Two of the top teams in the Eastern Conference meet on Thursday night, as the Philadelphia 76ers visit the Boston Celtics on TNT. It is not a good spot for the Celtics, as they will be playing the second half of a back-to-back, as they were at Indiana on Wednesday. Boston has won seven of the last ten in this series, but the 76ers have won the last two. Let’s look at the matchup for Thursday and NBA picks.
This NBA regular season game between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will be held at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts at 8:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 12, 2019. The game will be nationally televised on TNT.
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The 76ers and Celtics are virtually even in the standings and they are competing with Miami for second place in the Eastern Conference behind Milwaukee. The 76ers have been great at home, but they are just 5-7 on the road. The Celtics have also been great at home and they are just above .500 on the road. Philadelphia was home against Denver on Tuesday and then had Wednesday off, while the Celtics were at Indiana on Wednesday.
Philadelphia was just 11-12-1 ATS in their first 24 games, with 13 of those games going under the total, 10 going over, with one push. The 76ers are ranked in the latest ESPN BPI power index as the 8th best team in the NBA. They have been playing really well on defense, but their offense has been up and down.
Boston was 13-6-2 ATS in their first 21 games, with 8 games going over and 13 going under the total. They are ranked as the 5th best team in the latest ESPN BPI power index and just like the 76ers; the Celtics are winning with defense.
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The 76ers seem to have figured out a way to win with Ben Simmons taking very few outside shots. Philadelphia has enough outside shooting from other players, so Simmons doesn’t need to score from the outside. He leads the team in assists at 8.5 per game and there are plenty of other scoring options for Philly. Simmons simply needs to run the offense and he has done well doing that so far this season.
Philadelphia has won two straight in this series after losing seven of the previous eight. The 76ers won 107-93 and 118-115 in the last two meetings, but both games were in Philadelphia. The Celtics won both of their home matchups last season against the 76ers by scores of 121-114 and 105-87. Toronto have gone under, with four going over, with one push. Two of the last three meetings have gone under the total.
The Celtics have owned the 76ers in Boston, winning 9 of the last 10 and covering six of the last ten. The games have been higher scoring in Boston, with six of the last ten going over the total.
The 76ers and Celtics have similar records and in many respects they have similar statistics. The Celtics have owned the 76ers with the games in Boston, but the situation really stands out for me in this one. Philadelphia is the rested team, as they had Wednesday off and not much travel in getting to Boston, while the Celtics had to play on Wednesday at Indiana. In a matchup between two very evenly matched teams, I will go with the rested team and take the 76ers plus the points in this one.
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