NBA playoff preview and tips: Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers - Game Three
The Celtics got just about everything right in game two, and so did we. Boston blew Philly out of the water and limited them to nothing in a 121-87 victory to tie the series at 1-1. Let's see if we can find a winning bet for game three.
Under is 9-3 in Philadelphia's last 12 Eastern Conference Semifinal games. Under is 13-3 in Philadelphia's last 16 playoff games as a favourite. Under is 14-4 in Boston's last 18 Eastern Conference Semifinal games. Under is 12-5 in Boston's last 17 road games against a team winning 60% of home games.
Celtics at 76ers - Game Three verdict
When you bet on an NBA playoff series and get off to a rough start, you can often spend the next few weeks zig-zagging in the wrong direction. Boston did the business in a re-run of our game one suggested bets.
The Celtics now go on the road looking to reclaim their home-court advantage. If they can win either game three or four on the road, three of the remaining games are scheduled to take place at TD Garden. Game two gave us some pretty good clues as to which way this series could go. Joel Embiid managed just 15 points and was held back a little, playing 27 minutes. As expected, Boston found an answer to Harden, who was never likely to feature quite as much with Embiid's return. The big man made some monster blocks on defence, but his leg didn't look the most stable. He spent a considerable amount of time falling over as he sported a noticeably large knee brace.
Embiid's presence slows down the 76ers offence on a good day, but it was apparent he was struggling to carry his huge frame around the court as he ambled into offensive sets. The injury is expected to take four weeks to heal properly. There's no doubt that if he can move he has to play, but the 76ers have to do better on defence. The pace of their offence in game two isn't going to allow them to build any momentum, but more stops will. The game one total was way too high, but it stayed in place because of the game one score. That was an error on the bookmaker's part. The total is around the same mark and again, that could be a misjudgment. Boston shot 46% and made 20 of their shots from beyond the arc, which shouldn't happen in Philly. If you look at their respective home and road defensive averages, they make a combined 221 points. Considering the pace and intensity of this game, coupled with the fact three of five meetings have seen 208 or fewer points scored, it wouldn't be a surprise to see another low-scoring game.
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