76ers vs. Celtics Parlay, Pick, Prop Bet Preview Article


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Let's Profit From Boston's Game 7 Triumph

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics
Sunday, May 14, 2023 at TBD at TD Garden in Boston

  • Boston's star-power is more reliable in a Game 7 than Philadelphia's
  • The Celtics' two-big lineup is effective. It helps stymy Embiid and exposes Embiid's insufficient supporting cast
  • While Boston is deeper, especially with its plethora of good shooters, Philadelphia can stay at home on defense to force Boston to have to score more at the rim

The Game 7 Clutch Factor

Game 7 is a special situation that Boston's star power thrives in whereas Philadelphia's flounders.

Celtics' star Jayson Tatum is 4-1 in Game 7's with the one loss coming to LeBron-led Cleveland in 2018.

Conversely, Philadelphia star center Joel Embiid is 0-2 in Game 7's.

Teammate James Harden has always been known as a playoff choker.

Last year, Philadelphia suffered a second-round exit. In the decisive Game 6 loss, Harden mustered 11 points and committed four turnovers.

So, while Harden apologists will mention the fact that he often had to deal with the then-mighty Warriors in the Western Conference, the fact remains that he tends to disappoint in the playoffs.

Furthermore, head coach Doc Rivers is well-known for blowing postseason leads. He's perhaps most famous for his Clippers' collapse against Denver in 2020.

All of this is to say that Boston is the team that you want to trust in a Game 7 situation while Philadelphia is just the team that you want to go against in Game 7.

Tatum, who helped his Celtics win Game 6 with big three-point shots down the stretch, will be tremendously important in Game 7.

Match-Up Advantages

The Celtics will also be able to rely on match-up advantages that they've maximized by rolling out a two-big lineup.

Having two bigs in the paint who can play defense does a lot to neutralize the 76ers' scoring monster, Joel Embiid, who had scored 30+ points in three straight games before his team's Game 6 defeat.

Embiid's importance is illustrated by the 80.0 defensive rating produced by Boston's two-big lineup in Game 6.

The Celtics know that limiting Embiid entails limiting the 76ers because Embiid lacks sufficient support even when his teammates are making their open threes.

The Total

Boston's stifling defense, spearheaded by Jaylen Brown hounding Harden from Game 2 onwards and by Robert Williams III's characteristically stout rim protection, will do the most to keep this game low-scoring.

I imagine that the 76ers will adjust for Game 7 by ensuring that Boston does not again attempt so many open and wide-open three-point attempts because Boston with its wealth of shooters killed them by converting these attempts.

By staying home on defense, the 76ers will use especially perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate Embiid's elite rim protection to force Boston to make tough shots at the rim.

It will be hard to be locked onto all of Boston's effective shooters -- indeed, the Celtics will win this game -- but this obvious strategy will help limit the Celtics' scoring output.

Best Bet: Parlay Celtics ML at -275 & Under 201 at -110 at +160 with BetOnline

  • Philadelphia's perimeter defense is vulnerable
  • The Celtics have plenty of strong three-point shooters
  • Philadelphia will have trouble scoring at the rim but is also less comfortable than Boston shooting from deep

Philadelphia's Perimeter Defense

Even if Philadelphia were to prioritize its perimeter defense and strategize with the goal of preventing Boston from amassing 25 wide-open three-point attempts again, the fact remains that Philadelphia's perimeter defense is vulnerable.

In these playoffs as a whole, the 76ers have allowed the second-highest frequency of open three-point attempts and the fifth-highest frequency of wide-open three-point attempts.

Based on their statistically underwhelming conversion rates, opponents haven't been capitalizing on these opportunities to the extent that one would expect them to.

Philadelphia's perimeter defense presents for itself such a serious problem because Boston has so many shooters that are dangerous from behind the arc.

Malcolm Brogdon, Jaylen Brown, and Derrick White are all converting well over 40 percent of their three-point attempts in this postseason.

Overall, the Celtics have the fifth-best three-point percentage.

Boston's Rim Protection

Boston's interior defense is stronger now with its two-big lineup.

Embiid has a harder time attempting as many shots and generating as many points for himself as he did before the Boston brought out the two-big lineup.

76ers' head coach Doc Rivers said that he was going to have his team prepared for this lineup tactic, so one cannot say that the Celtics rolled out some big surprise for their Game 6 win.

76er guards Tyrese Maxey, who loves driving inside to score, and James Harden will have a tougher time operating in a clogged-up paint, as will Embiid himself.

But the 76ers also aren't as comfortable shooting many threes like Boston is.

Best Bet: Celtics -6.5 at -105 with BetOnline

  • Al Horford is not someone whom the 76ers are focused on stopping
  • Horford has had plenty of wide-open shooting opportunities but has simply failed to take advantage
  • One should expect Horford to take advantage of his chances from deep because he is a highly efficient shooter.

Under The Radar Guy

It's tempting to play the "over" on big-name stars like Jayson Tatum and Joel Embiid.

While they are sure to wrack up a lot of points for their respective teams, defenses will also make them the centerpiece of their gameplan by focusing on limiting their production.

These players aren't selfish. Embiid, James Harden, and Tatum have in this series been seen plenty of times passing the ball to a teammate with a better look.

The strongest singular example is Tatum giving Marcus Smart the chance to win Game 4 with a wide-open three.

For this prop bet, I think it makes the most sense to find a player who is under the radar -- someone who is both underrated by oddsmakers and who will be overlooked by the opposing team's defense.

Al Horford

I like Al Horford because he is due to do well.

He has yet to punish the 76ers' defense, so Philly is not worried about him.

But he has had his chances.

So far in this series, he has attempted more wide-open three-point attempts per game than any of his teammates.

He has been underperforming, converting only 13 percent of those attempts.

But he should do much better.

In his team's last series, for example, he converted 44.4 percent of his wide-open three-point attempts.

This conversion rate aligns with what one would normally expect from him because he is a good shooter.

He converted 44.6 percent of his three-point attempts this season.

The odds are really attractive for this bet, so it's worth a shot because it has a great chance of hitting.

Best Bet: Al Horford to make 3+ three-pointers at +250 with Bovada
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