Joel Embiid is listed as day-to-day for the 76ers who remain in Boston to take on the Celtics for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference first-round. The game is expected to tip-off at 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023.
Given the probable absence of the newly crowned MVP, it’s no surprise the Celtics are a 9.5 point favorite, with many expecting them to bounce back from their loss in Game 1.
The Celtics are focusing on improving their defensive game plan as they aim to recover from a series-opening loss against the 76ers on Wednesday. After a lack of defensive intensity in Game 1, Celtics’ Al Horford admits they need to make adjustments to prevent a 2-0 deficit in the best-of-seven series.
Despite Embiid’s absence due to a knee injury, Philadelphia still managed to secure a 119-115 win in the opener, with James Harden contributing 45 points and the 76ers’ supporting cast also delivering on offense.
Boston’s Malcolm Brogdon acknowledges the challenge of facing a team that’s empowered without Embiid but believes the Celtics need to be better prepared. Although Boston had an advantage in points in the paint, Harden’s outstanding performance, shooting 56.7 percent from the field, was too much for them to overcome.
Despite the loss, Boston’s Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown combined for 62 points. Meanwhile, Philadelphia’s Harris acknowledged Harden’s dominant contribution to the team’s victory, praising his composure throughout the game.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
Assuming that Joel Embiid will not be playing and given the possibility that if he does, the point spread will decrease significantly. The recommendation is to bet on Philadelphia with the points.
Boston has struggled to dominate their opponents this postseason, and their home court advantage has not been as effective, only winning 2 out of 4 home games. The absence of Embiid is not a major concern as Philadelphia still has other players such as Harden, Maxey, and Harris, who are capable of delivering strong performances.
With Harden being the main offensive threat on his team for almost a decade, there is no doubt that he can step up when needed. Therefore, taking the 76ers with the points is the suggested bet. But remember, it’s important to keep in mind that sports betting always involves a degree of risk, and there’s no guarantee that the 76ers won’t count themselves out of this match-up before tip-off. As always, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision based on the available data.
Spread: Celtics -9.5
Moneyline: Celtics -520, 76ers +390
Pick: 76ers +9.5
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