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Celtics Sixers Series Betting Preview

In a blast out of the past the Boston Celtics meet the Philadelphia 76ers in an Eastern Conference semifinals series starting Saturday night in Beantown.

WilliamHill.com is listing Boston as a five-point favorite for Saturday's series opener (8 pm Eastern, TNT), with an 'over/under' of 170.

For those who like the Celtics but don’t want to give the points WilliamHill is offering Boston at -230 on its Game 1 moneyline. And for those who like the Sixers' chances of pulling an upset they can be gotten at +190 on the moneyline.

Bovada is also listing the Celts as -220 favorites to win this series, with Philly getting +180 as the underdog.

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And on the NBA betting futures market, Bovada is listing Boston at +600 to win the Eastern Conference and +1,200 to win the NBA championship, while the 76ers are getting +1,600 to win the East and +3,300 to win the league title.

Boston entered the playoffs as the four seed in the East, and had to start on the road in Atlanta. But after losing Game 1 of that series the Celtics took charge, eventually dispatching of the Hawks with an 83-80 victory in Game 6 Thursday night.

Philly is the eight seed in the East, and was a considerable underdog heading into its first-round series with stop-seeded Chicago. But after losing Game 1 the Sixers took advantage of the season-ending injury suffered by Bulls G Derrick Rose to eventually beat Chicago in six games, ending it with a 79-78 win Thursday night.

Boston is in the conference semis for the fifth-straight season. Philly, meanwhile, is making its first appearance in the conference semis since 2003.

On the injury front the aging Celtics are banged up in the backcourt, with both Paul Pierce and Ray Allen hobbled by bad wheels.

Philly took the season series from Boston this year two games to one, and none of those games were really close. The Sixers won by 32 and 13 points, while the Celtics won by 24.

These two teams have combined to go 62-79 on the 'over/unders' this season.

Game 2 will be played Monday night (7 pm Eastern, TNT) before the series moves to Philadelphia for Game 3 and 4 Wednesday and Friday.