Game 2 – 76ers vs. Celtics Picks & Predictions

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The NBA Playoffs resume on Wednesday night with a pivotal Game 2 showdown in the Eastern Conference between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. Coverage begins from TD Garden in Boston at 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT.

The Sixers are 5-0 SU in their last five road games. (Getty)


In Monday’s series opener, Philadelphia was tagged as a 10-point underdog due to the absence of Joel Embiid, but clearly, James Harden had much different intentions in mind, as the Beard went off for 45 points on 17-of-30 shooting, and buried a go ahead three-pointer with just eight seconds left on the clock to help seal a thrilling 119-115 victory for the Sixers in Game 1.

Despite losing the contest, Game 1 certainly wasn’t a total disaster for Boston, as the Celtics racked up 66 points on 72% FG in the first half of Monday’s series opener, but ultimately, the Sixers came very close to matching that number with 63 points of their own; and in the second half, the C’s shot just 44% FG and 17% 3P, which is a recipe for failure when squaring off against a Sixers’ team that leads the entire league in three-point shooting percentage (39% 3P).

The Sixers are obviously far less of a threat in the absence of Embiid, but make no mistake about it, this is still a very good basketball team with or without their superstar, and that notion was on full display in Game 1. In their 18 games without Embiid this year,  the Sixers have posted an offensive rating of 120 and a defensive rating of 113,  which is much better than Atlanta played in the opening round of the playoffs against Boston (116 ORtg, 121 DRtg), and the Hawks still managed to steal two wins in that series.

The Celtics originally entered this series as steep -310 favorites to advance to the next round, and rightfully so. Boston is the only team in the NBA that ranks Top 3 in both offensive and defensive rating (118 ORtg, 112 DRtg), and the Sixers already find themselves behind the 8-ball early due to the health status of their best player.

However, the Celtics continue to prove time-and-time again that they cannot be trusted. The Hawks simply weren’t very good this year. They finished 8th in the conference with a record of 41-41, while ranking just 18th in the league in net rating (+0.3 NetRtg), and truth be told, given the fact that Atlanta was able to take two games from Boston in the previous round, the Sixers should be able to do the very same in the second, with or without Embiid.

Can Philly win this series without Embiid? Very unlikely. But as the C’s have already learned, the Sixers are still a dangerous basketball team in the absence of their superstar, and if Embiid is able to return and make an impact during the latter part of this series, the Sixers are more than capable of giving the C’s a run for their money.

Sure, Harden probably won’t score 45 points again this time around, but Boston probably won’t shoot 72% FG in the first half either. The spread for this one is far too lopsided. Take the points with the Sixers in Game 2.

Score Prediction: Celtics 112, Sixers 109
Best Bet: Sixers +7.5 (-110)

Take PHI!



Date: Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Venue: TD Garden
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
TV-Time: TNT, 8:00 p.m. ET
Expert Picks

NBA Finals Betting Odds


Philadelphia 76ers
SU: 59-28
ATS: 52-34-1
O/U: 45-41-1
PPG: 115.2
OPPG: 110.9

Boston Celtics
SU: 61-28
ATS: 49-39-1
O/U: 48-40-1
PPG: 117.9
OPPG: 111.4

Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)

The Celtics are 5-1 ATS in their last six matchups against Philly. (Getty)


  • The Sixers are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven games.
  • The Sixers are 7-0 SU in their last seven games.
  • The Celtics are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in five straight Celtics' games.
  • The Celtics are 12-5 SU in their last 17 games.
  • The Celtics are 9-2 SU in their last 11 home games.
  • The Sixers are 1-5 ATS in their last six games against Boston.
  • The Sixers are 2-4 SU in their last six matchups against Boston.
  • The Sixers are 5-0 SU in their last five road games.