Despite routing the third-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in the series opener, the second-seeded Boston Celtics head into Game 2 of their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series on Thursday as small home underdogs again at the sportsbooks.
The Celtics won 117-101 in Game 1 as five-point home underdogs, improving to 4-1 straight up and against the spread in the past five meetings.
NBA betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 110.7-99.2, Sixers (NBA picks on every game)
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Why the Sixers can cover the spread
Philadelphia has still gone an impressive 20-2 SU and 15-7 ATS in its last 22 games with the Game 1 loss, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
The 76ers also have plenty of confidence, knowing they lost Game 2 against the Miami Heat 113-103 in the first round to snap their 17-game winning streak only to rebound with three straight victories.
In Game 1, All-Star center Joel Embiid turned in a dominant performance with 31 points and 13 rebounds, and his supporting cast just needs to play better in Game 2.
Why the Celtics can cover the spread
Boston played well defensively in the series opener, limiting Philadelphia to its lowest points total since a 101-91 road win over the Atlanta Hawks on March 30.
The 76ers missed 15 of their first 20 shots from the field and particularly struggled from beyond the three-point arc, where they failed to connect on 21-of-26 attempts.
The Celtics also got another strong game from new starting point guard Terry Rozier, as he picked up where he left off in the last series by totaling 29 points, eight rebounds and six assists. His impact has surprisingly helped overcome the loss of Kyrie Irving.
Smart betting pick
Home court will likely be a huge factor in this series, especially because Boston plays so well at TD Garden. The Celtics are riding a six-game home winning streak both SU and ATS, and they are 9-1 SU and ATS in their last 10 there as well.
As Philadelphia continues to get a lot of love from oddsmakers and bettors alike, Boston remains the higher seed and has thrived even without Irving and Jaylen Brown in the lineup.
Even with Brown (hamstring) doubtful for Game 2, take the Celtics to win and cover again.
NBA betting trends
Philadelphia is 15-5 ATS in its last 20 games.
Philadelphia is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games on the road.
The total has gone over in 10 of Boston’s last 12 games.
All NBA odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report’s official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week’s top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.