Atlantic Division rivals Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will face each other off in the first round of the playoffs, beginning this coming Monday. Will the Sixers upset Boston out of the gate in this series? Or will the Celtics capitalize on the absence of Ben Simmons and take Game 1?
Betting Preview for the Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics NBA Playoffs Round 1 Game 1 on August 17, 2020
Where: Walt Disney World, Orlando
When: Monday, August 17, 2020, 6:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Philadelphia 76ers (odds)
Regular Season Record: 42-30
It’s tough for the Sixers to lose Ben Simmons to a season-ending injury just before the playoffs. But they will have to roll with what they have and still be thankful that they have Joel Embiid to lead them. Embiid also dealt with at least a couple of ailments in the Bubble, but he managed to play in seven of eight games, including the Sixers’ most previous outing, a 134-96 win last Friday over the Houston Rockets. Embiid played 23 minutes and scored 14 points. He is reportedly experiencing trouble with a hand injury, but that could be fine once they take on Boston on Monday. Without Simmons, the Sixers can surround Embiid with more shooters. Alec Burks is leading the team in outside shooting in Orlando, with 2.3 triples per game, while Furkan Korkmaz is nailing 2.1 threes per contest since the NBA restarted. Embiid had 38 points and 13 points in the Sixers’ 115-109 win over Boston last December.
The Sixers are 2-0 against the spread in their last two games.
Betting on the Boston Celtics (odds)
Regular Season Record: 48-24
The Celtics are coming off a 96-90 loss to the Washington Wizards last Thursday, but that’s not indicative of any trouble for Boston, which played a G-League-like lineup. Outside of that loss, the Celtics in a fine form, having won four of their last five games. The Celtics’ pair of Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown will be highly depended upon on both ends of the floor. Tatum is leading Boston in the Bubble with 22.4 points per game while also shooting close to 45 percent from deep. Brown is right behind Tatum with 19.6 points. Their job against the Sixers could be easier, without Simmons for them to deal with. Although Kemba Walker hasn’t been putting up great numbers in Orlando, so far, his being out there on the court is a big boost for the Celtics. He’s been rounding into form, though, so the Sixers will have their hands full in defending the cat-quick guard.
The under is 2-0 in the Celtics’ last two games.
The Sixers win, 109-107.
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