Celtics vs 76ers Picks and Predictions: Embiid Makes his Presence Felt

Joel Embiid will be bringing his A-Game to tonight's Celtics vs. 76ers clash, and the MVP candidate can exploit the matchup and stuff the box score, as our NBA picks explain.

Last Updated: Feb 25, 2023 11:46 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Joel Embiid NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Two of the top squads in the East will square off at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night as the Boston Celtics take on the Philadelphia 76ers. 

Both teams were successful in their first game out of the All-Star break on Thursday, with the Celtics beating the Pacers 142-138 in overtime, while the Sixers handled the Grizzlies, 110-105. 

Who will be able to build on their momentum in this spot? Find out in our free NBA picks and predictions for Celtics vs 76ers on Saturday, February 25.

Celtics vs 76ers best odds

Celtics vs 76ers picks and predictions

The Celtics haven’t earned the best record in the NBA by allowing opposing superstars to walk all over them, but 76ers' MVP candidate Joel Embiid appears to be in line for another fine performance on Saturday night.

Embiid scored “only” 27 points in Philly’s return to play against the Grizzlies on Thursday night. But in a game where he was held to just 28% shooting from the floor by Jaren Jackson Jr. & Co., Embiid still managed to make a huge impact by adding 19 rebounds and six assists to his ledger. He also had six blocks on the other end of the court.

The Cameroonian big man is averaging 30.1 ppg this month, along with 11.7 rpg and 3.8 apg. For the year, his figures are 33 ppg, 10.3 rpg, and 4.1 apg, for a total of 47.4 points, rebounds, and assists a night. Those numbers jump to 33.8 ppg, 10.9 rpg, and 4.4 apg at home (49.1 combined). 

Embiid is also shooting 53% from the floor this year, so don’t expect another bout of inaccuracy from him on Saturday night.

Robert Williams III is a daunting presence under the rim for Boston, which is why they’re fourth in the NBA in ppg allowed to centers this season (20.5). But the Celtics are 10th in apg allowed to centers (3.6), and 21st in rpg secured by that enemy position (15.5). As Embiid demonstrated on Thursday, even when he’s held down in the scoring department, he can still contribute significantly in other ways.

Embiid has faced Boston twice this season, the last meeting being on Feb. 8. For whatever reason, points were precious in that game, as the Celtics walked away with a 106-99 triumph at TD Garden. But Embiid still had 28 points. 

He cleared tonight’s points/rebounds/assists line of 45.5 when these teams met on opening night, amassing 26 points, 15 boards, and five helpers. Bet on him to do it again here.

My best bet: Joel Embiid Over 45.5 points + rebounds + assists (-113)

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Celtics vs 76ers spread analysis

The Celtics have taken the first two meetings between these clubs this year, but neither has been quite convincing, and both were at home.

In the season opener, Boston needed a combined 70-point effort from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to prevail 126-117. They scored nearly 56% of their team’s points that night.

In the rematch on Feb. 8, the Celtics benefitted from some too-bad-to-be-believed efforts from Sixers supporting cast Tobias Harris (2-for-10) and Tyrese Maxey (3-for-14). Boston didn’t have much of an answer for Embiid (as we discussed above) or James Harden (26 points, 11 assists). 

Philly is more than capable of flipping the script at Wells Fargo Center as small underdogs. They’ve covered in each of their last five overall, and are 21-6 ATS in their last 27 home games. That includes a 6-1 ATS mark in their last seven home games against teams with winning road records.

Meanwhile, the Celtics are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 road games against teams with winning home records, and 1-4 ATS in their last five games after scoring more than 125 points in their previous contest.

Celtics vs 76ers Over/Under analysis

This handicapper is dismissing Feb. 8’s low-scoring clash between these clubs as a total fluke. Brown exited early due to injury, and Tatum shot just 33% from the floor. Embiid and Harden were practically abandoned by their teammates in an uncharacteristically poor shooting night.

A repeat of the Oct. 18 meeting — where the teams combined for 243 points — is much more likely. In addition to Tatum and Brown dropping 35 apiece (and Malcolm Brogdon adding 16 points off the bench), Harden also had a 35-point night. Embiid had 26, Maxey 21, and Harris 18. For Maxey and Harris, who are averaging 19.7 ppg and 15.4 ppg this year, respectively, that’s a repeatable performance. 

The Over has cashed in five straight games involving the Celtics (average margin of 20.4 points), and is 5-2 in Boston’s last seven games played on one day of rest. The Sixers are 10-3-1 to the Over in their last 14 home games, and 6-2 in their last eight games against teams with a winning percentage above .600.

Celtics vs 76ers betting trend to know

The Celtics are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS loss. Find more NBA betting trends for Celtics vs. 76ers.

Celtics vs 76ers game info

Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Date: Saturday, February 25, 2023
Tip-off: 8:30 p.m. ET

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