The Philadelphia 76ers (12-6) meet the Boston Celtics (14-4) this Friday (12/1/23). Get 76ers vs. Celtics moneyline and spread odds, as well as predictions, starting lineups, injuries, and key matchups below.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Prediction
I am going back to the well here. Boston is currently outscoring opponents by 25.5 points per 100 possessions in the first quarter, which easily leads the NBA. The gap between them and second place (Denver) is equal to the gap between second and eleventh. They won’t have Kristaps Porzingis, but in the three games without him, Boston won all three first quarters by a combined 33 points – including a 15 point win over Philadelphia.
Tyrese Maxey is the front runner for Most Improved Player, but he faces an extremely difficult matchup here. Jrue Holiday and Derrick White form the top point-of-attack defensive duo in the league to me, and they have held Maxey to a 40.4 FG% and 33.3 3PT% across two games this season. Maxey is questionable with an illness too, so there’s a chance he doesn’t play.
In addition, Embiid is out with an illness. His interior scoring and playmaking is crucial to Philadelphia’s offense, and they will sorely miss his rim protection. Embiid’s absence also reduces Maxey’s dribble handoff impact, which is a big part of his game.
On the other end, Philadelphia’s wings are not athletic enough to contain Tatum and Brown, while Horford’s shot forces Morris and Reed to step away from the rim. Holiday aggressively hunts post ups on smaller guards too, so Maxey will be a defensive liability for Philadelphia.
Overall, the Celtics are in position to once again lead after the first buzzer, especially if Maxey is also out.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Prediction: 1st Quarter Celtics Moneyline & -2.5
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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Best Odds
The Celtics are 9.5 point favorites with Embiid out and Maxey questionable. Philadelphia needs to win the game roughly 20.5 percent of the time for their +390 moneyline to be profitable in the long run.
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineup
Boston Celtics Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Injuries
Tyrese Maxey is questionable, while Joel Embiid, Kelly Oubre Jr and Danuel House Jr are out. For Boston, Kristaps Porzingis remains sidelined.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Key Matchups
Celtics 3PT Shooting
Boston leads the NBA in three-point attempt rate, and they field five three-point shooters on the court at all times. If they are hitting their threes, then it’s extremely difficult for opponents to keep pace because of their nasty defense. Philadelphia ranks 16th defending catch and shoot threes based on opponent shot quality (per ShotQuality), so they will need to be better than usual tonight at contesting shots and closing out.