British basketball fans will get their only taste of NBA action this season when the Boston Celtics hit the hardwood in London to take on the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday as 3.5-point favorites on the NBA odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston has claimed victory by double-digit margins in two previous dates with the Sixers this season including a decisive 108-97 win as 8-point home chalk on Nov. 30 and now has posted straight-up wins in 13 of its last 14 meetings going into Thursday afternoon’s Celtics vs. 76ers betting matchup at O2 Arena.
The Celtics make the Trans-Atlantic journey riding a six-game straight-up win streak, capped by a narrow 87-85 win in Brooklyn as 3-point chalk Saturday, and maintain a three-game lead over the second-place Toronto Raptors atop the Eastern Conference standings.
But despite the club’s continued strong play, Boston still trails the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers on the NBA futures odds, where it is pegged as a +250 wager to emerge as this season’s Eastern Conference champion.
Stingy defense continues to play a key role in the Celtics’ continued success. Boston has surrendered just 85.7 points per game over its past three outings and continues to lead the NBA with a meager 97.6 points per game allowed this season.
However, the Celtics must contend with a resurgent Sixers squad that has rediscovered its offensive touch during a 5-1 SU run. Philadelphia has averaged 111.8 points per game during its current tear, which kicked off with its lone victory this season over an Atlantic Division rival, a 105-98 win in New York as 1.5-point chalk on Christmas Day.
The 76ers have otherwise struggled in dates with Atlantic Division opponents, going 1-8 SU in their past nine, covering on just three occasions during that stretch, according to the OddsShark NBA Database.
Thursday’s matchup also features two of the leading contenders to claim Rookie of the Year honors this season. Pegged as a strong -650 bet to be named as the NBA’s top rookie, Philadelphia point guard Ben Simmons has averaged 16.9 points per game and recorded four triple-doubles. Boston’s Jayson Tatum has racked up a respectable 13.9 points per game but continues to trail at +2500 on those NBA odds.
Following Thursday’s matchup in London, the Celtics return home to face the New Orleans Pelicans next Tuesday before closing out their season series with the 76ers on Thursday.
Boston has posted four consecutive SU wins at TD Garden, and has taken three straight from the Pelicans on home court, fueling a 4-1 SU run against New Orleans, but has failed to cover in two of their past three meetings.
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