NBA Odds & Preview – Game 5: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
The Philadelphia 76ers made a little change in their lineup that came up big in Game 4. And now they feel like better about themselves coming into the fifth game of their Eastern Conference semi-final series against the Boston Celtics, which will begin at 8 PM ET on Wednesday at the TD Garden. Remember that BetAnySports customers can get reduced juice, giving them more favorable odds if they bet through the website, and they can continue the action after the opening tip, as they access what is available through Live Betting Ultra.
Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown had enough with Robert Covington’s horrible shooting during the first three games of the series, as he hit just 27.6% from the field, and he replaced him with TJ McConnell for Game 4. McConnell, an undrafted guard that started out his collegiate career at Duquesne and then transferred to the University of Arizona, was making only the second start of his career, and what he produced was huge. McConnell had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists and was most definitely a key player in Philadelphia’s 103-92 win that kept them alive.
According to Brown, “The Philadelphia 76ers’ spirit is just fine.” They seemed to have the edge in the “hustle” department, grabbing 16 offensive rebounds compared to just six for the Celtics.
In the NBA playoff odds that have been posted on this game by the folks at BetAnySports, Boston is a slight favorite as they try to close things out:
Boston Celtics -1
Philadelphia 76ers +1
Over 204 points -110
Under 204 points -110
One big difference, in addition to O’Connell, was the fact that Dario Saric got hot, hitting nine out of 17 shots with 25 points on the evening. Joel Embiid should have been more of an offensive force, but he had only 15 points in the game. However, both he and rookie Ben Simmons pulled down 13 rebounds. As for Covington, he came off the bench and continued to be cold, hitting just one of seven field-goal attempts.
For Boston, rookie Jayson Tatum had his sixth straight game with 20 points or more, but there was no magic coming from Terry Rozier, who had only four field goals. Boston might have lost backup guard Shane Larkin, who injured his shoulder and has been declared “questionable” for this game. Considering some of the other player attrition they’ve had, that’s really the last thing they need.
What Boston has is, most likely, the more efficient team. And their defense has been felt all through the series. The Sixers hit only 27% of their three-point attempts in Game 4 (7-26), and they have yet to reach 44% in any of these four games. So while that victory seemed convincing, and indeed was, let’s not lose sight of the fact that it was a desperate effort by a team down 3-0. And if NBA history has taught us anything, teams trailing by that margin in games don’t come back to win (0-for-129). Boston is 21-5 ATS in revenging a loss to an opponent, and this number is very reasonable, so we are with the Celtics to close things out in Game 5.
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