Philadelphia 76ers & Boston Celtics Start Second Round NBA Playoff Betting
Last season, the No. 8 Memphis Grizzlies were able to shock the world and beat the No. 1 San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. This year, another No. 8 has struck in the form of the Philadelphia 76ers, who are now in the second round of the postseason after taking down the No. 1 Chicago Bulls. Next up for the Sixers is a date with the Boston Celtics, a series which gets started on Saturday night at the TD Garden.
The key to this series is going to be quite simple on both sides. Whichever team plays better defense is going to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Boston has now held eight straight opponents to 87 points or fewer, and that is one of the most impressive stats that we have seen in quite some time. Sure, the big names like Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett are getting their points, rebounds, and assists, but in the end, it is this defense, especially in the clutch that makes the boys in green and white just so dangerous.
The 76ers are going to really have to control their emotions in this series. They really put everything that they had into taking down the Bulls, and the postgame celebration after finishing that series off looked like a team winning the NBA Finals, not just clinching a spot in the second round of the playoffs. Philly got the job done with a defense that truly stifled the Chicago frontcourt, and it cut off all sorts of entry lanes into the paint for Carlos Boozer and the sorts. Chicago failed to score more than 82 points in a game in the final four games of that series.
The problem though, comes on the other end of the floor. Yes, Jrue Holiday had a series to remember, averaging 18.2 points per game and knocking down well over 40 percent of his three-point baskets. However, aside from that, the consistency just wasn’t there for any of these players, and the end result was a bunch of very ugly offensive games, especially in Game 5 when the boys from the City of Brotherly Love scored just 69 points.
The good news for the 76ers is that they did take two out of three in the regular season when these teams locked horns. The bad news is that they don’t have home court advantage, and the home team romped to a 3-0 SU and ATS edge. The one game that was played here on the Parquet Court at the TD Garden resulted in a 103-79 beat down by Boston, and that game occurred just over a month ago. The home team has also won six in a row in this series.
This is the first time in the last nine years that the Sixers have been in the second round of the playoffs. That being said, the oddsmakers are giving them a good shot in this series. 5Dimes Sportsbook is featuring Philadelphia as just a +175 underdog. Boston is -210, but this series will very quickly be a de facto pick ‘em if the 76ers can take one of these first two games that are to be played in Boston.