NBA Playoffs 2012: Philadelphia 76ers vs. Boston Celtics, Game 7 Odds

Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics
Saturday, 5/26/12, 8:00 PM EST, TV:  ABC
Opening Point Spread:  Boston -5.5
Current Betting Line:  Boston -5.5
Opening Total:  171.5
Current Total:  170.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Philadelphia 76ers are looking to become just the second No. 8 seed in history to move past the second round of the NBA playoffs

Philadelphia captured an 82-75 victory over the Boston Celtics as one-point home favorites on Wednesday night in Game 6, which has pushed this best-of-seven Eastern Conference series to the limit.  “It’s definitely a great feeling,” commented 76ers guard Evan Turner.  “It’ll be a great experience.”  He is averaging 11.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in the 2012 NBA playoffs, and is coming off a 12-point performance.  Philadelphia is 4-6 ATS as a road underdog of 3.5 to 6 points, with the “under” going 8-2 in that situation.

The 76ers dominated the paint in the last affair, outscoring the Celtics by a 42-16 margin inside.  Philadelphia is 6-8 all-time in Game 7’s, but is just 1-7 when playing on the road.  That particular victory came against the Celtics in the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals.  History is definitely not on its side in terms of postseason play in the NBA, as only one eight-seed has ever moved past the second round of the playoffs.  Offensively, the team is averaging just 86.6 points per game in the postseason, which is down sharply from the 93.6-point average it finished with in the regular season.

Boston is hoping that center Kevin Garnett can will his team to victory and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to take on the Miami Heat, but he’s also played a lot of minutes in the 2012 NBA playoffs.  “It can be hard, but we’ve got to give him breaks or we wouldn’t be getting what we are from him,” stated Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.  He is averaging 36.6 minutes in the postseason, which is up from 31.1 during the regular season.  Boston is 7-6 ATS as a home favorite of 3.5 to 6 points, while the “over” is 9-4 in those contests.

The Celtics’ aging roster could be running out of gas in this series, posting its lowest shooting percentage of the playoffs last time out.  Point guard Rajon Rondo has always been looked upon as the motor of the squad, but he finished with his lowest assist total of the postseason (6).  It was actually his lowest since dishing out just five assists on March 9 against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Bettors will likely back the 76ers due to their 15-8 ATS record when playing against good defensive teams that allow 91 or fewer points per game, while the Celtics are 3-5 ATS when playing on two days rest.

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