Next-Man-Up Celtics Live Home Dogs in Opener vs. Sixers

boston philly

Swinging Johnson

Sunday, April 29, 2018 10:16 PM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 29, 2018 10:16 PM UTC

Boston just clinched a grueling seven-game series over Milwaukee and now welcomes Philadelphia to a Monday night Garden party. Let’s break this one down and try to cash in.

NBA Monday: By The Numbers76ers (56-31 SU, 52-35 ATS) vs. Celtics (59-30 SU, 53-32-4 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Celtics +3Best Line Offered: BetPhoenix

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What’s Trending
  • Boston is 20-5 ATS revenging a loss vs. opponent this season.
  • Boston is 29-16 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
  • Boston is 20-7 ATS as an underdog this season.
  • Philadelphia is 2-2 ATS when playing with three or more days of rest.
  • Philadelphia is 7-9 ATS vs. division opponents this season.
  • Philadelphia is 1-3 ATS vs. Celtics this season.

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Round 2️⃣

🎫: https://t.co/1PwHJY7rWi pic.twitter.com/UeQm3SGOyy

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) April 29, 2018
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Game Analysis

The most important bit of business that came out of Boston’s Game 7 versus the Bucks was the fact that they not only won the game and clinched the series but they did it in convincing fashion. For my SBR readers that read this column faithfully, I pointed out the fact that the Green had not lost one of their previous home playoff games to Milwaukee nor had they failed to cover the number. And once again, despite being installed as anywhere from 4½- to 5-point favorites, the Celtics did what the Celtics do at home against the Bucks and that is bring home the cash with a 112-96 victory for all of those who took my advice and backed them in their NBA picks.

But now the caliber of competition has just gotten better and it’s little wonder why the NBA odds board is reflecting the visiting team, and the lower seed, as the favorite in this opening game of a scheduled seven-game series. And that is of course due to a few things, the first of which is that the Sixers have been resting since they closed out the Heat on Tuesday night and will have had almost a full week to prepare for their date with Boston. Secondly, the injury bug came calling yet again on Boston and this time it visited upon shooting guard Jaylen Brown with a hamstring sprain. Brown left Game 7 in the second quarter and never returned.

Injuries have become as common as jump shots in the Boston camp with their two best players sidelined for the series in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward. It is very likely that Brown will miss Monday night but when Celtics head coach Brad Stevens sees a man down, the first thing he says is “Next man up!” The Celtics are nothing if not resilient. When Brown exited on Saturday night it was Marcus Smart, who by the way also just returned off an extensive trip on the DL, to fill in admirably for his teammate and contributed defensively as he is wont to do.

Now we have a young, well-rested Philadelphia squad that is 1-3 straight up and against the spread this season versus Boston, against a young, gritty band of Celtics that refuse to die despite the myriad of injuries they have sustained this season. However, I believe it is a mistake to completely rule out Brown because there is a chance he could dress and contribute. If he does get the green-light, then those Celtics’ friendly odds could drop drastically. As of this writing BetPhoenix has Boston +3 and don’t forget its 100% Free Play Sports Bonus on cash deposits of $100 or more.

But let’s assume Brown does not dress. Al Horford has tons of experience and has contained Philly superstar Joel Embiid in the past as evidenced by his 17 points per game in his three games against Boston this season, nearly six points below his season average. If you give me Jayson Tatum, Al Horford, the blossoming-before-our-eyes Terry Rozier, and the rest of the Celtics at home and plus points ... I’ll take it! Back the home pup here.

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