NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: 76ers vs. Celtics Expert Picks & Predictions May 3

NBA Odds, Best Bets Today: 76ers vs. Celtics Expert Picks & Predictions May 3 article feature image
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Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images (EDITORS NOTE: This image was captured using a slow shutter speed). Pictured: Tobias Harris #12, James Harden #1, Georges Niang #20 and Paul Reed #44 of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The NBA Playoffs have consistently gotten better each night and Wednesday's solo game has a lot to live up to after a heart-pounding doubleheader last night. For tonight's matchup, we get Game 2 of the 76ers vs Celtics series, one that many had written off until the Sixers shocked the Celtics with an outright win on the road as double-digit underdogs.

Action Network's NBA crew has four best bets today, including plays on team totals and player props. Check out their analysis and expert picks for 76ers vs Celtics Game 2 below.


EDITOR'S NOTE —Joel Embiid is expected to return to the lineup for the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 2, barring any setbacks, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. For real-time injury updates, check out our FantasyLabs NBA news page.


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76ers vs. Celtics Team Total
76ers vs. Celtics 1H Total
76ers vs. Celtics Player Prop
76ers vs. Celtics Player Prop

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics

Pick
76ers Under 103.5 Total (-112)
Book
FanDuel
Tipoff
8 p.m. ET
TV
TNT

Matt Moore: After a loss, the Celtics have held their opponent under the team total in eight of 11 games over the past two playoffs.

At 103.5, my first thought was that's awful low for a 2023 playoff game. However, last season we still had comparable offensive performances and the Celtics allowed 96 points per game in those games.

Again I thought, a lot of that had to be the Bucks because they couldn't hit anything in that series. They held the Warriors after a loss to 100 points, 104 points and 103 points. Do I think the Sixers without Joel Embiid are better on offense than the Warriors last year? I do not.

I got this at 104.5, but would go as low as the current number of 103.5.


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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics

Pick
Celtics Over 58.5 1H Total (+100)
Book
FanDuel

Malik Smith: The Celtics have been scorching hot in first halves this postseason. The are averaging 66.7 points in the first half through seven games and have gone over their team total in six of those games. The one miss was by three points in Game 2 against the Hawks.

The 76ers are a great defensive team with Joel Embiid in the lineup, but with him sidelined, the Celtics can get anything they want at the rim. They have a 60.6% Effective Field Goal Percentage in the playoffs, thanks in part to the fact that they are shooting 40.4% from beyond the arc.

Their team total has been at 61.5 on average, so this number isn't respecting the Celtics's early offense at all in my opinion. I like this up to 60.5.


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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics

Pick
Robert Williams o15.5 PTS + REB
Book
FanDuel

Chris Baker: Robert Williams had an elite Net Rating of +25.2 and a Defensive Rating of 105.4 during his 20 minutes in Game 1. Compare that to Al Horford who had a -28.8 Net Rating and a woeful Defensive Rating of 144.1 and I would argue it is reasonable to expect ‘Time Lord’ to play a bit more in Game 2.

Horford looked extremely beatable in pick-and-roll coverage and in switches last night so expect Rob Williams minutes to ramp up in Game 2. That should lead to more stops, more transition opportunities, and a lot more rim-pressure on offense as the 76ers don’t really have anyone that can defend him at the rim.

That level of impact should earn Williams more minutes so I expect him to clear this line. He was right at 14 despite playing just 19.5 minutes in game one so any sort of minutes increase should lead to Rob Williams clearing this rather easily in my opinion.

This is a great matchup for Robert Williams and I expect the Celtics to capitalize on that given how important this game is for them. I took Williams over 14.5 points + rebounds, but I would play this up to 15.5.


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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics

Pick
James Harden u24.5 PTS (-120)
Book
FanDuel

Bryan Fonseca: Forty-five points?!

He's not doing that again, is he?

Part of the James Harden experience this season is the lack of consistency on offense. Last time he hit over 24.5 points before Game 1 was on March 15 — he had 11 points next game. He had 38 on March 4 and had 14 next game — he had a 27 before the 38, but 38 was the explosion. He had 31 on Feb. 23 and just 21 after that.

You get the point.

Only four times this season has Harden followed a game with 25 points or more with another performance of 25-plus: Oct. 18-20, Dec.25-27, Feb. 11-13, March 2-March 4. That's it.

Harden averaged 20.6 points in games without Joel Embiid — doubtful for Game 2 — in the regular season, hitting over 24.5 points once until Game 1 against the Celtics. He had 17 in Game 4 against the Nets without Embiid, as well.

That, combined with the playoff history, I'd be stunned if he gets this over against a Celtics team who should finally be focused after a few weird games.


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