Celtics-76ers Betting Preview: Is Boston Overvalued Without Kyrie?

Celtics-76ers Betting Preview: Is Boston Overvalued Without Kyrie? article feature image
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Photo credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Jayson Tatum and Gordon Hayward

Betting Odds: Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers

  • Spread: 76ers -6.5
  • Over/Under: 225
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT

>> All odds as of 1:45 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets


No Kyrie Irving tonight for the Boston Celtics, who will try to cover on the road — something they’ve rarely done this season.

Is there value in tonight’s line? Our analysts dive in.


Betting Trends to Know

Under Brad Stevens, the Celtics are 103-82-3 (56%) ATS as an underdog in the regular season, including 77-52-1 (60%) ATS as a road dog. — John Ewing

In the past two seasons, the Celtics have dominated the 76ers, going 9-2 straight-up and ATS, covering by 6.1 points per game. — Ewing

The Celtics have recently hit a bit of a skid ATS, losing three straight against the Cavaliers, Lakers and Clippers. They are just 5-10-1 ATS in their last 16 games.

Under Brad Stevens, the Celtics are 27-15 (64.3%) ATS when playing on at least a three-game ATS losing streak, profiting bettors 10.8 units. Since Stevens took over the Celtics job in 2013, he is the second-most profitable coach in the NBA in this spot behind only Erik Spoelstra. — Evan Abrams

The Sixers offense is rolling right now after scoring 143 points against the Lakers and 117 points against the Nuggets in their last two wins. Philly now faces the Celtics at home in their fourth consecutive home game.

Over the last three seasons, Philly is 38-19 ATS (66.7%) at home against over-.500 teams — the most-profitable team in the NBA in that spot (ahead of the Celtics, who rank second). — Abrams

Boston enters this game after two losses, which is a good sign for Philly. Over the last three seasons, the Sixers are 16-5 (76.2%) ATS at home against over-.500 teams that are coming off a loss. — Abrams


Mears: Why I’m Betting the 76ers and Under

On the surface, it seems like the Celtics have done just fine this year without Kyrie Irving, who is out tonight with a sprained right knee.

In the nine games he’s missed, the Celtics have gone 7-2 straight-up and 5-4 against-the-spread (ATS). But looking into those games a bit more, it hasn’t exactly been a murderer’s row of opponents:

  • at Utah: lost by 8
  • vs. New Orleans: won by 13
  • vs. Minnesota: won by 13
  • vs. Dallas: won by 21
  • at Brooklyn: lost by 7
  • vs. Cleveland: won by 20
  • vs. Brooklyn: won by 8
  • vs. Charlotte: won by 32
  • at Cleveland: won by 7

Only three of the nine games came on the road, and in those the Celtics went just 1-2 straight-up and 0-3 ATS.

That goes hand-in-hand with their overall home/road splits this season, which is fairly drastic. Here’s how the league overall has performed at home, on the road and the difference between the two:

As you can see, the 76ers are much better at home than on the road, with a ridiculous +12.5 Net Rating differential between those locations. The Celtics are more middle of the pack, but their +6.6 Net Rating differential is still noteworthy, especially without Kyrie Irving.

There are a lot of things pointing toward the 76ers today: They’re perhaps still undervalued after their trade acquiring Tobias Harris, and they typically crush at home. On the year, they’re 23-6 straight-up and 16-13 ATS in Philly.

Further, I think the Celtics are a bit overvalued on the road — where they’ve gone 9-16-1 ATS this year — and without Kyrie, who has drastic individual splits for the team. With him on the floor, the Celtics have been 9.1 points per 100 possessions better than with him off — the 91st percentile of players this year.

So this line of Philly -6 or -6.5 means they’re about three points better than the Celtics in this spot, if we assume regular home-court advantage. But I’m not sure regular home-court advantage applies here, plus I think that three point differential underrates Philly getting better with Harris and Boston struggling in meaningful games without Kyrie.

Thus, I’ll be betting Philly as well as the under in this game. Of note, one of our Pro Systems at Bet Labs called “Reverse Line Movement Unders” has a match on this game tonight. — Bryan Mears


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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