Celtics-76ers Game 1 Betting Odds, Preview, and Predictions | FanDuel Sportsbook

The Boston Celtics kick off round two against the Philadelphia 76ers tonight at TD Garden. Boston is coming off a six-game victory over the Atlanta Hawks, a series that proved to be tougher than many thought coming in. Philadelphia easily dispatched the Brooklyn Nets in four games, but will be without MVP-favorite Joel Embiid for Game 1 and beyond. Boston won the regular season series 3-1. According to FanDuel Sportsbook, the Celtics are 9.5-point favorites.

Point Spread: Boston Celtics -10

O/U: 214.5 points

ML: Celtics -480, 76ers +370

Featured Parlay: Tatum 30+ points, Brown 20+ points, Maxey 20+ points, Harden 20+ points

Injury Reports

Some truly devastating news for Philadelphia broke on Saturday when it was revealed Joel Embiid (knee) would be doubtful for tonight’s game. Embiid went down in Game 3, and it appeared from the outside he may be ok for Game 1. But, his injury was upgraded to a Grade 1 LCL sprain, an injury that typically takes weeks to recover from. Expect Paul Reed to get the start in place of Embiid.

For the Celtics, only Danilo Gallinari (ACL) is on the injury report. He is ruled out.

Celtics Projected Starters

PG: Marcus 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: Paul Reed

Boston Celtics Overview

The Celtics fought hard for a series victory, and walked away with a lot of respect for how Atlanta battled down 3-1. After taking on the high-powered offense the Hawks, Boston gets to take on a Sixers team they’ve beat up on all year without their best player. Still, as last round proved, they have to do the little things if they want a quick series, and that starts with rebounding. One thing the Sixers did well in Game 4 was crash the boards, outrebounding the Nets by 16 and getting 10 more offensive rebounds. Just like in the Hawks series, limiting second chance possessions will be big — this time, to prevent an offense that struggled without Embiid in Game 4 from finding any sort of rhythm.

Another thing the Celtics can work on is their offensive pace, something Joe Mazzulla alluded to following the Game 5 loss at home. The Celtics had a lot of success in transition last series, scoring just over 50% of the time they attempted a transition basket, but when the pace slowed down, Atlanta had a bit more success defensively. Against Philly, the plan of attack should not chance. The Sixers were solid in transition last round, but during the regular season, they were third to last in fast break points allowed per game. Boston clearly has the personnel to exploit this weakness in the Sixers defense, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them turn up the pace to kickstart big scoring runs.

Philadelphia 76ers Overview

This series was already going to be tough, but no Joel Embiid makes it that much worse. Embiid, as he did against most teams, torched Boston, averaging 36.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in the regular season. In the lone game that Philly took from the Celtics, he put up over half of his team’s points on 80% shooting. The Sixers need to figure out fast how to retool their offense, something that shouldn’t be easy based on both what PJ Tucker told reporters on Sunday, and the stats from Game 4. The 76ers shot under 40% from the field, didn’t crack 100 points, and posted an offensive rating of 105.5 (down from the series average of 114.3) in Game 4.

This is why the play of guys like Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris is so important if the Sixers want to make any noise this series. Both of them really struggled to score in the regular season against the Celtics, with Maxey averaging 10 points and Harris averaging 11.5. However, they both had it going in Round 1, and Harris in particular had a strong Game 4, picking up the scoring slack and leading the team in scoring with 25. Even if Embiid was healthy, the team’s success in a seven-game series would depend on them and James Harden. Now, Philadelphia needs them to play their best ball of the season.


While the Playoffs are a different beast compared to the regular season, I think this game will be similar to their previous contests. Even with Embiid, the Celtics played Philadelphia tough and completely took away the impact of their other players. The Sixers, meanwhile, need to prove that their offense isn’t anemic without Embiid on the floor before I think they can win a game this series. The Sixers will put up a fight, but I think the Celtics take Game 1 at home.

Celtics 113, 76ers 102

Henry Bova

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

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