Celtics vs. 76ers Game 3 Updated Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Friday, August 21)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Jaylen Brown, Joel Embiid and Jayson Tatum.
- The Boston Celtics are 6-point favorites over the Philadelphia 76ers in the updated odds for Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.
- The 76ers have struggled so far in this matchup and Reed Wallach thinks those issues will continue on Friday night.
- Read his full betting preview for Celtics vs. 76ers:
Updated Celtics vs. 76ers Betting Odds
|Celtics Odds||-6 [BET NOW]|
|76ers Odds||+6 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-211/+175 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||216 [BET NOW]|
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
Odds via Parx, which offers new customers a 20% profit boost + $500 risk-free wager on their first bet AND your bets automatically sync to the Action app. Learn more about BetSync here.
Up 2-0, the Boston Celtics can put the Philadelphia 76ers on the brink of elimination with a win on Friday night.
Fresh off a blowout 128-101 win in Game 2, the Celtics open Game 3 with the same line they closed in the prior game, -4.5 with the total set at 216. Boston has covered the spread in both games, and the games have both went over.
Can Philly respond and get back into this series, or will Jayson Tatum and the Celtics go up 3-0?
Brett Brown used what seemed to be his ace up the sleeve by inserting Matisse Thybulle into the starting lineup in an effort to slow down Tatum. Despite a strong start, the Sixers built up a double-digit lead in the first quarter, Boston stormed back and was up by eight points at the half before opening up the flood gates and finishing the Sixers by 27.
Thybulle was gashed by Tatum in Game 2, as the rookie was a -30 on the floor in Wednesday’s affair. Unfortunately for the Sixers, there simply aren’t any more options. Thybulle is not a threat from three, but the Sixers aren’t getting much production outside of Joel Embiid besides Josh Richardson, so expect the rookie to stay out there and give it a go again. They are going to need to find a way to slow down Tatum and hope that the Celtics cool off from three after a barrage in Game 2, shooting 19-of-43 from downtown.
Game 2 was similar to Game 1 in that Embiid started dominant, calling for the ball, finishing through contact and looking like a world-beater. However, once again, he ran out of gas in the second quarter, and the Celtics were more deliberate in taking the game from Philly in this one.
For the Sixers in Game 3, they are going to need someone besides Embiid to get going early. Alec Burks was not used until the middle of the second quarter in Game 2 after a strong opening game, Brown should probably try and tap into that valve alongside Josh Richardson. With Tobias Harris unable to make an impact in this series, who is 10-30 through 2 games, the Sixers may need to look elsewhere.
Ultimately, do the Sixers have the fight to show up here, or are they going to roll over? The first six minutes isn’t enough against this Celtic team. I’m not sure if Embiid has enough in the tank to carry Philadelphia to a win and may be already thinking about the offseason.
Like the Game 2 preview, it starts with Tatum. The Duke product is already a superstar, and there is nothing Philadelphia can do to stop him. His side-step off the bounce three is already a go-to move with the best in the league, and it was used quite often on his 8-of-12 three-point shooting on Wednesday.
As a whole, the Celtics were awesome after the opening six minutes, and they are firmly in control of the series now. Without Gordon Hayward (sprained ankle), Boston’s bench really stepped up, getting quality performances from the likes of Enes Kanter, Brad Wanamaker, Grant Williams and Romeo Langford. For Boston, this is a big development against a shorthanded Sixer club. The Celtics were very top-heavy to begin with, so getting positive minutes out of reserves in any situation is big for this series and moving forward.
Boston has used sound decision-making — only nine turnovers in two games — and done a fine job on Embiid, all things considered. While he has gotten off to hot starts, Boston has thrown an array of bodies at him and forced him out on the perimeter. Brad Stevens will live with Embiid jump shots rather than dunks.
By limiting turnovers and generating good looks from beyond the arc, the Celtics can overpower Embiid and the Sixers as the game goes on.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Boston at -4.5 is a play for me. I can’t back this Sixers team with the lineups Brown is using along with the lack of energy Philly has shown late in games. Boston is rolling right now and seems poised to make this a sweep. I’ll continue to ride the Celtics until Embiid and Co. show any sort of resistance.
THE PICK: Boston -5 (up to -6)