The Boston Celtics will face the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3, with the series shifting to the Wells Fargo Center. We are in Philadelphia sharing our NBA odds series, making a Celtics-76ers Game 3 prediction and pick while showing you how to watch.
The Celtics destroyed the 76ers 121-87 in Game 1, despite the return of Joel Embiid. Now, the series shifts to Philadelphia with all the momentum in Boston’s favor after they trashed the Sixers.
The Sixers stayed competitive for the first half and only trailed by 10 points at the half. However, an explosive third quarter by the Celtics helped them build a 29-point lead en route to an absolutely dominating finish. Jaylen Brown led the Celtics with 25 points. Additionally, Marcus Smart and Derrick White each had 15 points. Jayson Tatum struggled with only seven points while shooting 1 for 7. Meanwhile, Malcolm Brogdon exploded off the bench with 23 points.
The Sixers did not have good production at all. Unfortunately, Tobias Harris was their top scorer, with 16 points. Embiid added 15 points in his return while shooting 4 for 9. Tyrese Maxey added 13 points. However, James Harden had an awful night, scoring 12 points while shooting 2 for 14 while missing all six 3-pointers. The Sixers also played nine bench players to give the starters some rest, and they did not do much.
The Sixers shot 39.2 percent from the field, including a terrible 20 percent from the triples. Meanwhile, the Celtics shot 46.7 percent from the field and converted 39.2 percent of their 3-pointers. The Sixers also lost the battle of the boards 46-41 and turned the ball over 11 times. Ultimately, they will need a much betters shooting effort to have a chance against the Celtics in Game 3.
Here are the Celtics-76ers Game 3 NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Playoffs Odds: Celtics-76ers Game 3 Odds
Boston Celtics: -1.5 (-110)
Philadelphia 76ers: +1.5 (-110)
Over: 214 (-110)
Under: 214 (-110)
How To Watch Celtics vs. 76ers Game 3
Time: 7:30 PM ET/4:30 PM PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why The Celtics Could Cover The Spread
The Celtics knew they needed a game plan to get past the returning Embiid. Moreover, they needed someone to pick up the slack when Tatum struggled. It was at this point that the Celtics figured out they needed to shoot more from the perimeter. Then, they fired 51 3-point shots. But that will not be something they can replicate in every game. Therefore, they must figure out a way to get some scoring in the paint.
Tatum played well in Game 1. However, he struggled in Game 2. The Celtics need him to play consistently and score. Likewise, they need to open up the space for him by setting up picks and getting creative on offense. But the Celtics compensated for Tatum by hitting their shots from the triples and then forcing turnovers. Additionally, they limited their turnovers. The Celtics also hit 15 of their 16 free throws in Game 2. Furthermore, they moved the ball well and did not make many mistakes.
The Celtics will cover the spread if Tatum can get things going. Then, the Celtics must continue to play solid defense and force the Sixers into making mistakes.
Why The 76ers Could Cover The Spread
Did Embiid’s return mess up the chemistry? It seems like the Sixers locked in during Game 1 due to the absence of the league MVP. But remember, Embiid is 1-9 against the Celtics in the playoffs. Somehow, they have always gotten the best of him in the playoffs. Embiid must raise his game to the next level to give the Sixers a chance to pull off the upset against the defending Eastern Conference champions. Then, there is Harden.
Harden went off in Game 1, scoring 45 points in an amazing effort. However, he crashed back down to earth, struggling massively and not hitting his shots. Which Harden will we see in Game 3? It will be interesting to see how he adjusts now that the series is in Philadelphia.
The Sixers also must close out better. Furthermore, they cannot allow the Celtics to get wide-open shots. Consider the difference their defense played in the Game 1 comeback. Ultimately, it was their defense that helped close out the Celtics. It was also the defense that cost them dearly in Game 2.
The 76ers will cover the spread if Embiid and Harden hit their shots and lead the charge. Then, the defense must continue to play efficiently.
Final Celtics-76ers Game 3 Prediction & Pick
The Celtics have the experience and the skills to take down the 76ers. Ultimately, Boston will do enough to take back the home-court advantage and a 2-1 series lead.
Final Celtics-76ers Game 3 Prediction & Pick: Boston Celtics: -1.5 (-110)
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