Sixers vs. Celtics Betting Preview: Odds and Picks (December 12, 2019)
On Thursday night, the Philadelphia 76ers are on the road taking on the Boston Celtics on national TV. This marks the second matchup between the teams on the season, their first since the Sixers 107-93 victory in their season opener at Wells Fargo Center.
The Sixers enter this game in fourth place in the Eastern Conference at 18-7, while the Celtics are 17-6, which is good for third in the East. Both teams are just four games behind the Milwaukee Bucks, however Boston has the edge with two games in hand. The Sixers have won eight of their past ten games, while Boston has gone 6-4 over that same stretch.
With that, let’s get into our Sixers-Celtics betting preview.
Sixers vs. Celtics Odds
Here’s the line for the Sixers and Celtics at DraftKings Sportsbook PA:
- Spread: Sixers -1.5, Celtics +1.5
- Moneyline: Sixers -120, Celtics +102
- Total: 210.5
Bets We Like With a Sixers Win
FiveThirtyEight gives the Sixers a 52% chance of winning with a -0.5 point line. The Sixers have won eight of their last ten games, including a 7-1 stretch in their past eight.
Sixers Win and Under Total Points (+260, DraftKings)
This game is truly a toss-up, but if you want better value than -120 for a Sixers win, consider parlaying it with the under. While the Sixers have gone 1-3-1 on the O/U in December, a larger sample size indicates this being a worthwhile bet. They’ve also gone 2-6 O/U as the road team coming off one day of rest. The Sixers have a 5-11-1 O/U record after winning as the favorite this season. If you expand that to all games, the Sixers are 9-15-1 overall O/U. Additionally, both teams are tied for third in the NBA in defensive rating
Bets We Like With a Celtics Win
FiveThirtyEight gives the Celtics a 48% chance of winning with a +0.5 point line.
Celtics Win and Under Total Points (+295, DraftKings)
As mentioned before, the game is a coin-flip of sorts. You can get better value by parlaying a Celtics win with the under. The Celtics’ O/U record in night games at home is 4-6. The Celtics O/U record overall is 9-14 on the season. They’ve also seen the point total go under in three of their past four games.
Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons to Outscore Kemba Walker and Jayson Tatum (+450, FOX Bet)
This one is interesting on a few levels. In the first matchup of the season, Kemba and Tatum dropped 12 and 21 points on 4-18 and 8-22 shooting, respectively, for a total of 33 points. Embiid scored 15 points on 5-14 shooting, while Simmons put up 24 on 11-16 from the field.
Jayson Tatum is averaging 20.2 points per game at home and 22.0 in the month of December, while Walker has put up 27.7 ppg at home and 25.8 ppg in December. Embiid, who agreed with Shaq and Charles Barkley‘s assessment of his game, has scored 22.5 points per game on the road and 18.5 points per game in December, his lowest scoring month by far. Ben Simmons has averaged 12.5 points per game on the road and 17.6 points per game in December. Add the December numbers together and you’d see 47.8 points per game for the Boston duo this month to just 36.1 points per game for the Sixers’ leading men.
There are two reasons to believe the in the Sixers side of this bet: Joel Embiid should come out motivated on yet another nationally-televised TNT game and Philly’s team defense has junked up a bunch of otherwise free-flowing offenses.
If the Simmons half of this equation is off-putting, you could replace him with Tobias Harris in the same sort of prop at +150 odds.
Shot in the Dark
Ben Simmons to Record a Triple-Double (+600, FOX Bet)
Triple-doubles are hard to come by, but keep some numbers in mind before you scoff at this. Simmons posted a gaudy 24 points, 9 assists, and 8 rebounds in the first matchup of the season. In four games against the Celtics a season ago, Simmons averaged 14.8 PTS/7.0 AST/10.5 REB per game. As for recent form, in the month of December, those numbers sit at 17.6 PTS/8.4 AST/7.2 REB per game.
Sixers vs. Celtics Prediction
Pick: The outcome is a true 50/50 proposition, but I’m confident in under the total points.