76ers vs. Celtics Betting Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions: Back Boston With Kemba Walker Out?

76ers vs. Celtics Betting Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions: Back Boston With Kemba Walker Out? article feature image
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Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Josh Richardson (0) of the Philadelphia 76ers and Jaylen Brown (7) of the Boston Celtics.

76ers at Celtics Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions

  • Spread: 76ers -1.5
  • Over/Under: 212.5
  • Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ABC

Odds as of Saturday morning and via FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.


No Kemba Walker for the Celtics, but the stars will still be out tonight in Boston for this potential Eastern Conference playoff showdown.

What’s a fair line with Kemba out and Joel Embiid back for Philly? Our experts discuss that and more below.

Betting Trend to Know

The Sixers this season are 13-9-2 against the spread (ATS) at home but just 8-16-1 on the road. On the road against good teams (60% win rate or better), they’re just 2-7-1. The Celtics, meanwhile, are 14-9-1 ATS at home, and they’re 8-5 overall in one-possession spreads.

Bryan Mears: How I’m Betting Tonight’s Game

So far bettors have slammed the 76ers, who are getting just 22% of the bets but 56% of the money wagered. We’ve tracked multiple steam moves on Philly.

That said, a bunch of that action came earlier when Kemba Walker was ruled out. He’s been quite important to this team, especially on the offensive end. While he has a neutral on/off differential this season, the offense has been 9.9 points per 100 possessions better with him vs. not. He’s increased their eFG% by 5.4% — both of those marks are just about the best in the league.

A lot of that is because he’s generated better shots for the offense: The Celtics have taken 4.1% more 3s with him operating. They’ve hit 6.3% more of them — that math really adds him in terms of volume and efficiency.

This line is down to Celtics -1 as a result, and the total is down a full point, too. The question is whether that adjustment is enough.

I think it really depends on what you think of the 76ers. On the one hand, they have back Joel Embiid, who is obviously their best player. The team has been 7.3 points/100 better with him playing vs. out, and a huge chunk of that value has been on the defensive end. He’d be an MVP candidate if not for missed time.

That said, even with him last game — he played 34 minutes and put up 21-14 — the Sixers lost on the road to the lowly Hawks.

And that’s the second point: The Sixers have really sucked away from Philly this year…

  • Philly at home: +11.9 Net Rating (2nd), 113.5 ORtg (11th), 101.6 DRtg (1st)
  • Philly away: -3.5 Net Rating (16th), 106.2 ORtg (25th), 109.7 DRtg (7th)

As you can see, the big issue has been the offense, as that unit just hasn’t shown up on the road for whatever reason. Defense does travel better than offense, and role players (important shooters for Philly) typically do much worse on the road.

Given all of those reasons, I think there’s still some value on the under here. — Bryan Mears

Moore: Philly Will Be a Matchup Nightmare

I am not getting suckered in by Boston again. They got hammered last time vs. the Sixers, even without Embiid. With Philly having a fully healthy roster, this is a nightmare matchup for the Celtics — not to mention Kemba Walker is out.

They don’t have the size to counter Embiid and the length of the Sixers really bothers them. I like the letdown effect, but the Sixers seem to take games more seriously in such situations.

The Celtics have averaged the fifth-fewest 3-pointers made and attempted vs. the Sixers relative to all opponents this season. The Sixers inherently limit what the Celtics want to do.

So I will stupidly go ahead and run with what should happen and what has happened in all these matchups since Al Horford and Aron Baynes departed. I like the Sixers to cover.


Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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