76ers vs. Celtics Prediction
The Boston Celtics survived a seven-game series with the Milwaukee Bucks and will now face a Philadelphia 76ers team that has been red-hot the last couple of months. Can Boston make a statement with a Game 1 victory tonight on its home court?
Monday, April 30, 2018
TD Garden at 8PM ET
Compare odds from multiple different online sportsbooks and shop for the best lines at our new Basketball Odds & Betting Page.
Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, the Sixers are a 3.5-point favorite on the spread line. The over-under is set at 205.5 points. As of Monday afternoon, 72 percent of public bets are pouring in on visiting Philadelphia. Check out our NBA Public Betting Page for up-to-date information.
Simmons relishing limelight
Sixers point guard Ben Simmons took full advantage of the spotlight his first playoff series brought as he played excellent basketball in the five-game series win against the Heat. Simmons wasn't too far off a triple-double average in the series at 18.2 points, 10.6 rebounds and 9.0 assists. He did have one triple-double in the series in Game 4 when he accounted for 17 points, 13 boards and 10 dimes. Teammate JJ Redick led the 76ers in scoring during the first round at 20.0 points per, while Joel Embiid returned from his facial injury to play the final three games of the series and averaged 18.7 points and 10.3 rebounds while shaking off some rust in the process.
Brown doubtful for Game 1
Boston second-year shooting guard Jaylen Brown had a phenomenal series against Milwaukee, but came up limping with a hamstring injury in the second quarter of Game 1 and eventually had to leave the game for good. Brown had a 34-point explosion in Game 4 and averaged 17.9 points plus 4.9 rebounds for the series despite the two-point effort in only 16 minutes of work in Game 2. Point guard Terry Rozier stepped up in Brown's absence as he scored 26 points to go with nine assists and six rebounds. Power forward Al Horford also scored 26 while pulling down eigth rebounds and dishing out three assists.
NBA Betting Trends
The 76ers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games versus a team with a winning home record. Philadelphia is 4-1 ATS in its last five meetings in Boston.
The Celtics are 5-0 ATS in their last five home games. Boston is 6-0 ATS in its last six games versus a team with a winning road record.
The Celtics won two of the three meetings this season and went 2-1 ATS, although Philly won the most recent matchup by an 89-80 score as it covered the spread in Boston on Jan. 18. What impresses me about the Celtics is that even with all the injuries, they have managed to stay disciplined within their game plan and outstanding defense has allowed them to stay competitive in any game. Boston has caused fits to Embiid through double teams this season, keeping him off balance by throwing a second body at him at random times. He is only shooting 38 percent against the Celtics this season, which is something to keep an eye on this series. I know Boston is coming off a grueling seven-game series, but it is a well-coached team and the Sixers might have some rust of their own after being inactive for a good chunk of last week. Take the hosts and the points here.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: BOSTON CELTICS +3.5