76ers’ head coach Brett Brown talks with Boban Marjanovic during Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
76ers’ head coach Brett Brown talks with Boban Marjanovic during Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)|Associated Press
NBA

NBA: Greg expects a lower scoring Sixers-Celts & Magic regression

Celtics +7 @ SIXERS (225), 8:05 pm; Magic +4.5 @ Pelicans (226), 8:05 pm

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

Celtics +7 @ SIXERS (225), 8:05 pm
Pick: Under 225

One of the trickier things to do when betting sports is deciding which past results are an indicator of the future and which ones are difficult to sustain, opening up opportunities to sell high. The post trade deadline Sixers are a good example of this. In the two games after the deadline, Philadelphia won and covered while scoring 117 and 143 points respectively. Make no mistake, the Sixers have improved significantly with last week’s trades. But, they’re bound to have an off night offensively somewhere along the way. What remains to be seen is if Philly can grind out lower-scoring wins, which it will likely have to do at some point in the postseason. They welcome a potential playoff opponent tonight as Boston pays a visit to Wells Fargo Center. Boston is fifth in the NBA in opponent points per game and the Celtics will be without Kyrie Irving. When it comes to the side, everything points to the Sixers, but Boston’s recent success against Philly has us a little hesitant to lay seven points here. We’re going to take the under banking on the Sixers slowing down offensively against a team that defends well and Irving’s absence keeping Boston under 110.

Magic +4.5 @ Pelicans (226), 8:05 pm
Pick: Pelicans -4.5

Before and after the Anthony Davis drama started in New Orleans, the Pelicans had been remaining competitive and covering numbers. They’ve now covered six of their last nine games including games against San Antonio, Denver, Houston and Oklahoma City. Orlando has won back-to-back games on the road but is still 10-17 in away games so we’re thinking that’s more of a fluke than a bad team turning a corner this late into the season. Regardless of the fact that Davis appears to be playing in a limited role after not being traded, the Kentucky product being on the floor at all obviously is a plus for the Pelicans’ chances to win games. That’s all we care about here, and 4.5 feels a little short against an Orlando team due to regress.

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