On paper, this second-round sequence between the Celtics and 76ers ought to be among the best of your entire NBA postseason.

However well being may decide whether or not that truly involves fruition.

Famous person middle Joel Embiid (knee) looks like a protracted shot to play in Monday’s Sport 1, which has prompted oddsmakers at BetMGM to put in Philadelphia as a double-digit underdog on this sequence opener.

Will this sport be as a lot of a blowout because the market is anticipating, or can the Sixers preserve it shut with their prime participant on the bench?

Right here’s how we’re betting Monday’s contest, which ideas off at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

Celtics vs. 76ers odds

(by way of BetMGM)

  • Celtics -10.5 (-105), moneyline -550
  • 76ers +10.5 (-115), moneyline +400
  • O/U 213.5 (-110)

Celtics vs. 76ers prediction and evaluation

(7:30 p.m. ET on TNT)

All the pieces about betting this sport revolves round two central questions: will Embiid play by the best knee sprain that has stored him sidelined since Sport 3 of the primary spherical?

And if he doesn’t, how a lot worse will the 76ers be with out him?

The reply to that first query appears clearer with each passing day.

On Saturday, coach Doc Rivers casted doubt on Embiid’s probabilities of suiting up two days later, which got here hours earlier than a report that Embiid’s damage was extra critical than initially thought. He was listed as “uncertain” on Sunday’s damage report.

It doesn’t take a basketball genius to counsel the Sixers are worse on paper with out this yr’s presumptive MVP.

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers
Getty Pictures

Embiid led the league in scoring (33.1 PPG) on a stellar 54.8% capturing within the common season, and his mere presence on the court docket fueled a lot of his workforce’s success within the first spherical towards Brooklyn.

Right here’s the difficult half: the 76ers have really been higher on a per-possession foundation this yr when Embiid isn’t taking part in.

And so they’ve hardly ever been blown out in the way in which oddsmakers predict on Monday.

This season, Philadelphia has outscored opponents by 4.2 factors per 100 possessions in its 69 mixed regular-season and postseason video games with Embiid on the court docket.

In 17 video games with out him, that web score jumps to 7.3 – which might have ranked forward of the league-leading Celtics (+6.7) for the perfect mark throughout the total common season.

Unusually sufficient, this workforce has been one level higher offensively and two factors higher defensively throughout 100 possessions with out its famous person middle, boasting a 12-5 file outright with simply two losses by double digits.

The Sixers have shot almost identically from the ground with and with out Embiid, however they’ve loved a quicker tempo with higher passing effectivity and extra 3-point quantity in his absence.

Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics
Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics
Getty Pictures

In the meantime, the Celtics have been the NBA’s greatest workforce this season however aren’t precisely blowing the doorways off their opponents.

Simply two of the workforce’s six video games in Spherical 1 resulted in double-digit margins, and all 4 of their video games towards Philly this yr had been determined by 9 factors or much less.

Granted, Embiid performed in all 4 of these video games and mixed for 93 factors within the remaining two, however oddsmakers appear to be overstating his affect right here for a workforce that has sufficient expertise to succeed with out him.

We already noticed that in Sport 4 of the Nets sequence, when 5 76ers completed in double figures and 4 completed with no less than eight rebounds.

Betting on the NBA?

Additionally contemplate the huge relaxation benefit that Philadelphia enjoys after sweeping its first-round opponent.

During the last 20 years, simply 13 groups have entered a postseason sequence with greater than every week of relaxation; eight of them coated the unfold in Sport 1 (61.5%), and simply a type of 13 groups misplaced by 10 or extra factors.

I wouldn’t guess on the Sixers in a full sequence with out their MVP frontrunner, however they need to be capable to dangle with the C’s after greater than every week to organize.

Celtics vs. 76ers decide

76ers +9.5 (-115 BetMGM)