The Boston Celtics end a lengthy eight game road swing in a battle for Atlantic division supremacy when they tip off against the 76'ers in Philadelphia. Find out why I have decided to turn my attention to this game's NBA betting total.

Boston Celtics (25-21 SU, 21-25 ATS)

Celtics vs. 76ersIt would not have been surprising if the Celtics had failed to show up last night against Milwaukee with a huge Atlantic division throw down looming. But Paul Pierce led the charge by draining 25 points and this aging Celtic roster looked like a bunch of fresh faced kids as they snapped the Bucks six game winning streak with a 100-91 victory. It was the seventh of an eight game road trip and Boston did not succumb to the temptation of looking ahead to tonight's clash with Philly. 

The Boston Celtics have strung together two consecutive wins and are 4-3 both straight up and against the number on their current road swing. Despite getting blown out in Sacramento 120-95, the Green has been competitive in every game during this trip and will be looking to vault into first place with a victory tonight coupled with a blissful flight back to Boston. 

The Celtics cannot have fond memories of their last trip to the Wells Fargo Center where they were trounced 103-71 and shot a dismal 35% from the field. However, it should be noted the Celtics were coming off two consecutive overtime victories and one occurred the night before when Boston edged the Rockets 97-92 and then had to fly directly to Philadelphia. Not surprisingly, the Celtics were unable to muster the energy to hang and bang with the Sixers and got throttled.

Philadelphia 76'ers (26-21, 25-22)

While the Celtics are making a late season push for division supremacy, the 76'ers are staggering as they approach the homestretch. Philadelphia has lost 4 of their last 5, both straight up and against the spread. In their last game they lost as four point NBA odds favorites to another division rival, the New York Knicks, in a see-saw battle that saw Philly come up empty 82-79.

Power forward Elton Brand will need to make his presence known as he is one of the big rebounders for Philadelphia and can be a deciding factor against a Celtics team that has had difficulty in that area throughout the season. In addition, the Sixers are one of the few teams that play defense better than the Celtics, allowing only 87.5 points per game, ranking them first in the NBA. Philadelphia's offense has not been their strong suit this season, particularly during their recent tailspin, as evidenced by the fact that their leading scorer, Lou Williams, is in fact a role player who spells point guard Jrue Holiday. 

Analysis:

It's difficult to determine which Celtics club will show up tonight. Are they running on sheer adrenaline off a big win in Milwaukee last night, understanding the merciful end to their epic road trip lies in Philly tonight or will this veteran team show their age and succumb to the exhaustion of back to back games and a grueling schedule? Will Philadelphia rise to the occasion and find confidence in their March 7th dismantling of Boston despite their recent travails?

Oftentimes the NBA betting rule is to fade the team playing the second of back to back games in the NBA but in this case, I'm not so sure. Philadelphia has looked disjointed and lethargic while the Celtics have played very well even in defeat (with the exception of their game against Sacramento) during their road trip. 

So when in doubt I say punt! We will pass on the side but the total looks like an inviting choice for our NBA picks. We know one thing, both teams can play some serious defense. Last time these teams met, the Celtics were too spent to mount any offense and couldn't must much defense either. This game should more likely resemble a defensive battle, therefore let's look for two mediocre offenses coupled with stellar defenses to keep this one low.

My Pick: Play Under 179.