Sixers vs Celtics: Betting preview, predictions & Game info

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) shoots over New York Knicks guard Evan Fournier (13) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The Sixers head to Boston having lost on Sunday to the New York Knicks, 108-96, after blowing a first-quarter 21-point lead. Will they be able to topple the Celtics in this Eastern Conference showdown.

Sixers vs Celtics game info

Who: Philadelphia 76ers (34-18) at Boston Celtics (38-16)
Where: TD Garden, Boston, Mass.
When: 7:30 pm
Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Sixers vs Celtics betting info

Spread: Sixers +4.5 | Celtics -4.5
Moneyline: Sixers +162 | Celtics -194
Total: Over/Under 224

For the Sixers:

Joel Embiid has been as dominant as he ever has been recently. He’s averaging 33.8 points and 12.8 rebounds over his last five games. Embiid has shown that he’s easily the most dominant big man in the game. James Harden had a poor shooting night against the Knicks but was still able to get 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 12 assists. Harden doesn’t have very many bad games, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him bounce back against a very good Celtics team.

The two issues facing the Sixers ahead of the NBA Trade deadline are the lack of production at the reserve center position, and the Tyrese Maxey bench experiment.

De’Anthony Melton hasn’t shown that he should be the full-time starter. While Maxey is still getting minutes, having him on the court with all reserves like they did against the Knicks, isn’t helping Maxey nor the team. If the Sixers are to have any sort of success, Maxey needs to be starting and playing the bulk of his minutes with Harden and Embiid, it’s where he’s flourished in the past.

For the Celtics

The Celtics are coming off a win on Monday night over the Detroit Pistons, 111-99. Jason Tatum, if he hadn’t already, has put himself right up into the conversation for one of the most complete and best players in the game. Tatum is currently 4th in the league in scoring at 30.9 points per game and is also averaging 8.7 rebounds and 4.5 assists. He’s shooting 46% from the floor and his 35.5% from three-pointers is slightly below the league average, it’s more than respectable.

Shooting guard Jaylen Brown has seen his name emerge in trade rumors as people have sparked up the idea of the Celtics going “all in” for Kevin Durant of the Nets. Brown, for his part, has just kept producing and is a star in his own right. He’s averaging 27.0 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 3.1 assists per game, on the season but is only shooting 33.1% on three-point attempts.

The Celtics have a supporting cast that includes Malcolm Brogdon off the bench and contributing 14.4 points per game, starting point guard Marcus Smart with 11.1 points and 7.2 assists as well as getting over 30 minutes per game from the Philly despised, Al Horford.

The Celtics, at this point in the season, seem like a favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not a beatable team.

What to expect:

This game is going to be tough for both teams. The Celtics defeated the Sixers to open the season, something that Philly won’t have forgotten. They’ve come together as a team and in spite of some poor outings, and are dominating behind Joel Embiid. The Sixers will be hoping to get complete games from their stars and that they have enough firepower to contain both Tatum and Brown, something that on their day, they have more than enough of.

Prediction: Sixers 115 – Celtics 119

AP Photo/John Minchillo