In: NBA Free Picks14 May 2012
Free Picks Newsletter Lead Researcher
166-112-1 Overall Record
NBA Predictions: Philadelphia 76ers (+4) vs. Boston Celtics (-4) Over-Under 173.5
After an exciting game Saturday night, the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics take the floor in game 2 of their second round playoff series. The Sixers were able to clog up the paint versus Boston forcing Boston’s frontcourt players to live on the perimeter where they were mostly ineffective for most of the game. Both teams seemed comfortable playing an up tempo type of game, which will likely lead to a lot points for both teams in game two.
Both teams averaged over 90 points per game during the season, which makes this 173.5 point line seem laughable. In game one, the line was 171 and the Sixers and Celtics combined to score 183 points. Although the first game was close, do not expect game 2 to be much different from an offensive standpoint.
For the Sixers, the over play is 7-1 in their last 8 games following a straight up loss and 4-1 in Philadelphia’s last 5 playoff games as an underdog. Even though, the Sixers are very fortunate to even be in the second round, people forget that this team started the season off on fire before slowing down after the All-Star break. Expect for Philadelphia to come out fired up for game two as they know that they let the first game slip away from them.
As for Boston, they have been very comfortable playing faced paced with Rajon Rondo and nobody expects for Paul Pierce to struggle the way he did in the first game. The over play is 4-1 in Boston’s last 5 games following an against the spread loss and 5-1 in the Celtics last 6 Conference Semifinals games. The only real question mark for Boston will be the effectiveness of Ray Allen with those bone spurs in his right ankle.
Whether Ray Allen is effective or not for the Celtics, they have enough offensive firepower to push the combined scoring total for this game over 173.5 points. Philadelphia has a chance to win this game, because of their balanced scoring attack with four players averaging double figures, so there is no reason not to believe this game will be a higher scoring affair than the odds makers think. Honestly, there is no reason that I can see to take the under play, so bet the over and get ready to collect your money.
Pick: Over 173.5