NBA Postseason Series Preview: Celtics vs. 76ers, Round 2


The top remaining seeds in the Eastern Conference face off in a Round 2 NBA Playoff matchup. The Miami Heat knocked off the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, which leaves the second-seeded Boston Celtics and third-seeded Philadelphia 76ers fighting for home-court advantage in the Eastern Conference Final. 


The stakes were already high, but now they create an even better path to the finals. One of these teams still has to knock off the other, which is the collision course they have been on since the regular season ended. 

Celtics vs. 76ers 2022-2023 Betting Data

The Celtics won three out of four contests against the 76ers this year. They managed to cover in each, ending up 4-0 ATS. Three of the four games finished under the listed total. The one over was at a 216.5 total. The other three games that finished under all had totals in the 225-227 range. Those should have probably been in the 220 range all series. You should expect a few less points due to increased defensive efficiency and slightly lower pace in the playoffs, so I predict totals back in the 210-220 range for this series. 

Top 3 Celtics v. 76ers Bets

Celtics to win Game 1/Celtics to Win Series 

(-250 DraftKings)

The Celtics open up the series as double-digit favorites to beat the 76ers in Game 1. If they take the opener, that also makes them a much shorter price than the current -500 they are to win this series. I was trying to find a way to get a better price on them, and this is how it can be accomplished. In order to cash this bet, you need both events to occur, but the high correlation of them occurring together makes this a shorter price than it should be. 


Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey Points

Joel Embiid is doubtful for Game 1 and may end up missing other games in this series. James Harden hasn’t seen much of a production bump with Embiid out. The two guys who have are Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris. Harris averages five more points per game with Embiid off the floor. His scoring average goes from 13 points up over 18 without Embiid. Maxey also sees a bump in his scoring with and without Embiid. On the flip side of this coin, if and when Embiid is back in, you’ll want to switch to betting unders on these guys. Embiid’s usage is so high that it bolsters 3-4 other guys when he is out. However, when he’s in, the numbers for those guys drop noticeably. Keep an eye on the prop numbers for this game and where they are at if/when he is back at some point in this series. If the numbers aren’t moving accordingly, take a stab at the overs on every starter but James Harden

Celtics 4-0 series win

(+325 Caesars)

The Celtics won three out of four during the year against the 76ers. They covered in each game, and the only loss was by two points. Game 1 is likely being played without the services of Joel Embiid. Embiid should be back at some point in the series, but his health is a major concern. Boston was the better team in the regular season, beating Philly easily at home and fighting them hard to a win and a two-point loss in the road games. DraftKings has this at +290, so take it on Caesars for the higher number. 

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