NBA Playoff Predictions 2012: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics, Game 1 Odds

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
Saturday, 5/12/12, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  TNT
Opening Point Spread:  Boston -5.5
Current Betting Line:  Boston -5
Opening Total:  170.5
Current Total:  170
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

Celtics Heat NBA Playoff Game 3 Preview
The Boston Celtics are five-point home favorites against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series

Philadelphia may suffer from a bit of a letdown after knocking out the Eastern Conference’s top seed in the 2012 NBA playoffs, moving past the Chicago Bulls in six games.  “We’ll be prepared, but it’s a quick turnaround,” commented 76ers head coach Doug Collins.  It was a significant moment due to the franchise winning its first layoff series since 2003.  Point guard Jrue Holiday has been the leader offensively, pacing the team in averaging 18.2 points per game, as he managed to score 14 points or more in all six first-round games.  Philadelphia is 2-5 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points, while the “under” is 4-3 in that situation.

The 76ers managed to win just one of three games on the road against the Bulls, but should still travel to Boston with plenty of confidence, as they captured a 2-1 series victory over the Celtics in three regular-season meetings this year.  Philadelphia averaged 93.7 points on 44 percent shooting, while Boston was limited to 86.7 points per game despite hitting 46.8 percent of its shots.  The team’s offense needs to get going again, scoring below 90 points in each of the past four games.

Boston also played six games in its first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks, closing things out with an 83-80 win as 6.5-point home favorites on Thursday night.  The Celtics may have lost the season series to the 76ers, but they did manage to post a convincing 103-79 win as 3.5-point home favorites in the final meeting on April 8.  Five players scored in double figures, with Kevin Garnet scoring a game-high 20 points.  Boston is 6-4 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points.

The Celtics will look to Garnett to continue his strong play in the postseason, as he scored 28 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in Game 6 against the Hawks.  “He was phenomenal,” stated Boston head coach Doc Rivers.  “He bailed us out, really.”  The aging squad is definitely banged up, with small forward Paul Pierce dealing with right knee soreness, while Ray Allen has been limited by an ankle injury.

Bettors will likely back the Celtics due to their 8-1 ATS mark at home versus a team with a losing road record, while the 76ers are 0-5 in their last five trips to the TD Garden.

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