2004 Season NBA Basketball Past Picks
April 12, 2005
Boston at Philadelphia
Tuesday 04/12 07:05 PM Eastern
1 unit on Boston +3 (-110) (risk 1 to return 1.91) RESULT: WIN
Old rivals will meet up Tuesday night when Philadelphia hosts Boston. The game will have major playoff implications for both teams. Ten days ago it appeared that the Celtics had the Atlantic Division title sewed up and that the Sixers would be content with finishing eighth. But that was before the Sixers won four in a row and the Celtics dropped 2 of 4. The Cels lead in the division is now down to two games with six to play. And the Sixers hold the tie-breaker by virtue of having already won three games versus Boston this year. Two of those were back in November when the Sixers won in Boston 98-95 as a 2.5-point underdog and then at home 110-97 as a three-point favorite. Games in November count in the standings just as much as games in April although the Celtics couldn't beat the Sixers in their April 3 match at home either. In that one the Sixers jumped out to a huge first quarter lead. The Celtics mounted a late fourth quarter comeback but in the end Philadelphia prevailed 97-93. The win started the Sixers off on their current win streak. In their next game Allen Iverson shouldered the load with forward Chris Webber sidelined. Iverson scored 48 points as the Sixers hung on to beat the Charlotte Bobcats at home 106-103. Philadelphia did not cover as an 11-point favorite. It did not cover in its next either, a 103-98 home win over Cleveland as a seven-point favorite. It got both the win and the money Saturday as it won in Washington 112-106 as a three-point underdog, playing without both Webber and Iverson. The win enabled the Sixers to maintain their 1.5 game lead on New Jersey in the race for eighth in the East but also allowed them to pick up a game on the Celtics who lost at the Nets 99-86. Boston may have split its last four but it is just 3-6 over its last nine (S/U and ATS). It is a surprising 2-2 on the road in that stretch and 3-1 ATS. Surprising because for the season the Celtics are 15-22 away from home and 18-19 ATS. Philadelphia is 22-15 at home but a pathetic 13-23-1 ATS. It has won four of its last six in the host role but has just one pointspread cover. For these reasons, we'll take the points on the visitor for one star.