NBA Underdog Pick of the Day (Can Sixers Upset Celtics at Home?)

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics have won eight straight games to move into the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference and they are playing as the league’s No. 1 defense over that stretch. 

Despite that, I’m going to back the Philadelphia 76ers at home to upset Boston and end this winning streak. Boston has been rolling, but it hasn’t faced the toughest schedule on this run. 

Boston’s wins have come against New Orleans, Miami (without Jimmy Butler and Kyle Lowry), Charlotte, Detroit, Orlando, Brooklyn (without James Harden, Kevin Durant or Kyrie Irving), Denver and Atlanta (without John Collins). 

Only the Nuggets are a top-six team in their conference that wasn’t down it’s best player. Essentially, Boston has had impeccable timing and solid play. 

The Celtics have taken advantage of the opportunity, and they’ll get another short-handed team in the Philadelphia 76ers, who won’t have the newly-acquired Harden on Tuesday. 

Here’s how the odds for this game look at WynnBET

Celtics vs. 76ers Odds, Spread and Total


  • Celtics: -2 (-110)
  • 76ers: +2 (-110)


  • Celtics: -140
  • 76ers: +115


  • 210 (Over: -110/Under: -110)

Why Sixers Can Upset Celtics 

This game starts and ends with Joel Embiid. 

The leading candidate for the MVP award dominated Boston in a 12-point win on Jan. 14, scoring 25 points while adding 13 rebounds and six dimes. He was even better in the Sixers’ Dec. 20 win over Boston, scoring 41 points and adding 10 rebounds. 

As good as Robert Williams is defensively, he’s simply too undersized to hold Embiid, and there really isn’t anyone in the NBA who can. Al Horford has been solid on Embiid in his career, but the Sixers big man is on arguably the best run of his career, averaging 33.5 points, 11.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game while shooting 52.2 percent from the field over his last 26 games. 

That’s a huge sample size where Embiid has dominated, and with Jaylen Brown slumping for Boston, I wouldn't be surprised if the Celtics’ luck runs out tonight. 

Both of these teams are top eight in the NBA in defensive rating, but the Sixers are a slightly better offense (14th) than Boston (19th). This is going to be a slow-paced game, as both teams are bottom-10 in the league in pace, but I think that benefits Embiid and company. 

The Celtics haven’t had an answer for the Sixers’ big man all year, and I think he can will Philly to a road win on Tuesday night. 

Lean: Sixers Moneyline (+115)

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record in the NBA this season here.