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76ers Could Upset Celtics With Embiid Back In Lineup

Joel Embiid and the 76ers face the Celtics

The Boston Celtics (11-10 SU, 11-10 ATS) host the Philadelphia 76ers (11-10, 10-11) on Wednesday at TD Garden in their first meeting of the season. The Celtics are 5-1 in their last six home games while the 76ers are 3-8 in their last 11 outings.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Boston Celtics
  • Date/Time: December 1, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: TD Garden
  • TV Coverage: NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA TV
  • Opening Odds: Celtics -2 | O/U 210.5 (Line History)
  • 76ers vs Celtics Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The Celtics come into Wednesday’s game as a 2-point favorite at home. The total was set at 210.5 points with the UNDER going 5-2 in Philadelphia’s last seven games. The 76ers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games while the Celtics are 5-15 ATS in their last 20 games against an Atlantic Division opponent.

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Philadelphia News & Notes

The 76ers got back into the win column Monday with a 101-96 victory over the Orlando Magic. Seth Curry led the team with 24 points while Joel Embiid posted a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds in his second game since recovering from COVID-19.

Other than the Ben Simmonds saga, Embiid’s absence has been the story of Philadelphia’s season. The center missed nine games, with the 76ers going 2-7 over that span.

Embiid looked no worse for wear in his first game back as he put up 42 points and 14 rebounds in a double-overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday. He remains the team’s top scorer this season with 22.8 points per game.

Boston News & Notes

The Celtics picked up a 109-97 win over the Toronto Raptors in their last outing Sunday thanks to a well-rounded offensive performance. Marcus Smart led the way with 21 points while four other players scored 15-plus points, including Al Horford (17 points, 11 rebounds).

Boston has had a lukewarm start to its season with the offense and defense trending in opposite directions. On one hand, the Celtics’ defense ranks 10th in the NBA, allowing 105.5 points per game. However, their offense has held them back, generating just 107.1 points per game (18th) due to abysmal 43.5 percent shooting from the field (24th) and 32.6 percent from beyond the arc (26th).

The Celtics could be short-handed on Wednesday as Jaylen Brown (injury management) is questionable and Dennis Schroder (ankle) is probable.

How Philadelphia Will Cover

The 76ers have struggled recently but a lot of that comes down to missing their best player. With Embiid back in the lineup – and already looking in midseason form – they’re not the same team that went 2-7 through mid-November. Embiid’s presence at both ends of the court could turn Wednesday’s contest in Philadelphia’s favor.

How Boston Will Cover

Though he put up just eight points in the Celtics’ last game, Jayson Tatum has been hot of late with four straight outings of 30-plus points from November 17-22. If Brown and Schroder are good to go too, Boston may just have too much offensive weaponry for Philadelphia to handle.

Computer Pick: Celtics +4.5

  • Best Spread
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Shark Bites
  • Boston is 15-3 in its last 18 home games vs Philadelphia.
  • Philadelphia is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
  • Philadelphia is 3-0 in the last 3 meetings.