The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers are both aiming to make a run at the NBA Finals in a couple of months. They are expected to be among the contenders in the Eastern Conference once the postseason begins, and will face off in an important head-to-head matchup this week.
The Celtics may be the slightly better team, but should still be the underdog as it must play this one on the road. These teams have been close to each other in the standings all year and right now they are set up to face each other in the first round of the playoffs.
This game is pivotal as it could have a big impact down the road in NBA odds.
This NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers will be held at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019. The game will be nationally televised on TNT.
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The Celtics have a record of 35-20 on the season. They have won seven of their past 10 games as they are aiming to track down some teams ahead of them in the East. Boston is 13-13 on the road this season and would love to pull the upset.
The 76ers also have a mark of 35-20 on the year. Philadelphia has been very good at home on the year with a 22-6 so has to feel good about its chance here. However, the Celtics have a lot of talent so the 76ers still need to play well to live up to expectations.
Celtics star guard Kyrie Irving sprained his knee in the second quarter last time out against the Clippers and didn’t return to the game. He has been listed as day-to-day after further testing and his availability for this matchup against the 76ers certainly seems to be in doubt.
Irving’s absence was felt immediately against Los Angeles. The Celtics led by 28 points but managed to blow it in a 123-112 loss. Boston has a very deep team with good balance but Irving is the unquestioned leader and the team will miss his scoring punch if he cannot go.
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Tobias Harris -- The 76ers traded for the Los Angeles standout before the trading deadline. He was averaging more than 20 points per game with the Clippers and had 14 points and eight rebounds in his Philly debut against the Nuggets.
Harris could be the piece Philadelphia needed to truly transform into a contender. The team has Joel Embiid leading the way, while Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons are also stars. J.J. Reddick is an ace outside shooter, and Harris really rounds out an elite and scary starting lineup.
He is still developing chemistry with the others, but there is no doubt Harris is an upgrade at the forward position.
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If Irving can’t play in this game, that will be a big blow to Boston’s chances of pulling out the victory. If he manages to see the court this could be a really good game. Harris beefs up the 76ers’ lineup but the Celtics also have talent dotting their entire roster.
The home court will make the difference in this one. The 76ers are the choice to pick up a critical win to surpass the Celtics in the standings. Boston could be the right choice to cover as this game could come down to the wire in NBA odds.
This one could be more of a defensive affair than expected, as both teams will be focusing hard and aiming for a win in a playoff type atmosphere. The “under” is a good choice on the scoring total in this affair.
NBA ATS Pick: Philadelphia 76ers 107, Boston Celtics 105
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