NBA Playoffs - Game 1
Philadelphia +10 -108 over Boston

Posted at 10:45 AM EST. Odds subject to change.

Pinnacle +10 -108 BET365 +10 -110 Sportsinteraction +10 -110 888Sport +10 -110

Philadelphia +10 over Boston

7:30 PM EST. The status of the 76ers' Joel Embiid looms large here as the MVP finalist is not expected to play after spraining his LCL (knee) in Philadelphia’s Round 1 series with the Nets, but that information was not privileged when the oddsmakers set this line with the Sixers being a +7-point underdog. However, despite adjusting the line with Embiid’s absence in mind, the market is pounding the Celtics, who are favored in the range you see now.

We preach about not predicting the outcomes of these games, and the Celtics are the poster boys for that. The NBA is a glorified 3-point shooting contest, and the C’s live and die by the 3-pointer. When those threes are dropping, they win, but when they aren't, the Celtics struggle. When Boston shoots better than 40% from downtown, it is 34-2. When the Celtics shoot below 40% of their 3-pointers, they are 27-24. Boston shot 42.9% in Game 6 against the Hawks and won that game 128-120, covering as a -7-point favorite. In Game 5, the C’s shot 32% from 3-point land and lost 119-117.

We cannot predict if the C’s will be hot from beyond the arc tonight, but we do know that if they shoot around their average of 37.8%, the Celtics are going to be in tough to cover these inflated points. Moreover, let's not discount the 76ers, who have played through injuries, including Embiid all season. Not only is this a "next man up" league in which the Sixers are going to be supremely motivated to step up and fill the void left by their MVP, but the disrespectful pile of points being offered up here is prime locker room fodder. Even without Embiid, these two teams are much closer in talent than these inflated points on top of inflated points suggest, which makes scooping up those points a must.

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Our Pick

Philadelphia +10 -108 (Risking 2.16 units - To Win: 2.00)

Dallas/Boston under 211 -110
Dallas +6½ -102 over Boston