Philadelphia 76ers (43-30) at Boston Celtics (48-24)
NBA Basketball: Monday, August 17, 2020 at 6:30 pm (HP Field House)
The Line: Boston Celtics -5.5 -- Over/Under: 218.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers do battle in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Monday night.
The Philadelphia 76ers have split their eight games in the bubble to finish with the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid led the team with averages of 23.0 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, Tobias Harris is averaging 19.6 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, Josh Richardson is averaging 13.7 points per game while Al Horford averaged 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. As a team, the 76ers averaged 110.7 points per game on 46.8 percent shooting from the field and 36.8 percent shooting from the 3-point line. Ben Simmons underwent surgery on his left knee and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics have been in pretty good shape lately as they won five of their eight games in the bubble to finish with the third seed in the Eastern Conference. Jayson Tatum averaged 23.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, Kemba Walker averaged 20.4 points and 4.8 assists per game, Jaylen Brown averaged 20.3 points while Gordon Hayward averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. As a team, the Celtics averaged 113.7 points per game while shooting 46.1 percent from the field and 36.4 percent from the 3-point line.
Looking at the betting trends, the 76ers are 7-15-1 ATS in their last 23 games against a team with a winning record, 0-6 ATS in their last six games following a win of more than 10 points and 4-0 ATS in their last four Conference Quarterfinals games. The Celtics are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games against a team with a winning record, 15-5-1 ATS in their last 21 games playing on three or more days rest and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Head to head, the over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in Boston, the 76ers are 1-6 ATS in the last seven meetings in Boston and the 76ers are 5-12 ATS in the last 17 meetings overall.
The 76ers were struggling to build momentum in the bubble as they were constantly dealing with changes after losing Simmons for the rest of the season. Plenty of the 76ers’ success will depend on how Embiid plays, but I’m expecting a lot from Harris who has looked great in the bubble. The Celtics are coming into this one as the healthier team in better form, but it was actually the 76ers who won the regular season series by 3-1. The 76ers are 5-12 ATS in the last 17 meetings overall and I think that trend continues here as the more consistent Celtics claim first blood in this series.