The Philadelphia 76ers took control of their series against the Boston Celtics with an emphatic Game 5 win on the road. They will look to close out the series as they return home for Game 6 on Thursday night.
Despite having lost the last two games and being down 3-2 in the series, the Celtics are -2 betting favorites on the road.
Read on for in-depth analysis of this Game 6 matchup between the Celtics and 76ers, including a betting prediction, odds, key matchups and starting lineups.
Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers Game 6 Prediction
Oddsmakers are giving the Celtics a lot of credit by making them -2 favorites on the road. Yes, they won Game 3 in Philly by 12 points, but that seems like ages ago at this point.
Boston also should have won Game 4 in Philly, but the 76ers showed a great deal of mental and physical toughness by pulling off that OT win after blowing a 15-point lead late in the 3rd quarter. The end of that game seemed to carry over into Game 5, as the Celtics came out looking sluggish and allowed the 76ers to take control of the game early, which set the tone for the rest of the night.
"That was our first really, really bad game of the playoffs."
Joe Mazzulla on Game 5 loss to Sixers pic.twitter.com/bjQ2eXleqW
— Celtics on NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSCeltics) May 10, 2023
Maybe the Celtics regroup and find a way to send the series back to Boston for Game 7. It certainly would not be a huge surprise, but I just don’t see it happening.
The 76ers played perhaps their most complete game of the season in Game 5, and they seem to have cracked the code on beating the Celtics. Their pick-and-roll actions with Joel Embiid and either James Harden or Tyrese Maxey were practically unstoppable. Maxey overcame his struggles against Boston to explode for 30 points, including 6-of-12 from three, many of which were wide-open looks created by perfect ball movement and screen actions.
5-9 FROM THREE.
76ers lead by 14 with 9 minutes to go!
PHI/BOS Game 5, Q4 on TNT pic.twitter.com/A7bQ4Uhjmm
— NBA (@NBA) May 10, 2023
The way the 76ers won Game 5 is sustainable. Embiid, who played without a knee brace for the first time since returning from his sprained right knee, has gotten stronger with each game of this series. His rim protection (4 blocks in Game 5) has been a huge factor in the series after Boston dominated at the rim when he missed Game 1.
All the matchups and the momentum favor the 76ers, and now they return to what is sure to be a raucous crowd in South Philadelphia. Take the plus odds on the Sixers closing out this series tonight.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Betting Odds
The Celtics opened as -1 favorites and early action has steamed that line up to -2 as of this writing. The Celtics’ moneyline has moved from -115 to -130, while the 76ers’ moneyline odds opened at -105 and have crossed into plus territory at +110.
The over/under for this matchup opened at 214.5 and has dropped to 212.5, possibly due to some large bets coming in on the under. As of this writing, the handle is split 50/50 on the total at DraftKings, per VSiN, but only 15% of those bets are on the under.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Celtics winning 107.25-105.25.
- The Celtics are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games following a straight-up loss, while the Sixers are 6-1-1 in their last eight following a straight-up win.
- The over is 10-1 in the Celtics’ last 11 road games and 4-1 in the Sixers’ last five home games
- The Celtics are 7-3 ATS in the last 10 meetings with the 76ers, and 4-1 ATS in their last five in Philadelphia.
Rebounding and three-point shooting were major issues for Boston in Game 5. They need to improve in both areas if they want to send this series to Game 7.
Game 5 was the first time game of this series that the 76ers won the rebounding battle, and their 49-36 edge in that category played a huge factor in the outcome.
With Boston shooting a paltry 39.8% from the field and 31.6% from three, there were plenty of opportunities for offensive rebounds, but Philadelphia did an excellent job cleaning the glass and limiting the Celtics to one shot per possession.
Rebounding often comes down to effort and hustle and it can be an indicator of which team is playing with more energy, especially in the playoffs. The 76ers clearly had an advantage in that area, and Boston cannot afford to let that happen again in Game 6 if it wants to keep its season alive.
The Celtics had their worst three-point shooting performance of the series in Game 5, going just 12-of-38 from three (31.6%). Al Horford was the biggest culprit with an 0-for-7 night.
If Horford is not making threes, he is a huge liability for the Celtics. The 76ers have found ways to exploit him defensively by isolating him in pick-and-roll actions, where he has struggled against the quickness of Harden and Maxey. Those plays have led to several wide-open looks for Embiid at the nail or the Sixers’ shooters from three.
It’s not all about Horford, of course, but the Celtics cannot afford another game like that by the league’s second-best three-point shooter (by percentage) during the regular season.
Boston Celtics Starting Lineups
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineups
Boston Celtics Injuries: Danilo Gallinari (O – knee)
Philadelphia 76ers Injuries: None