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The opening game of the Eastern conference semifinal series between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics was highly anticipated, with both teams considered favorites to make it to the 2023 NBA Finals. Despite the news that star player Joel Embiid would be out, the Sixers managed to claim Game 1 as a 10+ point underdog, thanks in large part to a phenomenal performance by James Harden, who made a clutch bucket when it mattered most.

However, in Game 2, with Embiid back fresh off winning the MVP, the Sixers struggled and were outplayed by the Celtics. Boston's dominant performance resulted in a resounding 121-87 victory, with Philly's starters benched for much of the fourth quarter as the game was effectively over by midway through the third.

With the series now heading back to Philadelphia for Game 3, the Sixers will need to quickly address their mistakes to avoid relinquishing the advantage they had gained with their Game 1 upset.

Celtics vs 76ers Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under – NBA Playoffs Betting Lines 5/5

Moneyline: Celtics -145, 76ers +115
Spread: Celtics -1.5 (-125), 76ers +1.5 (-100)
Total: Over/Under 214.5 points

Celtics vs 76ers Injury Report

As of now, there is only one injury update for either team, and it concerns Daniel Gallinari of the Boston Celtics, who has yet to take the court since joining the team. However, he was considered a game time decision for Game 2, indicating that he is progressing well on his path to recovery.

In the event that the Celtics advance to the finals, it is possible that Gallinari could make an appearance before the season comes to a close.

Celtics vs 76ers Prediction

Despite losing Game 1 in the series, the Boston Celtics put up a solid performance. Jayson Tatum recorded 39 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists, while Jaylen Brown contributed 23 points of his own, and Malcolm Brogdon added another 20 off the bench.

Boston has scored less than the 115 they put up on Monday in two of their three wins against the Sixers this season. However, in Game 1, James Harden had other plans. While Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris stepped up in the absence of Joel Embiid, adding 26 and 18 points respectively, Harden took matters into his own hands and led his team to victory by scoring crucial baskets instead of just facilitating.

But the Sixers' performance in Game 2 was lackluster, with the team falling behind in terms of energy and enthusiasm for the game. They lost the momentum of the series as a result, while Boston's impressive showing came despite a relatively quiet night from Jayson Tatum, who scored only seven points.

Heading back to Philadelphia for Game 3, it's worth exploring some NBA picks and parlays for the upcoming encounter.

Best NBA Same Game Parlay Picks Today for Celtics vs 76ers - NBA Playoffs Game 3: 4-Leg Parlay Picks (+1000)

Jayson Tatum Points Total

The first two games of the series have been incredibly unpredictable, making it difficult to predict the outcome of Game 3. Despite the Boston Celtics' convincing win in Game 2, Jayson Tatum had an underwhelming performance, and he'll be looking to bounce back in the first game of the series in Philly.

However, Tatum has struggled against the Sixers in the past. He has an average of 19.4 points per game against them and has scored less than 20 points in four out of the last five games he played against them, including Game 2's disappointing seven-point outing. The Sixers have done a good job of defending him, so I'm taking a bold stance in my NBA same game parlay picks for Game 3 by betting on the under for Tatum's points at 25.5, despite his impressive 39-point performance in Game 1. Philly will likely focus on shutting him down, forcing Boston to rely on other shooters to get the job done.

Leg-1 SGP Pick: Jayson Tatum Under 25.5 Points (+155)

Jaylen Brown Three Pointers Made

Jaylen Brown has been an impressive force for the Boston Celtics in the first two games of the series, scoring an average of 24 points per game and hitting three three-pointers in each game.

While much attention has been given to containing Jayson Tatum, Brown has found opportunities to shine as the primary shooter in the starting five. To continue this success, the Celtics will need to create open looks for Brown through effective passing and screening. Given his strong performance thus far, I anticipate Brown sinking yet another three in the upcoming game in Philadelphia.

Leg-2 SGP Pick: Jaylen Brown 3+ Three Pointers Made (-115)

James Harden Assists Total

The Sixers are heading back to Philadelphia with the intention of bouncing back from a disastrous Game 2 showing. To win this series and advance to the NBA Finals, they'll need to play to their strengths, and that means utilizing the precision passing of James Harden to find open shooters.

In the opening round series against the Brooklyn Nets, Harden averaged 8.8 assists per game, but he only managed four in Wednesday night's Game 2 against the Celtics, as the Sixers struggled on the road. Philadelphia needs to improve their offensive efficiency, work on their ball distribution, and create more opportunities for three-point shots while also feeding the ball to Joel Embiid inside.

To achieve this, coach Doc Rivers needs to come up with a better coaching plan, and I believe that starts with utilizing James Harden's passing skills to their fullest potential.

Leg-3 SGP Pick: James Harden 8+ Assists (-130)

Spread Bet

When the series began, I argued that the 10.5 point spread in favor of the Celtics was disrespectful to the Sixers, and I stand by that claim. However, my prediction was proven wrong in Game 2, as Joel Embiid returned to the lineup and Boston secured a decisive win.

As we approach Game 3, it's difficult to make a clear call on the outcome. Nevertheless, I believe that the home-court advantage will play a significant role in Embiid's performance. As the newly crowned NBA MVP, Embiid will be looking to make a statement in front of his home crowd, and I expect him to be a major factor in the Sixers' attempt to regain the lead.

Therefore, I'm putting my money on the Sixers to come out strong and motivated, seeking to avenge their defeat in Game 2 and reclaim the lead in the series.

Leg-4 SGP Pick: Philadelphia 76ers +1.5 (-105)

Odds subject to change*

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