Philadelphia 76ers' Josh Richardson, center, goes up for a shot between Denver Nuggets' Malik Beasley, left, and Will Barton during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Philadelphia.
Philadelphia 76ers' Josh Richardson, center, goes up for a shot between Denver Nuggets' Malik Beasley, left, and Will Barton during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, in Philadelphia.|Matt Slocum | Associated Press
NBA

NBA Thursday: Greg Frank picks Sixers vs Celtics — given both teams defensive prowess, should you bet the over or under?

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

1-1 Wednesday, 42-43-1 overall.

Sixers (-1.5) @ Celtics (211)

Pick: Under 211

The game of the night in the NBA takes place in Boston as the Celtics play host to the Sixers. This will be the second meeting between the rivals as Philly won back on October 23, 107-93. In nearly two months since, the Celtics have lost only five games. One of those five happened to come last night in Indiana against the Pacers. Normally we like to fade teams on the second leg of back-to-backs, but Boston likely had this game circled after losing by double digits at Wells Fargo Center in the season opener. We like the total more than either side tonight and will play it under 211. The Celtics played an uncharacteristically bad game defensively last night in Indianapolis, allowing 122 points in a game that ended in regulation. It was the second most points allowed by the Celtics in any game so far this season. On November 13, Washington scored 133 against the Celtics, and Boston proceeded to only allow 100 points in its next game. At 103.6 points per game allowed, the Celtics boast the NBA’s fourth best scoring defense. Philadelphia happens to be third at 103.5. Add those averages up and you get 207.1 so that gives us good value on the under as it is. Then considering the Celtics are a team we expect to come with a renewed focus defensively in a rivalry affair and the under makes a lot of sense.

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