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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics Betting Pick


After a solid win over the Philadelphia 76ers, the Boston Celtics look to keep the momentum going and go up 2-0 and take a decisive series lead. But they’ll have to do it without ever-versatile swingman Gordon Hayward, who will be out for at least four weeks with a high ankle sprain.




The injury to Hayward will certainly result in an added dynamic to the series, but we’re here to tell you not to fall for it. Despite the injury, there is still going to be an ample opportunity for the Celtics to press down the gas pedal, and without question, you’ll see that the loss of Hayward is far less critical when making NBA picks as the loss of a conduit like Ben Simmons for the Sixers.


Here’s why.

The Numbers

The current NBA betting line is set the same as it was for the previous game, albeit with a point shaved off, leaving the Celtics as 4.5-point favorites with a line hung at 214.5, slightly lower than Game 1. Clearly, the oddsmakers think that Hayward is worth about a half-point or approximately one point towards the line, which means that you’re getting great value on the Celtics.


If you think Hayward is an insignificant contributor to the victory in the series (which we do, because we feel it’s overblown), you’ll be happy to take the -4.5 and continue to ride with Celtics against the spread. Make no mistake about it: We don’t want to suggest that Hayward being out doesn’t mean anything.


He’s a versatile scorer and is one of the key cogs of the Celtics lineup for creating offense, but we don’t think his absence is enough to overreact and bet the Sixers at America’s Bookie. Also, it should be noted that some people will bet the zig-zag theory, which is a theory that suggests that betting the opposite side in the following game of an NBA series is a profitable strategy to rack up an easy win.


Here’s why we don’t see that happening.

Don’t Zig the Zag

Contrary to popular consensus, we’re not huge zig-zag fans. We’re of the firm belief that short-term outcomes tend to have the same inertia and momentum, and in other words, will continue moving in the same direction. 


This means that you shouldn’t expect it to be as easy as automatically betting the other side. This is important because you will lose a lot of money if you automatically fade a team with a lot of momentum going for it.


We think the Celtics will continue their rampage against the 76ers defense without Hayward, and if anything, this is a boon for fantasy players with Kemba Walker or those looking to pile on the points.


We predicted a Trail Blazers victory over the Lakers last night! Go check it out, Portland was a huge underdog.

The Verdict

Despite the absence of Hayward, the Celtics will continue to show they’re the better coached and more disciplined team on offense. The lack of Ben Simmons will continue to hurt the Sixers as they struggle to make up for the lack of offense.

The Celtics will roll here by double digits, 107-95. The Celtics cover the spread comfortably, and the total stays under for today’s free sports pick.

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