Celtics vs. 76ers: How to Bet Saturday's Primetime Matchup

Action Network contributor Joe Dellera previews how to bet 76ers vs. Celtics, including updated odds, picks & predictions for Saturday's showcase.

Celtics vs. 76ers Odds

Celtics Odds -1.5
76ers Odds +1.5
Over/Under 225
Time 8:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Boston Celtics head to the City of Brotherly Love to take on Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers. While Boston sits atop the Eastern Conference, this Philadelphia team is coming off an emotional comeback victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Can the Sixers extend their win streak or should we expect the Celtics to assert their dominance in the conference? Let’s break down my best bet for this Saturday night’ showdown between the Celtics and 76ers.

>> Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds, track your bets and follow all of our experts’ picks.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics are relatively healthy for this matchup missing only Danilo Gallinari who has been out all season. Jaylen Brown will likely continue to play with a face mask but that should not impact his on-court contributions.

The Celtics have been incredible the entire season, but they’ve played particularly well against the 76ers. Boston is 2-0 against Philly this season while scoring 126.2 points with a +9.9 point differential per 100 possessions. Boston shot well above expectation in these matchups; however, that is something they’ve done all season. The Celtics have one of the largest gaps between their actual and expected Effective Field Goal Percentage and that is because of their quality of shot-getters.

Against Philadelphia this season, Boston has the best eFG% of any team in the league at 65.1% and they are decimating the 76ers from long range. The Celtics are shooting an absurd 44.9% on their 3-point attempts and 51.8% from midrange. Moreover, when they get to the rim, they are converting on 83.9% of those opportunities, per Cleaning the Glass.

Boston’s ability to mix and match its defensive looks against Philadelphia has proved to be invaluable. One player they have yet to even deploy against Embiid is Robert Williams and Al Horford has played in just one game this season. Both are active today, but Grant Williams has thrived in this specific matchup. He can really stretch the floor and in two games he has scored 15 points in each matchup while shooting 3-of-3 and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc in those games. I’m curious to see where his props open and I’d look to play his 3s at 1.5 if it’s around +120.

Philadelphia 76ers

The 76ers are also healthy right now aside from backup center Dewayne Dedmon, but he is not exactly a player who is moving the spread.

One of Philadelphia’s major issues in this matchup has been its offense. In the past two seasons, Philadelphia has been held under 100 points in three of six contests, and they have lost each of those. Additionally, in the Sixers’ highest-scoring matchup, they lost 1117-126. They cannot sacrifice defense for offense.

Boston has traditionally done an excellent job at limiting Embiid. He’s averaged 25.3 points in six matchups, but he’s been held under 30 points in all but one game where he exploded for 41 and 10. That was a matchup where Boston’s best interior defender was Enes Freedom, not Horford or Robert Williams. The 76ers need type of performance from Embiid to prevail and this is certainly a tough test.

Celtics-76ers Pick

Both of these teams are excellent, and the margins between the two are razor thin. However, Boston is one of the very few teams in the league that has a relative answer for Embiid and that matters.

I expect Boston to treat this game as a meaningful one, and deploy some of its best defensive schemes against Philly as they may test a few things for a potential playoff series.

Additionally, a victory here would put the Celtics three losses ahead of the Sixers on the season and give them a 3-0 lead on the season series — that may effectively end the Sixers’ push for a division title and the top seed in the East.

Pick: Celtics Moneyline (-120)