Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers Pick
Boston Celtics (35 - 21 SU, 28-28 ATS) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (36-20 SU, 27-29 ATS)
When: Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 – 8:00 PM ET
Where: Wells Fargo Arena – Philadelphia, PA
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: BOS +6 / PHI -6
Power Rankings: Philadelphia -6
Takeaways from Boston and Philadelphia’s Most Recent Games
The Celtics enter off two consecutive losses where they fell in back-to-back games in Boston. Most recently, the Celtics fell prey to the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday when Boston was defeated by a score of 123-112 despite being favored by 11.5 points.
The 76ers come in off of a marquee performance when they throttled the visiting Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday in the City of Brotherly Love. Closing as a 6.5-point favorite, the Sixers had no trouble finding a cover as they thumped LeBron James and the Lakers by a score of 143-120.
How the Public is Betting the Boston and Philadelphia Game
71% of the consensus presently like the Sixers here as the home favorite and as a result of this lean we have seen the market move upward by a point from the opening number of Philadelphia as a five-point favorite.
These two teams last met on Christmas Day in Boston where overtime was required to declare a winner. That team was Boston who went onto defeat the 76ers by a score of 121-114 and cover successfully as a five-point favorite.
Free Pick: Sportsbooks make Spartans slight favorites!
A huge story line for Boston will be the revelation that they will be without Point Guard Kyrie Irving who will be out due to straining his right knee in the Celtics’ last match with the Clippers on Sunday. This is a substantial blow for the Celtics’ as they will be without their prime offensive weapon. Kyrie leads the Celtics in scoring with 23.6 points per game and is also the leading assist man for Boston producing 6.9 assists per outing. Guard Terry Rozier will see an uptick in minutes to replace Irving and many recall his contributions to the Celtics playoff run in 2018. On the year, Rozier averages 9.1 points per game, 4.2 rebounds per match, and 3.2 assists per contest.
Rest Advantages and Concerns
The 76ers are in the midst of a four-game home-stand until they head to the Big Apple tomorrow to face the Knicks to finish off their schedule before the All-Star break. As for Boston, they just finished a two-game stretch at home and will play this one road game before hosting Detroit back in Boston tomorrow. Both teams have not taken the court in two days.
Can Boston’s Defense Turn This into A Dogfight?
The Celtics own an edge in the defensive department as they own the fifth best scoring defense in the NBA giving up 106.5 points per game. Philly’s defense sits 21st scoring as they give up 112.2 points per contest. This is a substantial 5.7-point difference. Moreover, the Celtics sit second in the NBA in reducing opponent field goal percentage at a salty 44.3%. Boston will hone its defense strengths to attempt to mitigate Philadelphia’s catalytic third-ranked scoring offense which produces 115.9 points per game, placing them only behind the two top teams in the NBA in the standings who own better scoring offenses (Milwaukee and Golden State). The Celtics also own an edge in the turnover department and their bench produces 39.7 points per game which is 6.1 points more on average to Philly’s 31.1 bench points per contest.
Can Philadelphia’s Rebounding Game End Boston’s Dominance?
The Sixers have now staged two impressive back-to-back wins on their own court first against the present two-seed in the West, the Denver Nuggets, and then their most recent accolade against the Lakers on Sunday to improve their home record to 23-6 SU. Philadelphia’s offensive exploits have been enhanced by the addition of Forward Tobias Harris who came over from the Clippers to join Jimmy Butler, J.J. Redick, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons just before the trade deadline to comprise what is now known as “The Phantastic Five”. The starting five of Philly has become fabled overnight as Harris’ addition makes a talented ensemble already that much better. Harris averages 20.8 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per contest, and 2.8 assists per match on the year and has already made an impact in just two games as he pieced together an impressive 22 point, 6 rebound, and 6 assist outing on Sunday against the Lakers. In addition, the Sixers own the more physical presence on the boards which gives them an antidote to Boston’s in-your-face defense. Philly sits sixth in offensive rebounding in generating 47 boards per contest while giving away a fourth-ranked 43.2 rebounds against. On the contrary, Boston is 15th in offensive rebounding (45.1 boards per match) and 22nd in the NBA defensive rebounding with 45.4 rebounds against.
Overall, Boston has held the upper-hand in this series as they have won eight of the last ten contests between these two teams. Furthermore, the Celtics are 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings between both sides.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Philadelphia -6
Heading into this game, the Sixers had plenty of motivation as they were geared up to end Boston’s supremacy in this divisional rivalry. After all, it was the Celtics who ended Philadelphia’s post-season run last year in the 2018 playoffs. This couldn’t be a better spot to back the Sixers as they are riding the hot hand, have home court working in their favor, and will face Boston without Kyrie Irving. Contrarily, the last time Philadelphia played Boston in Beantown the Sixers did not have Tobias Harris in the fold. The Sixers have all cylinders firing while Boston will have to figure out how to compete without their best offensive player in a hostile environment. The prospects look grim for Boston and Philly can easily win this one by double-digits let alone cover the six points.