Joel Embiid and the 76ers are in Boston to take on the Celtics Tuesday. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)
- The Philadelphia 76ers seek a season series sweep over the Boston Celtics
- Joel Embiid has averaged 40 points in two meetings with the C’s this season
- Get the latest 76ers vs Celtics odds, betting preview and a pick below
The East-leading Philadelphia 76ers are looking for a season sweep of the Celtics when they visit Boston Tuesday night.
The Celtics have been barely treading water since the all-star break, but they’re hanging tough in the East, currently in playdown positioning.
Philly, meanwhile, is coming off a humbling loss to the Grizzlies, but they should have Joel Embiid back for this one. The big man returned after a 10-game absence from a knee injury Saturday night in a win over the Timberwolves.
Perhaps the oddsmakers aren’t so sure Embiid will play yet, as Philly is currently just a 1-point favorite.
76ers vs Celtics Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-1 (-110)||-116||Ov 222 (-112)|
|Boston Celtics||+1 (-110)||-102||Un 222 (-108)|
Odds as of April 5. Tip-off is Tuesday at 7:30pm ET
Emphasis on Embiid
Credit Doc Rivers and rest of the Philly roster for holding it down when Embiid went down with a knee injury in a March 12 win over the Wizards. Rather than crater, the Sixers held the fort, going 7-3 in his absence.
While Ben Simmons was expected to raise his game — to be fair, he still played at a high level — it was the emergence of Tobias Harris as an offensive hub that kept things moving.
Tobias Harris CARVED up Josh Okogie last night
🔥6/6 from the field
🔥2/2 from 3
🔥2/2 from the line
— MRCROCKPOT TPL (@mrcrockpot) April 4, 2021
Seeing the big man back against the Timberwolves was good for hoops in general. In 29 minutes, Embiid went 6-for-14 from the field for 24 points, while adding eight rebounds, three blocks and two assists. Harris was still potent, leading the team in scoring with 32 points on 13-for-17 shooting from the field, as well as five rebounds and four assists.
So glad that Joel Embiid, the rightful NBA MVP, is back. pic.twitter.com/gHnEXDpaVJ
— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) April 4, 2021
Harris has been the leading scorer for the team minus Embiid seven times, including the letdown loss against the Grizz, the second game of a back-to-back.
But all eyes should be on Embiid Tuesday, as he has dominated Boston in two meetings this season, averaging 40 points per game, 10.5 rebounds while shooting 23-for-34 from the field, a blistering 67.6% clip. Philly won both ends of the two-game set, averaging 119.5 points, with the lowest margin of victory at eight points.
Celtics Seek Consistency
For a franchise that has been to the Conference Finals three times in the last four years, no one expected Boston to be 25-25 sitting in eighth place in the East. But a ragged performance out of the All-Star break, dropping six of eight, has had Boston playing catchup.
Jayson Tatum is locked in
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) April 4, 2021
They’ve gone 4-2 since, including winning two straight, the most recent a 116-86 drubbing of the Hornets Sunday. Jayson Tatum, as has been the case recently, led the team with 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists. It’s the sixth straight game Tatum has led Boston in scoring.
Evan Fournier is so smooth on the offensive end pic.twitter.com/gowg7PNKu6
— Celtics Junkies (@Celtics_Junkies) April 5, 2021
After a brutal two-game opening stretch after being acquired at the trade deadline, Evan Fournier appears to have found his footing with his new club. In a win against the Rockets, Fournier went 7-for-12 from deep en route to 23 points. He followed that up with 17 points and six assists against the Hornets, including another impressive 4-for-5 performance from beyond the arc.
Over the last six games, Boston has scored at the seventh-highest rate in the league at 114 points per game, while holding teams to the seventh-best point output, at 104 points per contest.
What’s the Best Bet?
The 76ers have feasted on Eastern Conference competition, with an East-best 23-7 mark, and that includes an 8-2 record vs the Atlantic Division. One of Philly’s struggles is in the turnover battle, where they rank 25th at 15.2 turnovers a game. If they are able to win that stat, they are 16-6.
Perhaps bettors should be concerned that Philly is just 1-8 ATS in their last nine games in Boston, and are 1-4 ATS in their last five overall. But assuming Embiid does play, Boston is a tier below their division rivals, and this shouldn’t be such a close spread.
The pick: 76ers -1 (-110)
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Having worked in and around sports since 1997, Eric is truly a knowledgeable expert. The two-time journalism grad specializes in all things NBA and NFL. From TSN.ca to CTV’s Olympic Broadcast Consortium, Eric’s work has appeared in local and national publications alike.