The NBA Playoffs continue Saturday night in Game 7 between the visiting Philadelphia 76ers and the Boston Celtics. The NBA Playoff odds for the game have the Celtics favored by 5.5 points. The game is scheduled for a 8:00 pm start time and it will be televised live on ABC. The spread shows that bookmakers have a prediction of a low-scoring, close home win for the Celtics.
Picks: The 76ers have battled the older, grittier Celtics in this series to a finale in the seventh game. Like they say, if an underdog can just GET to force a Game 7, you never know what can happen. The spread concerns me a little bit in this contest. I don't think the Celtics are 6 points better than the 76ers right now, especially with Avery Bradley being on the shelf for the rest of the season and Ray Allen completely banged up. Now, that's just one position on the floor, but it's a big spot in my opinion. Either way, the winner of tonight's game will play the Miami Heat for the right to play for the NBA title. Pretty exciting stuff for both of these teams, who arguably didn't have the regular seasons to predict this spot. I think we have to give an edge to the Celtics in this contest if mainly because of their age. I know that's not the only reason they are here, but Philadelphia is a young squad. The Sixers have not been to a Game 7 since 2001 as a franchise. Boston, on the other hand, has gone 3-2 overall in Game 7s since the new Big Three was assembled in 2007. Rajon Rondo will be the key in this game for me. He's an elite talent at the point guard position and his ability to facilitate keeps everyone involved. In Game 6 he was un-Rondo like, connecting on just nine points, six assists and nine rebounds. It was the first time in the 2012 playoffs that he didn't reach double digits in any of those categories. A bounce-back game for him is going to prove to be instrumental for the Celtics. Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala are going to have something to say about who wins tonight's game but that young backcourt isn't going to be able to get it done, I think. But then again, 30-year-old Elton Brand will also play a pivotal role.
Prediction: I like the Celtics to win a close, hard fought, low-scoring battle. I don't think they are six points better than Philly RIGHT NOW, but I do think they win the game outright on the court. It's going to be a tough contest, but home court advantage is going to be big for Boston. It really doesn't matter which of these teams advances to next week's Eastern Conference Finals, because I think they will both be too beat up to take on the Heat. Celtics 85, 76ers 81
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NBA Free Picks: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics - Game 7
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