It’s one of the most exciting happenings in sports, a Game 7 instant elimination matchup. Tonight the upstart Philadelphia 76ers travel to Boston in the hopes of upsetting the Celtics and continuing their improbable NBA playoff run. No matter who wins this brutal series, the recharging Miami Heat await and they look to be insurmountable recently. The NBA would love to have a Heat-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals and Vegas would probably see more action from that pairing as well. Before we get the cart ahead of the horse, let’s break down tonight’s action packed Game 7.
Tonight’s line opened up at -5.5 and has stayed firm throughout the day. I would’ve liked the spread to be about Boston -3.5 but 61% of the betting public seems to be down with the -5.5 as Boston has received the early consensus lean. Philly sneaked out a win at Boston in Game 2 by the tilt of 82-81 but the atmosphere and energy is always elevated at home in an NBA game 7. In Game 5, the Celtics were favored by the same -5.5 and they ended up routing the 76ers 101-85. With a rare two days rest, you’d have to think that the Celtics benefited more as their roster is older and whatever momentum Philadelphia had after an exciting game 6 win has tapered off.
Game 7′s are exciting because of the sudden death litany of the situation but the truth is that sometimes the game is more hype than it actually delivers. Teams tend to play conservative and the visiting team is often tight and overcome by the maniacal home team fan base. In the 2012 NBA playoffs, we’ve already been treated to a couple Game 7′s. The Lakers finished off the Nuggets by 9 at home and the Clippers pulled off the incredible feat of winning a Game 7 on the road as they eliminated the Grizzlies 82-72. In the recent past, Game 7′s have been prone to blowouts including Atlanta over Milwaukee 95-74, the Thunder beating the Grizzlies 105-90, and Orlando winning in Boston 101-82.
Who Ya Got?
Any time you bet on an NBA Game 7, the initial lean has to go to the home team. Boston -5.5 isn’t a terrible deal because they’ve won 2 games by 16 points in this series. 65% of the betting public like the over as 170.5 is pretty low. I think the 2 days of rest are priceless to the Celtics and they take care of business in blowout fashion at home…and the rooting interest of David Stern’s Celtics/Heat dreams make me feel even better about this game. Celtics it is.