Sixers vs Celtics: Betting info and game preview for game 1

Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden reacts to a foul called on him during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets in Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Thursday, April 20, 2023, in New York. After review, he was given a flagrant foul two, and ejected. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Fresh off the back of an explosive NFL Draft, the City of Brotherly Love turns its attention to a 7-game series against one of the Sixers’ biggest rivals – the Boston Celtics.

Sixers vs Nets Game 1 info

Who: Sixers vs Nets
When: 7:30PM Monday, May 1st, 2023
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
How to watch: ESPN

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Sixers vs Celtics Betting odds

Spread: Sixers +10 | Celtics -10
Moneyline: Sixers +400 | Celtics -500
Total: Over/Under 213.5 points

Sixers vs Celtics betting preview

You might be thinking that a 10-point spread is far too much for an opening game of a playoff series between these two teams, and usually, you’d be right. However, the Sixers will be without Joel Embiid. The likely-MVP was always doubtful for the opening game with an LCL sprain. A report surfaced last night that stated it’s worse than a Grade 1, leaving the Cameroonian likely out of the picture for the opening game at least and potentially more.

Still, there’s optimism that this iteration of the Sixers can overcome the odds stacked against them. Their defense is much stronger than in prior years, as evidenced by the Nets averaging just 92.5 points per game in the series.

How the Sixers negate the loss of Joel Embiid will be a huge factor in this matchup. There’s no questioning that Boston will be licking its lips at the idea of an Embiid-less Sixers team, although Philly is 12-5 in games without their all-star center this season.

As far as how the two stack up statistically, the Sixers score 115.2 points per game and give up 110. The Celtics score 117.9 per game and give up 111.4. Pace wise, this feels pretty even, but the absence of Embiid will ask questions of what has been an elite defense this year.

From a betting perspective, it’s certainly worth noting that the total has FLOWN over in each of the last 4 Celtics games. The OVER for the Sixers is also 47-39 in games where it’s greater than 205 this season. Without Joel Embiid to slow down the tempo and a sense of urgency on offense, I think this comfortably sails home in game one.

Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden (1) fends off Toronto Raptors’ Scottie Barnes during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, March 31, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

If you’re looking for individual props, James Harden is the obvious go-to. His resurgence in Philadelphia has been a joy to watch and with Embiid sidelined, he’s going to potentially take on a much larger scoring role as opposed to facilitating for the likes of Tobias Harris, who has arguably been the teams’ MVP this postseason. You can get -120 on James Harden to score more than 22 points on Monday night.

Sixers vs Celtics betting prediction

It would be easy to back the ‘Celtics blowout’ here, but the playoffs can often throw up surprising results and I’m not sure that this game becomes a wash without Embiid. This is a deep Sixers team and guys like P.J Tucker and Paul Reed have been hustling their way into bigger roles, elevating the team in the process. I’ll happily take the over here, knowing the Sixers are among the most efficient teams in the NBA and the Celtics are going to have to do all they can to capitalize on Embiid’s absence, but I do like the +10 spread also.

Pick: Over 213 points.

Sixers vs Celtics betting offers

Toronto Raptors’ O.G. Anunoby (3) goes up to shoot against Philadelphia 76ers’ James Harden (1) and Paul Reed during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 31, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

AP Photo/Frank Franklin II