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76ers vs. Celtics 2023 NBA Playoffs Odds and Game 1 Preview – May 1st

By Hank Blaine

The Eastern Conference semifinals between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers start on Monday from Boston but the Sixers might be without expected regular-season MVP Joel Embiid, so the Celtics are heavy favorites.

This marks a league-record 23rd playoff series between these storied franchises, and their first such matchup since Boston completed a four-game sweep in the first round of the 2020 postseason inside the NBA Bubble.

Boston was 3-1 against Philadelphia in the regular season but the Sixers won the most recent meeting 103-101 at home on April 4. Joel Embiid made 20 of 25 shots from the floor and 12 of 13 free throws en route to 52 points to go with 13 rebounds. That game essentially got Embiid the MVP Award. Derrick White had 26 points and Jayson Tatum 19 to lead Boston, which was without All-Star Jaylen Brown.

Nitrobetting is ready to dish out key assists and lob passes with betting tips and news coverage throughout the 2023 NBA Playoffs. This time, let’s break down the upcoming playoff showdown between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics.

Celtics vs. 76ers Game 1 2023 NBA Playoffs Second-Round Information

  • When: Monday, May 1, 2023, 8:30 PM ET
  • Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
  • Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub (76ers) // 98.5 The Sports Hub (Celtics)
  • Live Stream: NBA League Pass
  • NBA Betting Odds: 76ers (+10) / Celtics (-10)

READ MORE: Heat vs. Knicks 2023 NBA Playoffs Odds and Game 2 Preview – May 2nd

Why Bet on the Philadelphia 76ers?

Embiid missed the clinching Game 4 win of the first round with a knee injury and is in some doubt for Game 1 here. He has been dealing with a sprained LCL in his right knee and might have to wear a brace whenever he can play. While Embiid was able to get some shots up on Sunday at practice, he still hasn’t been able to do any running and that’s the biggest issue at the moment.

Embiid will likely win regular-season MVP this year in part due to his gargantuan numbers, but also in part because of his hefty two-way impact – the Sixers were 6.2 points better offensively and 4.7 points better defensively when he was on the floor (10.9 points better overall).

James Harden will need to turn back the clock if the Sixers will be without Embiid in Games 1 and 2, and he might need to do so anyway. The Celtics defended him pretty well as Harden shot 5-for-16 and 7-for-17 in his final two games against the Celtics during the regular season.

Harden averaged 17.3 points and 8.3 assists on 42-percent three-point shooting in Philly’s sweep against Brooklyn. Solid numbers on the surface, but on shots within five feet he was a dreadful 5-of-20. If Harden embraces a playmaker role, focusing on prioritizing Embiid and Tyrese Maxey as the top scorers, and accepting that he’s the number three guy on this team, this series should be competitive.

If Embiid is out, Philly also will need more out of Paul Reed. They will need the young, energetic big man to step in and produce in place of Embiid as he did in Game 4 against the Nets. He had 10 points and 15 rebounds in that one to finish off the sweep. Reed was in a similar position in Round 2 against the Miami Heat in 2022 when Embiid was hurt. The Sixers did not trust Reed enough to start in place of the injured Embiid, but things have changed now.

“Just understanding what we’re doing,” coach Doc Rivers said of his trust in Reed. “Understanding who he is, getting the trust of his teammates, that’s what people miss. You guys don’t understand that. You got to get all that to play and you got to be able to execute stuff and do stuff and if you can’t, it’s hard to play you big minutes. It just is.”

Why Bet on the Boston Celtics?

Boston advanced with a 128-120 win in Atlanta on Thursday. Brown scored 32 points on a 13-for-25 shooting night, including 6-for-8 from three-point range. Tatum scored 30 points to go with 14 rebounds and seven assists, becoming the fourth player in Celtics history with 10 or more playoff games of 25+ points, 10+ rebounds, and 5+ assists.

The Celtics are now 23-1 (.957) when Tatum and Brown both score 30 points, including the playoffs. That’s the best win percentage by a duo all-time (min 20 games), ahead of Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen (18-2, .900). It was also Tatum’s 17th career 30-point playoff game, passing Paul Pierce for 4th-most in Celtics franchise history, and he is trailing Sam Jones (21) for next on the list.

The simplest way to know how a game went for the Celtics this season has been to look at their 3-point numbers. When the Celtics hit at least 40% of their 3s, their record was 34-2 across the regular season and playoffs. When they were below that mark, it was 27-24.

76ers vs. Celtics Betting Trends

  • 76ers are 5-0-1 ATS in the last 6 games overall.
  • Philadelphia 3-0-1 ATS in its last 4 road games.
  • The total went under in 4 of Philadelphia’s last 5 games when playing on the road against Boston.
  • Celtics are 5-1 ATS in the last 6 home games.
  • Boston 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games overall.
  • The total went over in 4 of Boston’s last 5 games.

76ers vs. Celtics Game 1 Expert Betting Predictions

Celtics 113, Sixers 104.

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This is just one of the many sports betting guides that you can read here at Nitrobetting news. Stay tuned for more 2022-23 NBA season previews and articles and don’t forget to check out the latest basketball betting odds on our online BTC sportsbook.

*All odds stated are subject to change without prior notice.

READ MORE: 2023 NBA Playoffs Second Round Teams