After overpowering their last 17 regular season opponents and then steamrolling Miami in five games in the first round, the Philadelphia 76ers were favored to beat the Boston Celtics in their second-round matchup. The C’s needed seven grueling games to get past the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round and were getting set to take on Philadelphia without all-stars Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward and the outlook was none too promising.

Then, a funny thing happened and now the C’s are on the verge of completing what once looked like an improbable sweep. With Game 4 set to get underway on Monday night, let’s find out if the reeling Sixers can avoid getting the broom for this NBA Playoff Matchup.


Game Information

What: Boston Celtics (62-30) at Philadelphia 76ers (56-34)
When Monday, May 7, 2018, at 6:00 pm
Where: Wells Fargo Center
TV: TNT
NBA Odds: Philadelphia 76ers -6.5
Total: 204.5


Boston made all the right plays down the stretch in Game 3 to pull off a stunning 101-98 overtime victory on Saturday and take a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Celtics got a team-high 24 points from ‘super composed’ rookie forward Jayson Tatum, 18 points from blossoming point guard Terry Rozier and 13 points from all-star center Al Horford who came up big for Boston by scoring the final five points of the game..

“These are the kind of moments you want to be in as a basketball player,” Horford said.

NBA Playoff Betting Sixers Look to Avoid Sweep at Home Against Boston in Game 4

Philadelphia got a team-high 22 points and 19 rebounds from all-star center Joel Embiid while J.J. Redick added 18 points and Ben Simmons contributed 16 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists after being held to one point in Game 2. His performance prompted a phone call from Sixers legend Allen Iverson.

“Just play the game I’ve been playing,” Simmons said AI told him. “I know how to play the game. I can’t think about it too much. I’ve just got to go out there and do it.”


Prediction

While there is now, absolutely no way the Philadelphia 76ers are going to come all the way back from a 3-0 series deficit to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals, I do believe they can avoid the sweep against Boston by winning Game 4 on Monday night.

I know Boston is clearly the better-coached team and has just as much young talent as Philadelphia whose young stars seemingly get more press than Boston’s, but I believe Philly is definitely good enough – and has enough pride – to avoid getting swept by Boston.

NBA Playoff Betting Sixers Look to Avoid Sweep at Home Against Boston in Game

Having said all of this, I’m going to urge you to back Boston to get the ATS cover in a narrow loss with the 6.5-point spread being a few points too high for the Sixers to cover.

The Celtics are an insane 37-17 ATS in their last 54 road games, 6-0 ATS in their last 6 Conference Semifinals games and 22-8 ATS in their last 30 games overall. While the 76ers have posted a robust 19-7 ATS mark in their last 26 home games and 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games overall, they’re also just 1-6 ATS in their last six games against Boston.

Again, Philly gets the win behind a huge night from Joel Embiid, but Boston covers the chalk because of their outstanding defense.

Pick: Boston +6.5


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