn’t match Boston’s three-point flurries and let a third quarter lead slip. This is a game where they have to shoot the ball well throughout, or else Boston may not need to worry about much outside of Embiid on defense.

Prediction

This game absolutely means more to the Sixers than the Celtics, and there’s always the risk Boston overlooks the end of the regular season with the two seed practically locked up. I think the Celtics match up very well against Philadelphia, and I expect Jayson Tatum to look stronger on the offensive end. At the same time, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Boston isn’t locked in, especially if Brown and Williams III are both out. It’s a tough one to call, but if Brown really is hindered by injury, I think the 76ers will get on the board against the C’s.

Philadelphia 76ers 118, Boston Celtics 113

 

Henry Bova

Henry is a journalism student at Northeastern University covering the Celtics and Patriots for CLNS.

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