The Philadelphia 76ers were favored to win both of their first two Eastern Conference Semifinals games on the road against the Boston Celtics, but didn’t get it done in either. The 76ers head home as a favorite once again, but another upset loss would put their season in peril.
Philadelphia has to put together a good performance to get back in this series by taking care of business in Game 3. The Celtics have been looked at wearily by the oddsmakers throughout the playoffs because of all their injuries, but they continue to step up.
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Boston would pay off handsomely if it can grab another win, as this one would be the most unlikely of the bunch. It will be much harder on the road in NBA basketball wagering.
Game 3 of this NBA Playoff Series is on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 5 p.m. ET at Wells Fargo Center Philadelphia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The contest will be nationally televised on ESPN.
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Despite losing the first two games, the 76ers have been listed as 9.5-point favorites to win Game 3 and get back to within striking distance in this series. The betting public believes that number is too high as the Celtics are getting approximately 85 percent of the action to cover the spread.
The scoring total is set at 207 points. Each of the first two games in this series have finished above that total, and the “over” is currently the more popular play.
Philadelphia is a heavy -560 favorite on the moneyline to win this game at home, while the Celtis are listed as the +422 underdogs to take a 3-0 series lead.
Last Time Out
The 76ers seemed poised to knot this series up at a game apiece when it jumped out to a 22-point lead in the first half, but the Celtics came storming back. Boston used a strong end to the second quarter and then an excellent third to take the lead and then held on for a 108-103 victory.
Jayson Tatum led the team in scoring with 21 points, including hitting some imperative free throws down the stretch. Terry Rozier had another big game with 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. He has played an integral role at guard as the Celtics have stayed afloat despite the absence of superstar Kyrie Irving.
J.J. Redick had 23 points for the 76ers and Robert Covington added 22 points and nine rebounds. Joel Embiid, one of the team’s stars, played well, with 20 points, 14 rebounds and five assists, but the other, Ben Simmons, scored only one point. He can’t afford to be so passive on the offensive end of the floor next time out.
Celtics rookie Jaylen Brown played in Game 2 after missing the opener of this series with a hamstring injury. It’s great news for Boston to have him back, as the team has dealt with myriad injuries this season, including to Irving and fellow standout Gordon Hayward.
Brown had 13 points and four rebounds in Game 2, as he returned to the court after initially being labeled as doubtful for the contest. As long as he didn’t suffer a setback, Brown should be good to go for Game 3 and figures to play a pivotal role in that contest as well as the rest of this series.
Free NBA ATS Picks
The Celtics performed well at home, but they shouldn’t feel too comfortable quite yet. The 76ers are strong favorites to win Game 3, and if that happens they will be right back in the series. Philadelphia should come out with a ton of energy knowing it badly needs a win.
The Celtics are too well-coached to lose by double-digits, so choose Boston to cover this spread. However, the 76ers are the choice to win this game and make this series a competitive one again.
The “over” is the choice on the scoring total as the 76ers should be able to score more easily in this one than they have so far in the first two contests, while Boston won’t be too far behind.
NBA ATS Pick: 76ers 109, Celtics 104