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The 2-seed Boston Celtics (1-1) evened the 2023 Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. the 3-seed Philadelphia 76ers (1-1) with a 121-87 Game 2 beatdown. They head to Philly Friday for Game 3 with a 7:30 p.m. ET tip at Wells Fargo Center.
I’ve gotten racked in both Celtics-76ers games in this series. My Under wager in Game 1 whiffed epically and my Game 2 bet on Philadelphia’s spread was even worse.
Truth be told, I’m really butt-hurt about both teams. It feels like whenever I bet for or against either the Celtics or 76ers I lose. Besides the LA Clippers, the Celtics and Sixers have cost me the most money this season.
Furthermore, these teams are so random. Boston chucks mad 3-pointers and James Harden and Joel Embiid have some of the worst injury luck in the NBA. There’s no telling what’s going to happen Friday.
A normal person passes on Celtics-76ers Game 3 and focuses on the other NBA playoff game Friday or MLB. But, I’m not normal. I’m a sports betting sicko. And I have a workaround: Player props.
76ers SF Tobias Harris points prop (14.5)
- OVER 14.5 points: (-130)
- Under 14.5 points: (+100)
Tobias Harris has been the most consistent 76er in these playoffs. The knock on Harris has always been he doesn’t pull his weight in Philly and hasn’t played up to his contract. But, all of his numbers have improved in these playoffs.
Harris is averaging 19.2 points per game (PPG) in six postseason games on 55.7% shooting and 50.0% from 3. During the regular season, Harris averaged just 14.7 PPG on 50.1% shooting and 38.9% from 3-point land.
He went Over 14.5 points in all six games in these playoffs. Harris put up 16.9 PPG in last year’s playoffs. Harris scored at least 15 points in seven of 12 of those games.
Also, Harris has a very simple role in Philadelphia: Get buckets. No one expects Harris to create looks for teammates or stop Jayson Tatum or Jaylen Brown. Harris spaces the floor for the Sixers and is an outlet for Harden and Embiid.
Lastly, Harris is much healthier and more durable than Harden and Embiid. He only missed eight games this season and two of those were due to the 76ers resting for the playoffs.
BET: Sixers SF Tobias Harris OVER 14.5 points (-130) at DraftKings Sportsbook
Celtics C Al Horford points prop (7.5)
- OVER 7.5 points: (-125)
- Under 7.5 points: (-105)
Horford sucked in Game 2 and is due for a bounce-back in Game 3 even though the series is in Philly. After 10 points in Boston’s series-clinching victory vs. the Hawks and 11 vs. the 76ers in Game 1, he scored just 5 points on 2-for-10 shooting.
During the regular season, Horford scored 15 and 11 points in two of his three games against the Sixers, both of which were on the road. Plus, Horford is used to playing against Embiid and performs well.
In their 14 career regular-season meetings, Horford averages 12.4 PPG on 41.4% from behind the arc. In six career playoff games against Embiid, he averages 13.7 PPG on 50.8% shooting.
Horford’s 3-pointer made prop is set at 1.5 and the Over is juiced to -160. The implied win probability on a -160 line is 61.5%, so the market thinks there’s a good chance Horford scores at least 6 points.
If Horford hits two 3s as the market expects, all he has to do is get a cheap putback or hit a couple of free throws to go Over the 7.5 points. Boston’s offense is stacked so Horford should get plenty of good looks.
BET: Celtics C Al Horford OVER 7.5 points (-125) at DraftKings
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