Tonight’s Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers matchup features two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, but both teams are not set to be at their best. The Celtics will be without Jayson Tatum, while it is very much up in the air as to who will be available for the Sixers after recent COVID and injury issues.
Still, it is one of the more interesting matchups on Wednesday’s NBA slate, in part because former Celtics coach Doc Rivers, who led the franchise to an NBA title in 2008, goes up against his old team for the first time since leaving the Clippers and joining the Sixers in the off season.
The Celtics and Sixers may be getting little love in the latest NBA championship odds, but they have started well and should be in the running for a high playoff seed. Here’s a look ahead to their first head-to-head meeting of the season.
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers Betting Odds & Information
Matchup: Boston Celtics (8-4, 4-2 away, 1st in the Eastern Conference) vs Philadelphia 76ers (9-5, 7-1 home, t-2nd in the Eastern Conference)
- Date: Wednesday, January 20, 2021
- Time: 7:00 pm ET
- Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Wells Fargo Center)
- TV: ESPN
- Spread: Celtics +4.5 (-106), 76ers -4.5 (-114)
- Total: OVER 218 (-110), UNDER 218 (-110)
- Moneyline: Celtics +172, Philadelphia -205
Odds via Fanduel as of Wednesday, January 20
Boston Celtics Betting Preview
It’s been an interesting start to 2021 for the Celtics, who were in the middle of a hot run before things came to a halt after a 116-107 win over Washington on January 8. Boston saw three games fall victim to postponement before returning to the court last Friday against Orlando. The result was a 124-97 win, but it was followed by an ugly 30-point loss to the Knicks on Sunday.
Despite the loss, the Celtics still top the Eastern Conference standings, with their win percentage edging out the Bucks and Celtics. That spot will be under serious threat tonight, as they play their third straight game without small forward Jayson Tatum. Tatum was off to a blistering start, averaging 26.9 points per game in his first 10 games, before a positive COVID test earlier this month. He is not yet available to return, with his status for Friday’s rematch also questionable.
While Tatum remains sidelined, the Celtics did receive a boost on Sunday with the return of point guard Kemba Walker. Walker (knee) made his season debut against the Knicks, scoring nine points on three of 13 shooting in 20 minutes. The sooner he can regain his sharpness, the better.
Philadelphia 76ers Betting Preview
Like the Celtics, the Sixers have been hit by COVID recently. After being able to make it through a few games while shorthanded, the Sixers were short of the required eight players for Sunday’s scheduled game at Oklahoma City.
It is not certain who will be able suit up tonight, but guard Seth Curry will play for the first time since his positive COVID test on January 7. Curry was averaging 17 ppg and shooting 59.5 percent from three beforehand, so his return will be a big boost. Also, Joel Embiid is expected to play tonight after missing Saturday’s loss at Memphis due to knee pain. Embiid had 45 points and 16 rebounds in the Sixers’ overtime win over Miami last week and is shooting 53.6 percent from the field early on, so he will be vital to Philly’s success tonight.
Boston Celtics vs Philadelphia 76ers Betting Advice
Boston Celtics Stat Sheet
Offense: 110.8 points per game (17th in the NBA)
Defense: 109.5 points allowed per game (12th)
Philadelphia 76ers Stat Sheet
Offense: 113.6 points per game (10th)
Defense: 110.4 points per game (15th)
- In 11 career regular-season games against the Celtics, Joel Embiid has averaged 23.3 PPG, 12.8 RPG, and 3.5 APG. Also, Embiid has eight double-doubles in 11 games this season. A big night could be forthcoming, as he should be able to play a lot of minutes.
With no Tatum, it is hard to see things going Boston’s way tonight. The Sixers may not be at full strength either, but with Embiid, Curry, and other key pieces able to go, they have a clear edge against the Tatum-less Celtics. Back the Sixers to cover.
- 76ers -4.5
- Joel Embiid double-double/76ers to win (-120)