There have been more than a few NBA teams affected by the pandemic in the midst of this season, but none more so than the Philadelphia 76ers, with the Boston Celtics perhaps coming in a close second. The 76ers had to play with just seven players (only one of whom is a top rotational player) at one point last week because of COVID measures, though they have been made completely whole again over the past few days. The Celtics have not been so lucky.
Free Picks: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics
76ers To Take Down Celtics In Playoff Rematch (Season Betting Record: 15-17)
The Celtics have been without point guard Kemba Walker for all but their most recent game because of a knee issue, youngsters Robert Williams and Carsen Edwards have missed time due to health and safety protocols, but the one that has surely hit the hardest has been the absence of their best player, Jayson Tatum, for the last two games while he’s been on the COVID list.
Tatum will not travel with the team to Philly for Wednesday’s game, and with Walker still getting into the rhythm of things and likely on a strict minute limit, there won’t be much Brotherly Love for the C’s. Jaylen Brown has been in solid form of late, but it’s unlikely that the 24-year-old can carry the team all on his own against a full Sixers group, and one that has been quarantining a lot over the past week.
They’ll be chomping at the bit not only because they’ve been cooped up for several days, but also because this will be their first shot at the team that eliminated them from the playoffs just a few short months ago. The Sixers didn’t have Ben Simmons for that series, but the big point guard is a full-go for Wednesday, as are center Joel Embiid, forward Tobias Harris, and guards Shake Milton and Seth Curry. It’s the first time they’ll have all five back in the mix since January 6th. The Sixers exacting some semblance of revenge on the Tatum-less Celtics as -6.0-point favorites at -105 odds on 2Bet should be one of the best nba picks on Wednesday’s slate.
Another interesting market we like for this matchup is the over on Embiid’s Points + Rebounds + Assists prop, which is currently sitting at 39.5 at -120 odds (22Bet). The big man will be well-rested considering Philly’s last game was postponed and he didn’t play in the one before that. In the last game he did play, he was only on the court for 24 minutes but he put up one of the worst performances in his career with just nine points.
Discounting games that he started but did not finish due to injury, in the past four years Embiid has only failed to score in double-digits one other time: an 0-for-11 effort against the Toronto Raptors in November 2019. The Process responded to that rough outing by coming out firing in his next contest, torching the Sacramento Kings for 33 points and 16 rebounds in a big win.
Considering the size of the chip the Celtics left on Embiid’s shoulder from the way they bullied him in the playoffs last season, a big game for the seven-footer could be one of the best bets for today. Call me crazy, but Daniel Theis on Embiid will always seem like a huge mismatch.
- Philadelphia is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 home Wednesday games
- The UNDER is 5-1 in the last 6 meetings
- Boston are 3-5 SU without Jayson Tatum since last season
- Boston gives up 46.8 points per game in the paint, 13th-most in the NBA
More NBA Free Pickssee more
The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.