Boston (33-10) vs Philadelphia (19-19)
When: Thursday, January 11th 2018
Where: The O2 Arena, London, England
Time: 3:05 ET | TV: NBA TV
Opening Odds: Boston -2/208
A couple of hot teams will make the journey across the pond as the Boston Celtics face the Philadelphia 76ers in London, England on Thursday afternoon (Eastern Time). The 76ers have been streaky all season, but are currently trending in the right direction by winning their last four games while scoring an average of 114 points, but they will take on the best defensive team in the league Thursday. Philadelphia has been off since turning up its own defense and earning its most impressive victory of the season with a 114-78 pounding of the Detroit Pistons on Friday. The Celtics are also hot with six-straight victories and showed off their defensive prowess by stopping five shots in the final 7.5 seconds of Saturday’s 87-85 win over the Brooklyn Nets. Boston leads the NBA in scoring defense at an average of 97.6 points allowed and defensive field-goal percentage (.429). Boston easily took the first two meetings this season by an average of 10.5 points.
Rookie forward Jayson Tatum has had his ups-and-downs this year (mostly up), but is going through a bit of a shooting slump, hitting only 16-of-43 from the floor over the last four games, but he is still coming through in the clutch. Tatum scored Boston’s final five points on Saturday, including a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left, and recorded a season-high six blocks to go with 14 points, six rebounds and three steals. Tatum has slipped to third on the team in scoring (13.9) behind Jaylen Brown (14.1) and Kyrie Irving (24.1).
Philadelphia has a plethora of young talent including rookie point guard Ben Simmons, who heads to London hot after averaging 22 points in the last three games. Simmons needed just 23 minutes to record 19 points and nine assists on Friday and did most of his damage during a 15-0 run early in the game that set the tone. Philadelphia’s fast-paced offense leads to a lot of point on the other end of the floor, but the defense is tight, ranking third in both defensive field goal percentage (43.9) and 3-point defense (34.2).
To be the best, you have to beat the best. Philadelphia knows that and so far this season they’ve been unable to solve the East-leading Celtics. Maybe playing in a different country will help, but I see Boston winning this game.
Pick: Celtics -2.5
- Celtics are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 Thursday games.
- Celtics are 11-3-1 ATS in their last 15 games following a ATS loss.
- Celtics are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 road games.
- Celtics are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Celtics are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games following a straight up win.
- 76ers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games playing on 3 or more days rest.
- 76ers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall.
- 76ers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
- 76ers are 8-1 ATS in their last 9 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
- 76ers are 17-5 ATS in their last 22 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- 76ers are 21-7 ATS in their last 28 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of greater than .600.
- 76ers are 24-9 ATS in their last 33 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- 76ers are 28-12 ATS in their last 40 games following a straight up win.
- 76ers are 37-17 ATS in their last 54 games following a ATS win.
- 76ers are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 vs. Eastern Conference.
- 76ers are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games.
- 76ers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. NBA Atlantic.
- 76ers are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 Thursday games.
- Under is 5-0 in Celtics last 5 Thursday games.
- Under is 5-1 in Celtics last 6 overall.
- Under is 4-1 in Celtics last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Under is 8-2 in Celtics last 10 vs. NBA Atlantic.
- Under is 4-1 in Celtics last 5 games following a ATS loss.
- Under is 5-2 in Celtics last 7 road games.
- Over is 4-1 in 76ers last 5 games following a straight up win.
- Over is 4-1 in 76ers last 5 games following a ATS win.
- Under is 6-2 in 76ers last 8 vs. Eastern Conference.
- Under is 5-2 in 76ers last 7 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Over is 5-2 in 76ers last 7 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Over is 11-5 in 76ers last 16 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Over is 5-2 in the last 7 meetings.
- Celtics are 5-2 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Philadelphia.
- Underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings.