Celtics vs. 76ers Prediction
The Boston Celtics controlled their home court with two victories to open the Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Philadelphia 76ers. Can Philadelphia get back in the series today as the series shifts cities?
Saturday, May 5, 2018
Wells Fargo Center at 5PM ET
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Public Betting Information
According to oddsmakers, the Sixers are a 9-point favorite on the spread line. The over-under sits at 206.5 points. As of Saturday morning, 60 percent of public bets are coming in on visiting Boston. Check out our NBA Public Betting Page for the latest information.
Brown plays 25 minutes off bench
After tweaking his hamstring in Game 7 against the Bucks, Celtics second-year shooting guard Jaylen Brown missed the series opener against the Sixers. He returned for Game 2 and looked like his normal self, scoring 13 points to go with four rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench as Boston won 108-103. Expect Brown to return to the starting lineup tonight, although Marcus Smart played very well in the starting role, scoring 19 points and draining four of the Celtics' 15 3-pointers. Brown canned two of his five 3-point attempts and shot 5-of-12 overall.
Covington steps up in loss
Philadelphia small forward Robert Covington has drawn a reputation as a strong on-ball defender, but he can be a streaky shooter and when he gets hot he can carry Philly for a stretch. He struggled mightily in Game 1 of this series as he went 0-of-6 from the floor and only scored three points over 27 minutes in the 117-101 loss. But he found his shot in Game 2, going 8-of-15 from the field and 4-of-7 on 3-point tries for 22 points in the defeat. He also added nine boards, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Only JJ Redick had more points on the Sixers as he finished with 23.
NBA Betting Trends
The Celtics are 5-0 ATS in their last five conference semifinals games. Boston is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
The over is 4-0 in the last four Sixers games following an ATS loss. Philadelphia is 5-0 ATS in its last five Saturday games.
This is a budding rivalry that should continue to blossom for years. Both of these teams have young, exciting players and it will only get better next year once Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are healthy again for the Celtics. For tonight's game, I just think the spread is a bit too high. Boston has shown it can compete and with how well it is coached, I believe it can stay well within the nine points on the road.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: BOSTON CELTICS +9