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Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers - 5/5/18 Game 3 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Boston Celtics (61-30) at Philadelphia 76ers (56-33)

NBA Basketball: Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 5:00 pm (Wells Fargo Center)

The Line: Philadelphia 76ers -9 -- Over/Under: 206 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers meet Saturday in game three of the second round of the NBA playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Boston Celtics can take complete control of this series by winning this road game and improving their lead to 3-0. The Boston Celtics are averaging 104.7 points on 44.8 percent shooting and allowing 101.9 points on 48.3 percent shooting. Al Horford is averaging 18.4 points and 8.9 rebounds while Terry Rozier is averaging 19.1 points and 6.9 assists. Jaylen Brown is the third double-digit scorer and Jayson Tatum is grabbing 4.7 rebounds. The Boston Celtics are shooting 37.6 percent from beyond the arc and 77.5 percent from the free throw line. The Boston Celtics are allowing 35.6 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 42.1 rebounds per game. The Boston Celtics have lost six straight road games.

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Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers - 5/5/18 Game 3 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers need a home victory here to cut the lead to 2-1 if they want any real cache of winning this series. The Philadelphia 76ers are averaging 110.7 points on 44.3 percent shooting and allowing 106 points on 44.9 percent shooting. Joel Embiid is averaging 21.4 points and 11.6 rebounds while JJ Redick is averaging 20.4 points and 2.6 assists. Ben Simmons is the third double-digit scorer and Dario Saric is grabbing 7.1 rebounds. The Philadelphia 76ers are shooting 34.7 percent from beyond the arc and 76 percent from the free throw line. The Philadelphia 76ers are allowing 41.1 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 49.1 rebounds per game. The Philadelphia 76ers have lost just two home games since February.

The Celtics are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Conference Semifinals games, 36-17 ATS in their last 53 road games and 21-8 ATS in their last 29 games overall. The 76ers are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Saturday games, 21-7 ATS in their last 28 home games and 15-6 ATS in their last 21 games overall. The Celtics are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings in Philadelphia, 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings and the underdog is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings.

The Philadelphia 76ers are obviously going to play better in front of their home crowd, and the Celtics haven't been as good on the road where they've lost six straight and shot just 39.5 percent in three games against the Bucks. However, I'm not laying nine points with the way the Celtics are playing. The Celtics still have the best coach in this series, and defense always travels. The Boston Celtics may be without their best players, but the confidence is oozing out of this team right now. Rozier is looking like an all-star point guard, Horford is making big shots and defending well, and a healthy Brown gives this Boston squad that edge. The Philadelphia 76ers continue to be forced into tough shots and that's been the formula for wins and losses so far these playoffs. When the 76ers make their threes, they win. When they don't fall, they lose. The Celtics defense isn't going anywhere. Give me the points.

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