76ers vs. Celtics Wednesday NBA injury report, odds: Robert Williams, Al Horford downgraded to questionable, bettors backing Philly on spread
The marquee matchup on Wednesday's NBA schedule is the first game of an ESPN doubleheader as the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics renew their heated rivalry at TD Garden in Boston. It is the most-wagered NBA game of the night at Caesars Sportsbook. Boston could be quite short-handed, as guard Marcus Smart is out again and starting big men Al Horford and Robert Williams have both been downgraded to questionable. Click here for model picks.
Boston opened -5 at Caesars but is down to -4 with the Horford and Williams news. As of this writing, 75% of the handle and 50% of the tickets on the spread are on the Sixers. On the moneyline (Boston down to -190, Philadelphia +160), 68% of tickets are on the home side and 52% of dollars on the visitors. The total is currently 224.5 points with 75% of tickets on the Over and 69% of money on the Under.
The Celtics would appear quite vulnerable defensively without Smart, the 2021-22 NBA Defensive Player of the Year who hasn't played in weeks due to an ankle injury, and Williams, who has been in and out of the lineup often due to his own ankle issue and was a DPOY candidate last year as well. The "Time Lord" is averaging 8.6 points on absurd 77.2% shooting along with 8.4 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in only 23.6 minutes per game. He comes off only the second 15-point, 15-rebound game of his career Monday in a win at Detroit.
Horford is dealing with right knee swelling. He averages 9.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game and is shooting 41.7% from deep. Grant Williams, Luke Kornet and Blake Griffin should be set for bigger roles if both Williams and Horford sit. Jaylen Brown missed Monday's game with a non-COVID illness but is good to go.
The Sixers had an eight-game road winning streak snapped Sunday, blowing an early 21-point lead in a 108-97 loss at the Knicks. Joel Embiid had 31 points and 14 rebounds for the 76ers in the defeat. It was his sixth straight game with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds, the longest such active run in the NBA. Embiid is listed questionable tonight but always is. He'll play barring something unforeseen and is -304 for a double-double and +208 to come up short.
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