Why Exactly Are Celtics Big Underdogs for Game 3 at 76ers?

Swinging Johnson

Friday, May 4, 2018 2:04 PM UTC

Friday, May. 4, 2018 2:04 PM UTC

The Celtics-76ers series shifts to Philadelphia with Boston holding a 2-0 series lead, and it would put the 76ers in dire straits with a win Saturday. Let’s see if Boston’s Green is worth yours.

Celtics (61-30 SU, 55-32-4 ATS) at 76ers (56-33 SU, 52-37 ATS)Free NBA Pick: Celtics +9½Best Line Offered: SkyBook

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  • Philadelphia is 6-10 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite.
  • Philadelphia is 7-11 ATS vs. division opponents.
  • Philadelphia is 1-5 ATS vs. Boston this season.
  • Boston is 10-2 ATS on Saturday games.
  • Boston is 11-3 ATS after three or more consecutive overs.
  • Boston is 13-2 ATS off an upset win as an underdog.

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Make that 2-0 against Philly thanks to a full-team effort that keyed our crazy comeback during Game 2. pic.twitter.com/p9jj5o6orS

— Boston Celtics (@celtics) May 4, 2018
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The Boston Celtics franchise is 36-0 when leading 2-0 in a series, while Philadelphia is 0-11 under those same circumstances. If history is destined to repeat itself, the Celtics will be moving into the Eastern Conference Finals soon, while Philadelphia will lick its wounds and enter next season a bit more mature and ready for the rigors of postseason play. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves as this series is far from over, but a win by the visitors Saturday would put a choke hold on the young 76ers, which means it is already desperation time in the City of Brotherly Love.

It appeared Philadelphia was ready to rebound after their Game 1 blowout loss to the Celtics when they took a commanding 22-point lead in the second quarter of Game 2. But the gritty Celtics never saw a challenge they didn’t like and came storming back under a balanced attack which featured six Celtics scoring in double figures in the 108-103 victory. Jayson Tatum led the charge with 21 points, followed by another strong effort by the most pleasant surprise in the series for Boston, Terry Rozier, who produced 20 points and seven rebounds. Al Horford battled Philadelphia’s big man Joel Embiid in the post and came up with 12 rebounds to go along with his 13 points. Speaking of Embiid, he had another impressive performance with 20 points and 14 boards, but Ben Simmons wilted under the pressure scoring just one point in 31 minutes of action.

A quick check of the NBA odds board has rendered me incredulous. The oddsmakers had the wrong favorite in the first two games and they are hanging Philly -9½ as though those games didn’t happen. Well, they did and I understand the value of home-court advantage in the NBA while also factoring in the 76ers desperation to win this pivotal Game 3.

However, shouldn’t the number be something along the lines of Philadelphia -6? Sure, Simmons won’t completely tank like he did in Thursday’s game, but do you think Robert Covington will have another 22-point night? All I know is Jaylen Brown looked good in his return for the Celtics with 13 points and a +9 while he was on the court. Although it wouldn’t surprise me one one iota if the Sixers win this game, shouldn’t we give a little more love to the Celtics who are getting production not from one or two players but with a balanced attack where an off night by one player will not preclude the C’s from winning or in this case covering? Oh, and let’s not forget that Boston is 5-1 ATS vs. Philadelphia this season.

Speaking of covering, make sure you shop for the best lines at the industry's premier sportsbooks. One of which is BetPhoenix currently running several outstanding promotions, one of which is a 100% Free Play Sports Bonus on cash deposits of $100 or more. If the oddsmakers want to give me Boston +9½ then consider the Celtics a big play in my NBA picks on Saturday.

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