Celtics to Keep Rolling on Thursday in Game 2 Against Sixers

celtics

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 2:41 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 2, 2018 2:41 PM UTC

Boston didn’t miss a beat after ousting Milwaukee, dominating upstart Philadelphia in the opener of the second-round series. Let’s analyze this pivotal Game 2 of the East semifinals.

NBA Thursday: By The Numbers76ers (56-32 SU, 52-36 ATS) vs. Celtics (60-30 SU, 54-32-4 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Celtics +3½Best Line Offered: BetPhoenix

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What’s Trending?
  • Boston is 12-2 ATS off an upset win as an underdog.
  • Boston is 21-7 ATS as an underdog this season.
  • Boston is 33-17 ATS versus good offensive teams -- scoring 106+ points per game.
  • Philadelphia is 6-9 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite.
  • Philadelphia is 1-4 ATS versus Boston this season.
  • Philadelphia is 7-10 versus division opponents this season.

Game Analysis

As many of you know who read this column, I was not surprised that the Celtics scored an upset, and rather dominant, 117-101 victory on Monday night in the Game 1 clash between these divisional rivals. Well, I should qualify that somewhat, as the 16-point margin of victory was even greater than I anticipated, but the fact remains that Celtics head coach Brad Stevens has ripped a page right out of Bill Belichick's playbook with their “next man up” mentality.

Boston has been decimated by injuries and that was never more apparent than when they entered Monday night without their two biggest stars, Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, yet had to also contend with the absence of blossoming star Jaylen Brown. But that didn’t rattle Boston as point guard Terry Rozier continues to exceed all expectations in the starting role he inherited after Irving’s season-ending injury. Rozier had just come off a 26-point night in Boston’s Game 7 win over Milwaukee when he dropped 29 to lead Boston in their win over Philadelphia in the series opener. Rookie Jason Tatum continues to deliver on his vast potential as the No. 3 pick in the 2017 draft when he contributed 28, while veteran center Al Horford went 10 of 12 from the field and ended the night with 26 points.

After the performance the Celtics put on, and the fact that Brown might be back in uniform after nursing a hamstring injury, the NBA odds board appears unfazed as all of the major online sportsbooks are dealing Philadelphia as 3½-point road favorites. Speaking of top-notch online sportsbooks, check out BetPhoenix’s 100% Free Play Sports Bonus on cash deposits of $100 or more. The line hasn’t budged from Game 1 with the expectation that the Sixers have shaken off the rust of their six-day layoff and will be ready to take charge.

The fact is, the Sixers have the best player on the court with Joel Embiid and perhaps the second-best player in Ben Simmons. But the triumvirate of Tatum, Rozier, and Brown is a potent antidote to that duo of Philly superstars. Let’s also not forget about the experience and talent that five-time All-Star Horford brings to the table. Add a dash of defensive wizard Marcus Smart and the depth of the Celtics bench and the choice is clear. Grab the points and back the home dogs again in your NBA picks and keep riding that Celtics money train.

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