The scene shifts back to Boston on Tuesday night as the Celtics look to take a 3-2 series lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Philadelphia evened the best-of-seven series 2-2 with an exciting 116-115 overtime victory on its home court on Sunday. James Harden erupted for a game-high 42 points, including a go-ahead three-pointer with just 19 seconds remaining in overtime to help seal the victory.
Boston is a 7.5-point favourite in Game 5 and the total is set at 213 points.
76ers vs. Celtics odds
|76ers Moneyline Odds||+245|
|Celtics Moneyline Odds||-305|
|Over/Under||213 points (over -110, under +110)|
|Spread||Celtics -7.5 (-110)|
|Series odds||Sixers +260, Celtics -320|
|Time/Date||Tuesday, May 9, 7:30 p.m. ET|
Stream: NBA League Pass
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Both teams have won a game at home and on the road in the series and they’ve played over the total in three of the four games.
Game 6 will be played Thursday in Philadelphia, and, if needed, Game 7 will be back in Boston on Sunday. The team that advances will play either the Miami Heat or the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference final. Miami currently leads that series 3-1.
|Date||Home Team||Spread Odds||Result||Total|
|May 7 (Game 4)||Philadelphia||Celtics -1||116-115 (OT) Sixers||214 (over)|
|May 5 (Game 3)||Philadelphia||Celtics -2||114-102 Celtics||214 (over)|
|May 3 (Game 2)||Boston||Celtics -7.5||121-87 Celtics||215.5 (under)|
|May 1 (Game 1)||Boston||Celtics -10.5||119-115 Sixers||215.5 (over)|
About the 76ers (6-2 SU, 5-2-1 ATS, 4-4 o/u)
Which James Harden will the Sixers get in Game 5?
He’s pulled a Jekyll-and-Hyde act throughout the series, either fascinating onlookers with his incredible scoring ability or simply putting up duds. After scoring 45 points in the series opener with Joel Embiid out with a knee injury, Harden scored just 28 points combined in the next two games before going off for 42 points in Game 4.
Putting up a ton of points is crucial for the Sixers, who are 3-0 in the postseason – and 2-0 in the series – when reaching the 115-point mark. Philadelphia has won nine consecutive games when scoring 115 or more points.
The Sixers are struggling desperately on the defensive end of the floor, as evidenced by their brutal 123.7 Defensive Rating in the series. Boston has a plus-30 margin in points in the paint in the series, which is troubling given Philadelphia has Embiid, the reigning MVP, racking up points close to the basket.
About the Celtics (6-4 SU, 6-4 ATS, 7-3 o/u)
The Celtics have the shortest NBA title outright odds (+150), but they’ve been grinding through the playoffs to this point.
One advantage the Celtics do have over the Sixers, though, is depth. Through the first four games of the series, Boston’s bench has outscored Philly, 124-82. Both of these teams averaged around 32 points per game from the bench during the regular season.
Fresh off winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award, Malcolm Brogdon has been clutch off the bench for Boston. The 30-year-old guard is averaging 19.2 points per game in the series and he’s shooting an incredible 53.3% from long range.
But of course, the Celtics will only go as far as Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown take them. Boston is 23-1 (.957) when Tatum and Brown both score 30 points, including the playoffs. That’s the best winning percentage by a duo all-time (minimum 20 games) ahead of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen (18-2, .900).
Both teams are at full strength, but Embiid is playing through a right knee sprain.
- The Sixers are 2-7 ATS in the past nine meetings.
- The over is 7-1 in Boston’s last eight games.
- The Celtics are 6-0 ATS in their last six games following a loss.
- Boston is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 home games.
Player prop trends
- Brogdon is averaging 18.8 points per game over his last five contests and he has recorded at least 15 in each of those games. His over/under on points is 14.5 (-135).
- Brown is averaging 4.5 assists per game in the series and he has at least four dimes in each of his last four games. His assists line is over/under 3.5 (over: -135).
- Jayson Tatum is averaging 1.4 blocks over his last 10 games and he has at least one in each of his last seven contests. His blocks line is over/under 0.5 (over: -160).
Wagers to consider
- If you think the Sixers can pull off a huge road upset, bet365 is boosting a same-game parlay from +625 to +750 that includes the Sixers to win outright, Embiid to score 30 or more points, and Embiid to grab 10 or more rebounds. The MVP will have to be brilliant in order for the Sixers to prevail on Tuesday, and he’s met those points and rebounds threshholds twice already in the series despite his ailing knee.
- Match handicap and total – Sixers +7.5 and over 213.5 points: +275. With so much on the line, giving the Sixers seven points to cover the spread seems generous and these teams are now seeing the lowest posted total of the series despite them combining to play over the number in three of the four games.