The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will get their Eastern Conference semifinal best-of-seven series underway on Monday night.
Philadelphia hasn’t played in over a week after dispatching the Brooklyn Nets in four games in its opening series, while Boston needed six games to prevail over Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks in the first round.
The Celtics enter Game 1 as big 10-point favourites and the total is set at 214 points.
76ers vs Celtics odds
|76ers Moneyline Odds||+375|
|Celtics Moneyline Odds||-500|
|Over/Under||214 points (over -110, under +110)|
|Spread||Celtics -10 (-110)|
|Series odds||Celtics -500, 76ers +375|
|Time/Date||Monday, May 1, 7:30 p.m. ET|
Stream: NBA League Pass
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The Celtics took three of the four meetings during the regular season and they covered the spread in all four games. The under went 3-1 in these matchups.
|Date||Home Team||Spread Odds||Result||Total|
|April 4||Philadelphia||76ers -3.5||103-101 76ers||226 (under)|
|Feb. 25||Philadelphia||Celtics -1||110-107 Celtics||226 (under)|
|Feb. 8||Boston||Celtics -2.5||106-99 Celtics||228 (under)|
|Oct. 18||Boston||Celtics -3||126-117 Celtics||216.5 (over)|
About the 76ers (4-0 SU, 3-0-1 ATS, 1-3 o/u)
Sixers centre Joel Embiid suffered a sprained LCL in his right knee during Game 3 of the team’s series against Brooklyn, and head coach Doc Rivers says the big man is doubtful for Monday night. However, Embiid was participating in the team shootaround this morning.
Embiid’s health is the major reason why the spread is so lopsided in this one. He averaged a 33.1 points per game (best in the NBA) during the regular season, and he elevated his gaming even more against Boston, putting up 36.8 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in the four regular season matchups.
If Embiid can’t suit up, more pressure will be put on guards James Harden and Tyrese Maxey offensively. Maxey averaged a team-high 21.8 points per game in the series versus the Nets, while Harden averaged 17.3 points on just 34.3% shooting.
The Sixers ranked eighth overall (112.7) in defensive rating this season, but struggled at 119.1 and a net rating of minus-4.9 in the four games against Boston, which has surprisingly struggled against teams without some of their top players this season.
About the Celtics (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS, 4-2 o/u)
The Celtics may have missed a prime opportunity to increase their odds of jumping out to an early lead in this series after failing to take out the Hawks in five games. This series would’ve began last Saturday had Boston prevailed in five games, but now Embiid has had an additional few days to rest his ailing knee. Forcing the Sixers into action sooner definitely would’ve given the Celtics an early advantage.
Regardless, the Celtics (+125) are the favourites to win the NBA title. Jayson Tatum (27.2 ppg) and Jaylen Brown (26.7) led the way for the team in its opening series and they’ll be a force to be reckoned with the rest of the way. With Milwaukee now out of the playoff picture, Boston has a clear path to The Finals.
Danuel House Jr. is questionable for the 76ers on Monday due to an illness. As previously mentioned, Embiid is doubtful with his knee injury.
- The 76ers are 0-5 ATS in the past five meetings.
- The Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last six home games.
- The over is 4-0 in Boston’s last four games.
- The 76ers are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games.
Player prop trends
- Celtics guard Malcolm Brogdon has scored 13 or more points in five straight games and nine of his last 10, averaging 16 points per game during that span. His points line is at 12.5 (-135).
- Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey is on quite the run in the steals + blocks category. He’s averaging 1.5 over his last 10 and has at least one in five straight games. His line is at 0.5 (-210) on Monday. Not great value here, but could be a leg of a parlay.
Wagers to consider
- This is a difficult game to handicap with Embiid’s status in question, but if you like the Sixers to pull off a shocking upset, bet365 has an intriguing same-game parlay at +1000: Sixers to win, James Harden to score 25 or more points, Harden to record seven or more assists. For the Sixers to win without Embiid, Harden will have to have a massive game (likely triple-double stat line), and adding his lines on this parlay gives you a huge boost over the +375 Philly moneyline.
- Tobias Harris over 1.5 three-pointers: -115. With Embiid potentially out, more shots will be coming from the perimeter. Harris averaged two three-pointers per game in the previous series against Brooklyn while shooting 57% from long range.
- Sixers +10: -110. This is a lot of points to give Philly in a playoff game, and maybe Embiid does shock everyone and play? And if he doesn’t play, Boston has slumped against teams without their stars this season.