Just one game in and the Playoff matchup between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers has already taken on a different feel.
The Celtics, who won game one Monday, will play the rest of the series and possibly he entire postseason without star forward Gordon Hayward. Hayward suffered a grade 3 ankle sprain late in game 1 and is out at least 4 weeks. Hayward is also expected to depart the bubble some time in September when his wife, Robyn, delivers the family’s fourth child, something that will subject him to a four-day quarantine upon return.
That being said the Celtics are still favored heading into Game 2. The online sportsbook Betonline.ag has Boston as 4 1/2 point favorites on Wednesday. The line was Boston -6.5 heading into game 1.
- Celtics vs. Sixers spread: Celtics -4.5
- Celtics vs. Sixers over-under: 215. points
- Celtics vs. Sixers money line: 76ers +165, Celtics -190
The Celtics covered in Game 1 but the over did not hit. It was 218 on Monday down to 215 for Game 2. Philly is +165 on the money line.
Tip-off from HP Field House in Orlando, is set for 6:30 p.m. ET.
Hayward being out is a game changer as far as the Celtics title hopes are concerned but may not matter as much in this series. The Celtics were 14-6 without Hayward this season. Good a player as Hayward is, he is Boston’s 4th option on offense. The 76ers are already without their second best player in Ben Simmons (knee.)
Marcus Smart is expected to mix in with the starters Smart played 32 minutes in Game One. He started 40 games during the shortened regular season.
The 76ers kept it close in game 1 but some of that was fluky. The Celtics were able to neutralize Joel Embiid (26 pts) and Philly had to make some tough shots to keep it close. Philadelphia also had no answers for Jayson Tatum (32 pts) and Jaylen Brown (29 pts.) Kemba Walker also poses a tough matchup for the 76ers and could seemingly go off at any time. Losing Hayward however makes it tougher for Boston to overcome poor shooting nights from one of their top 3 stars.
Expect Boston to win this one in a more of a rock fight than game 1. Celtics and the under.
Celtics 106, 76ers 99