The NBA season has been a bit different as players have constantly been dealing with NBA COVID-19 news, shuffling in and out of health and safety protocols due to positive tests or contact tracing. Let’s jump straight into BetUS’ Celtics vs 76ers betting preview.
There are a number of young and up-and-coming stars featured in this titan matchup of the Eastern Conference, and these teams love to get physical with each other.
Are the Celtics going to make the NBA Finals this year? Can Joel Embiid win the MVP?
These are two serious questions that need to be taken into consideration for this season, so let’s break down the matchup and help you determine your best bets when betting online on this contest.
Needing a Full Roster
Boston began with Kemba Walker on the injured list, nursing his knee troubles from last season. Walker made his season debut Sunday but looked rusty. He took a shot to the ribs after playing 20 minutes and never returned.
It is unclear the significance of this injury, but the good news is that after the game, Walker claimed he was pain-free when playing.
That was a welcome sign for his second year in Boston, as the development of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have jumped another level, making them one of the NBA teams considered a title contender.
We saw glimpses of Tatum’s development in the bubble. But, now Brown has been on fire to start the year, averaging 26 points, six rebounds and four assists while shooting over 50% from the field.
By the looks of it, Tatum will likely be out due to testing positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 10.
That means it will be up to Brown to lead the way as Walker gets his legs back under him.
Look for role players like Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis to make significant contributions.
Coming off bubble basketball, there was a significant amount of buzz about the 76ers possibly trading one of their two young superstars.
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been playing together for a couple of years. However, they still have yet to make noise in the postseason.
While Simmons has regressed statistically, he has been on an absolute tear defensively. He can truly guard all five positions on the floor.
Embiid has been a man on a mission. Maybe it was the trade rumors, or maybe it was something else. But, you can see it in the way he plays how motivated he is to prove himself.
Embiid is averaging 25 points and 12 rebounds while also taking eight foul shots per game. He is showing that he can be the best player on a championship-caliber team.
The development of these two is encouraging, and Embiid has consistently played well against Boston since they lost Al Horford.
To be transparent, Boston does not have an answer for Embiid defensively. I could easily see him have one of those games where he goes for 36 points and 15 rebounds.
Betting Odds and Pick
Taking a look at the NBA odds, we find the Philadelphia 76ers favored at home at five points.
Both of these teams are legitimate contenders to come out of the Eastern Conference. However, it makes sense that the Sixers draw the home favorite, especially with Boston missing Tatum.
I think Embiid will be poised to dominate the paint against Boston’s big men. He’ll make a living at the free-throw line shooting double-digit attempts.
As much as I like Boston, its roster is just a tad too depleted for me to believe in it when making my NBA picks.
Free Celtics vs 76ers Betting Pick: Philadelphia 76ers -5