Now, Boston looks to put serious pressure on upstart Philadelphia when they meet Thursday (8:30 p.m. ET) in Game 2 at TD Garden.
The 76ers are 4.5-point sportsbook favorites, with the over-under for total points scored set at 206.5.
For optimal insight on how to pick this game against the spread, check out data from the SportsLine Projection Model. The advanced computer model, which is on a 10-2 run in its Eastern Conference picks, simulates each game 10,000 times, analyzing every possible matchup and trend to project a final score and player statistics.
We can tell you the model leans toward the over 206.5 points, which it sees hitting at least 55 percent of the time. It also has generated a point-spread selection that should cash in better than half the time.
The Celtics have defied both the odds and conventional logic with an injury-ravaged roster that seemingly reinvents itself on a nightly basis.
Injuries to prized free agent Gordon Hayward and a late season-ending injury to star point guard Kyrie Irving essentially relegated Boston to afterthought status in the postseason despite earning the No. 2 seed with 55 wins.
The Celtics were short favorites to get past Milwaukee in their first-round series, and they managed to advance in seven games. They are substantial underdogs in the second round against the surging 76ers, who dominated the Miami Heat in the first round.
To make matters worse, Boston was forced to play Game 1 without rising star Jaylen Brown (14.5 ppg), who sat out with a hamstring strain. But the Celtics saw several players pick up the slack and they rolled to a 117-101 victory in Game 1. Brown is expected to be sidelined again in Game 2.
The 76ers looked rusty following a six-day layoff and missed 15 of their first 20 shots. They also hit 5 of 26 3-point attempts.
Will the Celtics thrive again as a home underdog, or will the 76ers bounce back with a dominant Game 2 performance?... Visit SportsLine here to find out which side of the 76ers-Celtics spread hits better than half the time Thursday, all from the advanced computer model on a 10-2 run on its Eastern Conference picks.