Our winning streak improved to seven straight games as we successfully backed Lakers center Anthony Davis to go over his assists prop of 2.5 last night. Today’s slate of games offers an interesting challenge as most seem to be priced efficiently. As a result, I will target an underdog in a divisional game in what should be another competitive matchup.
Let’s head to Boston, where the Celtics welcome a familiar foe in the 76ers.
The 76ers and Celtics come into this matchup with identical records of 11-10. Philadelphia has a +1.0 point differential, while the Celtics are slightly better at +1.6. With this being a divisional game, I think there’s value on the 76ers catching points in this spot. Boston is still trying to find its form under new coach Ime Udoka, so the 76ers should have the advantage with Doc Rivers on the other side of the bench.
This season, Philadelphia’s been the better team offensively as it’s ranked eighth with roughly 108 points per 100 possessions. Conversely, Boston’s ranked 20th with 104.3 points per 100 possessions. That margin could make all the difference late in close games with the game on the line.
76ers center Joel Embiid is still a force to be reckoned with in the league. He’s only played 11 games this season, but the 76ers are 8-3 with him on the court and 3-7 without him. And with this being a divisional game, you can be sure that Embiid is raring to go in this contest. That’s where the value lies when you compare the point spread with the overall records of both teams. Keep in mind that the 76ers are on a 4-0 ATS run in the past four meetings with three outright victories.
When Embiid’s in the lineup, the 76ers are a handful to contain. He’ll likely be up against Al Horford, who’s started 18 games for Boston this season. Whether it’s Horford or Robert Williams III, Embiid should have the advantage as neither player is taller than six foot nine inches. Embiid holds all the cards, and I’m expecting a massive performance from the former Kansas product.
I think this game could come down to the last few possessions, so I prefer to buy a point and play the 76ers at +3.5 (-122)
Pick: 76ers +3.5 (-122)