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Betting Predictions For Celtics 76ers - Celtics, Sixers Careen Toward Climax In East Semis

Posted by Craig Parsons on 5/22/2012 5:25:12 PM

In what has been a much tougher and more contentious series than a lot of roundball pundits initially thought, Boston travels to Philadelphia in Game 6. Pressure is in the air.

East Semifinals, Game 6: Boston Celtics @ Philadelphia 76ers – Wednesday, May 23  
Sports betting line: No line

Why Boston Will Win

When you do your homework and try to plan your next bet on sports in the NBA postseason, you will quickly find that the Boston Celtics have been the best team in the Eastern Conference over the past four seasons. Yes, the Orlando Magic and the Miami Heat won Eastern Conference championships in 2009 and 2011, but Boston is and has been the most consistent team in the East over that four-year span. The Celtics reigned supreme in 2008 and won the East in 2010. In 2009, they lost to Orlando in a seven-game East semifinal series only because of an injury to star big man Kevin Garnett, a deficit they almost – but couldn't quite – surmount. In 2011, the Celtics were a clear underdog to the Miami Heat, but they were right there with a chance to win Game 4 in a 2-1 series before the Heat showed why they were so formidable.

Boston is the old lion of the East, as the Big Three of Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen soldier on for one more run at the flag. With Miami missing forward Chris Bosh for at least another week and being dragged into a dogfight with the Indiana Pacers, Boston has a very legitimate chance of winning the East this season. The Celtics' chances of winning the East are far greater than they appeared to be at the beginning of the NBA playoffs, when Chicago's Derrick Rose was still able to play and the Heat hadn't lost Bosh to injury. If Boston can escape Philadelphia in the second round, it will either face a young Indiana team or a diminished Miami team in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Celtics know they have a huge opportunity here. Do not expect this team to squander it against the eighth-seeded Sixers, who are in this series only because of the Chicago Bulls' parade of untimely injuries.

Why Philadelphia Will Win

The Celtics have the experience in this series, but the Sixers have the younger, fresher legs. Philadelphia is smaller, but the 76ers' quickness can negate Boston's size. We've seen this happen in most of the series. Philadelphia outplayed Boston for most of Game 1 but wilted down the stretch in a one-point loss. Had the Sixers stolen that game, this series could be over right now. As it is, the Sixers – on their home floor – can feed off the energy of a supportive crowd and make the Celtics look old. It's quite possible.

Who Will Win

The Celtics have not been particularly impressive in the playoffs, largely because Pierce has been playing with a bad knee and Allen has not been fully healthy in his own right. However, in a Game 6 pressure-cooker situation, expect Boston to rise to the occasion and come out of Philadelphia with a win.
Click here for the latest odds on the NBA playoffs.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Boston

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