Boston Celtics (57-25) at Philadelphia 76ers (54-28)
Game Info: Sunday, May 7, 2023 at 3:30 p.m. EST (Wells Fargo Center)
Betting Odds: Celtics (-2.5) / Over/Under (214.5)
Pick: 76ers (ML)
Sunday afternoon brings us a pivotal Game 4 between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers inside Wells Fargo Center with the Celtics looking to take the commanding 3-1 series lead.
Boston has bounced back tremendously in the last 2 games after dropping Game 1 at home from a James Harden masterclass. Now with the opportunity to take a 3-1 lead before heading home, the Celtics will look to execute their gameplan once again in making any other player on the court beat them than Joel Embiid. In Boston's eyes, they are perfectly fine with Embiid putting in a 30-10 game night in and night out if it means that the likes of Tyrese Maxey, James Harden, and Tobias Harris are kept quiet. It is a tactic that teams have used against Embiid and the 76ers for years now in the Playoffs, and by the early looks of it, it seems to be working to plan once again. Although the Celtics should be expecting the 76ers to come out looking to punch first early in Game 4, time will tell if they can counter Philadelphia's looks to quiet the crowd from erupting throughout.
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Philadelphia comes into Game 4 in a must win spot. For sure, teams have come back from down 3-1 in a series before, but it seems mighty unlikely to happen if the 76ers are to have to accomplish that by beating the Celtics twice in Boston while holding their serve at home. Joel Embiid will always be the focal point for Head Coach Doc Rivers and his staff, but if this series is to turn on its head, James Harden will need to get his act together quickly. After turning back the clock in Game 1, he has followed that up with a miserable Game 2 and 3, scoring only 28 points combined on an astonishing 5-28 from the floor. The 76ers are not expecting him to score 45 points in every game, but they will need him to give some sort of support to Embiid if they are to even this series up 2-2. Can Harden deliver when the lights are bright in Philedelphia this afternoon to help propel the 76ers to a vital Game 4 win?
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Philadelphia is 29-18-2 ATS when playing on equal rest as the opposing team
- The 76ers are 4-2 ATS when playing as the home underdog
- The over has hit in 6 of 9 games that the Celtics have played in in the Playoffs
Although the 76ers showed some life late in Game 3, they were not able to get the job done on their home floor to jump ahead in the series. Now 2 days later, they will need to right their wrongs on both sides of the ball if they want any chance in stifling the Eastern Conference Champions. Nevertheless, I expect Embiid and Harden to deliver the goods for us here and cover the spread with ease. Give me the 76ers ML!
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