The second round of the 2023 NBA Playoffs is underway and tonight, the Philadelphia 76ers will hit the road to face the Boston Celtics for Game 1 of their series. The contest will tip at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
76ers center Joel Embiid is dealing with a right knee sprain and has been listed as doubtful for tonight’s game. The MVP finalist suffered the injury during Game 3 of their first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets and sat of the team’s closeout victory in Game 4. He did participate in Philly’s shootaround without a brace this morning, so there is some hope that he’ll be good to go for Game 2 on Wednesday. For the Celtics, forward Jaylen Brown is available while dealing with a facial fracture and will most likely be donning the face mask tonight.
Boston enters the game as a 9.5-point favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook. The total is installed at 214. The Celtics are -475 on the moneyline while the 76ers are +380.
76ers vs. Celtics, 7:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: 76ers +9.5
Embiid’s doubtful status plants the Sixers as a heavy Game 1 underdog, but that doesn’t mean that they will just roll over without their leader. Philly had nine days to rest up for this series and prepare themselves to face a Boston team that it is familiar with. James Harden, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey are perfectly capable of holding down the fort and at least making this a competitive bout while the big man rests up. Take the Sixers to cover this number.
Over/Under: Over 214
The over has been a good play during Boston’s home games this year, cashing in 26 of 44 contests. The Celtics-Hawks series had games that routinely cracked the 230 total threshold and the C’s will most likely try to keep that offensive pace going tonight. Take the over.