Game 5: Celtics Set to Rock the Garden, Finish Off Philly

celtics 76ers

Swinging Johnson

Tuesday, May 8, 2018 4:27 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 8, 2018 4:27 PM UTC

The Philadelphia 76ers travel to Boston on Wednesday after staving off elimination with a convincing 103-92 win on Monday night. Let’s check out the NBA odds board and get down on the right side of this Game 5 clash.

76ers (57-34 SU, 53-38 ATS) at Celtics (62-31 SU, 56-33-4 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Celtics +1½Best Line Offered: BetPhoenix

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  • Boston is 21-5 ATS revenging a loss vs opponent.
  • Boston is 35-18 ATS versus good offensive teams - scoring 106+ points per game.
  • Boston is 8-1 ATS after a loss by 10 points or more.
  • Philadelphia is 2-6 ATS vs. Boston this season.
  • Philadelphia is 1-3 ATS vs. Celtics in Boston this season.
  • Philadelphia is 8-12 ATS vs. division opponents this season.

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When the game's on the line, Scary Terry's stepping up. #CUsRise pic.twitter.com/0mbyGOLHNF

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 8, 2018
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The 76ers needed a spark in Game 4 and they got one from the undrafted point guard out of Arizona, TJ McConnell. Head coach Brett Brown removed the slumping Robert Covington and inserted McConnell into the starting lineup, which proved to be a stroke of genius as the third-year man energized his team with heady play and a career playoff-high 19 points. Dario Saric led the Sixers with 25, while Joel Embiid added 15 points of his own along with 13 rebounds as the 76ers rolled to a 103-92 win and avoided a humiliating sweep to their Atlantic Division rivals from Boston.

The last time these teams met in Boston, the NBA odds board reflected the Celtics as 3½-point home underdogs. As we take a quick peek now, we see BetPhoenix, currently running a 100% Free Play Sports Bonus promotion on cash deposits of $100 or more and hanging the hometown team as 1½-point dogs as Boston attempts to end the Sixers’ season. The oddsmakers continue to diminish this gritty Boston team, and that’s been fine by us because we have hitched our wagon to the Celtics’ star throughout this series in our NBA picks which have resulted in us covering three of their four playoff tilts with Philly.

The Celtics will close out the series in Boston on Wednesday night because they now know that there is a good chance McConnell will again start in Covington’s spot. Boston was used to peeling back on Covington and giving him open looks in order to put double coverage on Embiid or keeping Simmons in check with aggressive defense. Of course, the reason was that Covington was struggling through a spectacularly dismal shooting performance, going 8-for-29 in the three games preceding Monday night and then 1 of 7 in his backup role in that Game 4 victory.

In addition, we can expect a much better game out of Jaylen Brown, who played 23 minutes in his third game back from a hamstring injury and never integrated into the offense on 2 of 6 shooting for a total of just eight points. Jayson Tatum continues to lead the way in his rookie season for Boston and turned in another solid performance in the team’s losing effort with 20 points and was 43 percent from the field. Consider for a moment that the Celtics shot 41.3 percent as a team and 34.4 percent from three-point-land vs. 40.4 and 26.9 percent, respectively, for Philadelphia in their Game 4 loss.

Expect the C’s to get back on track and give greater respect to McConnell when he handles the ball. They’ll be no chanting “TJ, TJ” in Boston on Wednesday and the Garden will be rocking. Bet the Celts plus small number.

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