Celtics Host Sixers In Stellar Eastern Conference Showdown

Joel Embiid and the 76ers will try to make a statement in Boston

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76ers (18-7) at Celtics (17-6)

BOS -1.5, O/U 210, Thursday December 12th, 8:05pm EST

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  • Two of the Eastern Conference’s best teams will square off when the Philadelphia 76ers (18-7) square off against the Boston Celtics (17-6) on Thursday night. Boston opened as a 1.5-point home favorite and the over/under opened at 210. 

  • The 76ers have won seven of their last eight games and are coming off an impressive 97-92 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. They’ve gone 3-4-1 ATS over that eight-game span, have gone 12-11 ATS overall and the over has gone 10-13 in their contests. This will be the first game of a back-to-back for the Sixers. 

  • The Celtics are coming off a 122-117 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday and are therefore on the second half of a back-to-back. They’ve won six of their last eight games and have gone 5-3 ATS over that span. On the season, Boston has gone 14-8 ATS and the over has gone 9-14 in their games. 

  • The Celtics are 11-1 ATS against teams with winning records this season. 

  • The 76ers won their previous meeting 107-93 (the season-opener back on October 23rd). 

  • BetQL’s NBA Model lists a best bet against the spread, on the moneyline and on the total in this matchup. Keep reading to find out what they are!

76ers

While depth has been an early-season concern for the Sixers, their starting five has been cohesive and productive. All five starters average over 13 points and three assists per game, as Brett Brown’s team-first offensive system has been on full display. Joel Embiid (22.0 points, 12.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists in 30.4 minutes), Tobias Harris (19.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists in 34.2 minutes), Josh Richardson (15.4 points, 3.3 rebounds, 3.4 assists in 31.2 minutes), Ben Simmons (14.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, 8.4 assists in 34.3 minutes) and Al Horford 13.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.9 assists in 30.8 minutes) will pose a threat to any Eastern Conference team, including the Celtics. 

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Overall, Philadelphia ranks 15th in the NBA in Offensive Rating and has scored 109.6 points per game (16th), managed a 47.5 field goal percentage (3rd) and 36.6 three-point field goal percentage (9th). They’ve pulled down 46.3 rebounds per game (9th), dished out 26.8 assists per game (3rd) compared to 16.5 turnovers per game (28th) and have operated at just below the league average in pace (17th). While their turnover issue is significant and needs to be cleaned up, all-in-all, the Sixers are a complete team. 

Celtics 

Both Gordon Hayward (nose) and Marcus Smart (eye) are questionable for this game. Both Hayward (18.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 4.1 assists in 30.7 minutes) and Smart (11.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists in 31.8 minutes) are key pieces of Boston’s team. Hayward has resembled the pre-injury, All-Star version of himself this season and Smart is the defensive leader and lifeblood of the team. Kemba Walker (21.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.1 assists in 32.0 minutes), Jayson Tatum (21.1 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists in 34.1 minutes) and Jaylen Brown (20.0 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists in 33.4 minutes) have all been 20-plus point scorers for the Celtics and have shouldered most of the offensive load, but it’ll be a significant loss if Boston is forced to play without Hayward and/or Smart. 

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The Celtics are 11-1 ATS against teams with winning records this season. That’s important to remember, even if their first loss in that situation came in their last game. Boston ranks 7th in the NBA in Offensive Rating and has scored 110.9 points per game (14th), managed a 45.3 field goal percentage (16th), 35.8 three-point field goal percentage (14th), has pulled down 45.7 rebounds per game (12th), dished out 23.4 assists per game (19th) and committed 13.5 turnovers per game (3rd). The Celtics tend to play at a slow pace, as they rank 23rd in Brad Stevens’ system. Therefore, unless they set the tempo early-on, it’ll be a pace-up spot for the C’s. 

Prediction

BetQL’s NBA Model lists a best bet against the spread, on the moneyline and on the total in this matchup. Find out what they are