Can the 76ers advance? The 76ers will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals if they are able to beat the Celtics in Philadelphia for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference second-round. The game is expected to tip-off at 07:30 PM ET, Thursday, May 11th, 2023.
Given that the 76ers hold a series lead and are at home, it’s surprising they come into Game 6 a 2.5 point underdog, with many expecting the series to go to a Game 7 in Boston.
The 76ers are on the verge of reaching the Eastern Conference finals for the first time since 2001, needing just one more victory. They took a 3-2 series lead against the Celtics with a 115-103 win in Game 5. Despite knee soreness, Joel Embiid led with 33 points, and Tyrese Maxey added 30.
The Sixers’ history has been plagued by an inability to advance past the semifinals, but this year presents their best chance yet. The Celtics, who held a 2-1 series lead, must now win a crucial game to force a Game 7. Jayson Tatum scored 36 points for the Celtics, but their defense faltered in the second half.
The Celtics can draw inspiration from their past success, having won a Game 6 on the road in a similar situation. However, they need to elevate their defense to extend the series. The Sixers have their sights set on finally breaking their semifinal curse, and the Celtics must give their all to prevent that from happening.
ODDS AND PREDICTIONS
With the 76ers being listed as a home underdog to close out the series, it presents an enticing opportunity for those who believe the series will end in Game 6. Observing Game 5, it was evident that the Sixers displayed a hunger for victory, firmly asserting their dominance whenever the Celtics attempted a late comeback.
This performance, particularly on Boston’s home court, against the defending conference champions, is likely to boost the Sixers’ confidence levels significantly. Notably, the team has a favorable track record as a home underdog this season, going 5-2 against the spread and winning 4 out of 7 games outright.
Given the circumstances, the home team appears to be the favorable choice. The Celtics seem to lack the right mindset as a team, especially when it comes to relying on players like Brogdon, White, or Horford to contribute sufficiently offensively in a high-stakes, hostile environment game like this one. It becomes challenging to place trust in a team in such a position, particularly when they are favored on the road.
Spread: Celtics -2.5
Moneyline: Celtics -138, 76ers +118
Pick: 76ers +2.5
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