Game 3 Predictions & Odds: Celtics vs. 76ers

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Betting Odds - Celtics vs. 76ers

The Celtics opened as a 4.5-point favorite for Game 3 at PlayMGM but are five-point favorites pretty much everywhere as of Thursday evening. They were a six-point 'chalk' in Game 1 and closed favored by 4.5 in Wednesday's Game 2 and covered each time.

The total opened at 216 and has held steady at that figure as tip-off approaches. The new figure is closer to the Game 1 figure (217) than where it closed for Game 2's 128-101 Boston blowout (214).

Be sure to follow all the Game 3 line movements.

Game 2 Recap

The Celtics trailed by as many 14 points in the opening quarter before responding to cut into the deficit before ultimately ending up double-digits by halftime. Joel Embiid was able to have his way in the paint but the Sixers ran into trouble getting him the ball cleanly and then were overwhelmed by a barrage of 3-pointers.

Jayson Tatum finished with 33 points in leading five Boston players who scored in double-figures, setting a playoff scoring high for the second straight game. He shot for 8-for-12 from 3-point range as Boston finished 19-for-43 from beyond the arc, bolstered by the backups finishing 7-for-9. Boston led by as much as 28 points.

Head coach Brad Stevens credited his bench for the comeback. Celtics reserves outscored Philadelphia's 41-20 as Enes Kanter and Grant Williams combined for 19 points and 15 rebounds in providing a different look up front. Kanter frustrated Embiid and completely ouplayed Al Horford, who disappointed in finishing with just four points and two boards in 23 minutes off the bench.

With Gordon Hayward missing the first game in what's expected to be a month-long stint on the injured list due to a badly sprained ankle, Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker got more looks and combined for 42 points despite shooting 3-for-13 from 3-point range. Marcus Smart started in Hayward's place and finished just 1-for-7 on 3-pointers. In other words, it could've been worse. Embiid led Philadelphia with 34 points and 10 rebounds. Josh Richardson added 18 points.


Game 2 Betting Results

Outcome: Boston 128, Philadelphia 101

  • Game: Celtics Win (128-101), Celtics Cover (-4.5), Over (214)
  • First Quarter: 76ers Win (33-27) 76ers Cover (+1.5), Over (54.5)
  • First Half: Celtics Win (65-57), Celtics Cover (-2.5), Over (107.5)
  • Second Half: Celtics Win (63-44), Celtics Cover (-.5), Under (108.5)

Celtics vs. 76ers
How to Handicap Game 3

(SU-Straight Up, ATS - Against the Spread, OU - Over-Under)

Celtics Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats
  • Overall: 50-24 SU, 43-27-4 ATS, 35-38-1 O/U
  • Bubble: 7-3 SU, 5-4-1 ATS, 5-4-1 O/U

It definitely helps the Celtics' cause that they're not being subjected to a venue change since they would ordinarily be traveling to Philadelphia for this Game 3 if the NBA playoffs weren't being held through a pandemic.

Boston has won five straight contests as a favorite in the bubble, last losing when it rested starters against Washington on Aug. 13. Boston's defense has helped hold opponents to 101 or fewer points in four of the last six contests. Tatum is averaging a team-best 32.5 points and nine boards through the first two games.

The 128-point Game 2 outburst matched the C's second-highest output in Orlando and snapped a run of three straight games to the low side. The 'under' had been 4-1 in matchups between the Celtics and 76ers this season prior to Game 2.

76ers Betting Outlook

Inside the Stats
  • Overall: 43-32 SU, 31-40-4 ATS, 40-34-1 O/U
  • Bubble: 4-6 SU, 3-7 ATS, 6-4 O/U

Joel Embiid and the 76ers are 2-2 as the "home team" in the Orlando bubble. (AP).

Philadelphia hadn't lost at Wells Fargo in 2020 and went 29-2 in its building this season. Not being able to rebound from an 0-2 deficit in front of their sometime adoring fan base definitely hinders the Sixers' ability to bounce back without one of its All-Stars.

The 76ers are just 2-3 following losses in the bubble, dropping three of the last four. They had been on a 5-1 run straight up following setbacks prior to the coronavirus-related hiatus. Embiid is averaging 30 points and 13 boards through the first two games of the series.

The 'over' is on a 12-4 run in games involving Philadelphia, which has topped the century mark in 16 consecutive contests. The 76ers have managed just 101 points over the first two games of the series, their lowest scoring totals since Feb. 26. Philadelphia has surrendered 124 or fewer points in six of its 10 games in the bubble. It surrendered that many points only five times over their first 63 contests.

Key Injuries


  • Gordon Hayward: Ankle - Out
  • Javonte Green: Knee - Questionable

Hayward sustained an ankle injury with three minutes remaining in Game 1 and is done for the foreseeable future. Since he was expected to leave the bubble to be present at the birth of a child some time in December, there's been talk that he'll try and tie his rehab in with paternity leave if possible.

Green came up on the injury report for this one due to a right knee sprain. Brown, who was listed as probable for Game 2 due to a right thigh contusion, has come off the report completely. Rookie Romeo Langford also is healthy enough to play and played nearly 23 minutes in Game 2 despite tearing ligaments in his wrist and participating in just a few seconds in the series opener.


  • Ben Simmons: Knee - Out

The 76ers lost Simmons in their third seeding game, a 107-98 victory over Washington. They're 2-5 SU and ATS without him, defeating the Magic and Rockets. Everyone else on the roster is reportedly healthy.

Game 3 Best Bet Picks

The 76ers must get more out of Tobias Harris, Horford and the player head coach Brett Brown turned to as a potential Tatum stopper in looking for answers in Simmons' spot in the starting five, rookie Matisse Thybulle. None were as effective as they hoped to be in Game 2 where as Brown, Smart and key reserve Brad Wanamaker all delivered intense, sharp performances. The Sixers are fighting an uphill battle without Simmons and the fact Stevens is a much better in-game tactician than Brown. Without a homecourt advantage to help swing momentum, it's hard to see Philly rallying.

Score Prediction: Boston 112 Philadelphia 104