Sixers vs. Celtics Betting Preview (January 22, 2021)

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Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday night, the Sixers and Celtics meet for the second time in three nights. The Sixers will play once again play host to the Boston Celtics, who they defeated 117-109 on Wednesday night.

Let’s get into our Sixers-Celtics betting preview, including odds, boosts, and picks.


Boston entered play in first place in the Eastern Conference on Wednesday at 8-4, but after being handed a defeat, the Celtics find themselves in third place behind the Sixers and Milwaukee Bucks.

Wednesday night’s game was a relatively tight affair in terms of shots from the field with the Sixers hitting 36/78 (46.2%) of their shots, while Boston was a tick better connecting on 42 of 89 (47.2%) shot attempts. The Celtics went 12/33 (36.4%) from behind the arc, while the Sixers hit 9 of 27 3-point attempts. The real story of the game was the free throw disparity. Philadelphia went to the line more that twice as many times as Boston, converting 36 of 45 free throw attempts to Boston’s 13/20 effort.

The Sixers pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring Boston 31-17 in the final frame. If they can finish strong in this one, it could be a repeat performance.

As has been the case over the past few weeks, a number of players will miss this game due to Health & Safety Protocols including:


  • Carsen Edwards
  • Jayson Tatum


  • Vincent Poirier

Seth Curry, who’s been on the shelf following a positive test for COVID-19, is listed as available for the first time since being diagnosed. He missed the first matchup against Boston as he was working on reconditioning to get into game shape.


Sixers vs. Celtics Odds

Here’s the line for the Sixers and Celtics at DraftKings Sportsbook:

  • Spread: Sixers -4.5, Celtics +4.5
  • Moneyline: Sixers -180, Celtics +148
  • Total: 221.5

And here are the current best available odds for the Sixers (may not display on Google AMP pages):


Bets We Like With a Sixers Win

FiveThirtyEight gives the Sixers a 66% chance of winning with a -4 point line. Philadelphia’s implied win probability based on the moneyline is 61%. The oddsmakers and projection model were nearly this close ahead of Wednesday’s meeting between the teams, favoring the Sixers who ended up covering by a wider margin than expected.

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Sixers to Win and Over 221.5 Points (+180, DraftKings)

Philadephia and Boston have seen the total points reach at least 221 points in three of their past four games, including Wednesday night’s contest. Over their past four games, the Sixers have scored:

  • 137 v. Miami (1/12/21)
  • 125 v. Miami (1/14/21)
  • 104 @ Memphis (1/16/21)
  • 117 v. Boston (1/20/21)

Joel Embiid played like a man possessed in the teams’ first game and has been on a tear against the Celtics. He racked up 30+ points in three postseason games against Boston in their first round series and torched them for 42 on Wednesday night.

The Sixers are a solid bet to win this one.


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Sixers, Raptors, and Nets All to Win (+250, BetMGM)

This is an odds boost being offered in a parlay featuring three teams installed as favorites in their respective games by BetMGM. We believe the Sixers will win for the reasons listed above, so let’s take a look at the other two matchups.

The Brooklyn Nets will be without Kevin Durant, but have Kyrie Irving back in the fold to create arguably. the best backcourt in the league with James Harden. They’re a -6.5 point road favorite over the 7-7 Cavaliers.

The 5-9 Toronto Raptors are in the midst of a disappointing season, but they’ll be hosting a Miami Heat team missing Avery Bradley and Jimmy Butler to health and safety protocols. Tyler Herro is questionable with neck spasms, which could be a huge blow to Miami’s scoring.

If you’re looking for a three team parlay to take a flier on, this is worth a look.

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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome

Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris to Combine for Over 49.5 Points (+150, FOX Bet)

Coming of a ridiculous 42-point performance against Boston on Wednesday night, this looks like easy money. Tobias Harris contributed his usual 20+ points in that game and even if Embiid were to cool off a bit, it’s not out of the question that they could finish with 26 and 24 points, respectively, for this one to hit.


Ben Simmons Over 16.5 Combined Assists and Rebounds (-105, BetMGM)

Sixers point guard Ben Simmons is averaging 11.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 9.0 assists per game in the month of January. He’s dished out at least eight assists in his last four games and has been deadly on the boards, pulling down 11.3 rebounds per game over his last three games.

Simmons missed this exact bet by just 0.5 assists/rebounds in the first matchup against the Celtics. The possibility of having sharpshooter Seth Curry in the lineup increases Simmons’ likelihood of a higher assist number exponentially.


Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons Both 7+ Rebounds (-200, BetMGM)

If Wednesday night’s game is any indication of what could happen on Friday night, this market should hit comfortably. Not only did Joel Embiid tear up the Celtics’ interior defense, but he also crushed them on the boards, pulling down ten rebounds. Simmons has always been an exceptional rebounder coming out of the backcourt, contributing eight of his own in the first matchup. We’re bullish on Simmons to have a big game in terms of rebounds and assists. Double down by taking a shot on this one as well.


Sixers vs. Celtics Prediction

Pick: The second matchup between the teams is likely going to look different than the first, as Philadelphia’s gaudy free throw attempts are unlikely to be duplicated. However, Seth Curry’s potential presence in the lineup could be a godsend for the Sixers and center Joel Embiid, who will have far more room to operate. Take the Sixers to Win and Over 221.5 Points. Also, take Ben Simmons over 16.5 combined assists and rebounds.

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