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The 2-seed Boston Celtics (0-1) lost home-court advantage for the 2023 Eastern Conference Semifinals when the 3-seed Philadelphia 76ers (1-0) stole Game 1 Monday.
I agree with Boston being the Game 2 favorite but I disagree with the number. The Celtics opened as -10 favorites when Joel Embiid‘s Game 2 status was in doubt.
After word got out that Embiid should be in Philly’s starting 5, Boston fell to -8 favorites. Either way, the Celtics and their home-court advantage are officially overrated by the betting market.
Including Game 1, Boston is 3-2 straight up vs. Philadelphia this season and 4-1 against the spread (ATS). However, the Celtics are out-scoring the Sixers just 111.6-109.0 in those five meetings.
Moreover, the vibes are high in Philly with Embiid expected to return for Game 2 and winning the 2022-23 NBA MVP Tuesday.
James Harden answered the bell Monday by ripping apart the Celtics with Embiid out. Harden scored a game-high 45 points in a vintage performance, hitting mad step-backs and going 7-for-14 from behind the arc.
Boston out-performed Philadelphia in three of the “four factors” in Game 1. But, the Celtics peed down their legs with several dumbfounding turnovers down the stretch, which was the difference in the game.
76ers at Celtics Game 2 odds (DraftKings Sportsbook)
- Tip-off: 8 p.m. ET.
- Venue: TD Garden in Boston.
I know Philly is the sucker side in Game 2. DraftKings is reporting via VSIN that most of the action is on the 76ers at the time of writing. The Sixers are now a public ‘dog and those tend to get slaughtered by sportsbooks.
That said, Embiid returning to action Wednesday reduces Philly’s chance of having a let-down game. Road teams tend to shrink in Game 2 after winning the series opener. But, Embiid winning the NBA MVP should be motivation for the 76ers.
Also, Philadelphia is one of the few teams that can match Boston from 3-point land. The Sixers had the best 3-point shooting percentage in the NBA during the regular season and ranked 5th defensively.
Boston lost to Philly in Game 1 despite winning the rebounding and free-throw battles. The Sixers’ offensive free-throw rate improves greatly Embiid is on the floor and he’s their leading rebounder.
BET: 76ers +8 (-110) at DraftKings, down to +6.5
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