76ers vs. Celtics odds, line: NBA picks, predictions for Opening Night from red-hot expert who's 23-9

The 2018-19 NBA season tips off in exciting fashion on Tuesday, with potential conference finals previews in both games on Opening Night. That action begins with Celtics vs. Sixers as two of the most exciting, young teams in the NBA square off. With LeBron James leaving the Eastern Conference for the Lakers, things are up for grabs and this matchup will likely shape perceptions during the early portion of the season. Right now, Boston is a five point favorite with the total at 210.5 in the latest Celtics vs. Sixers odds. However, before you make any Celtics vs. Sixers picks and predictions, you'll want to hear what NBA expert Galin "The Dragon" Dragiev has to say about this star-studded showdown. 

A fantasy sports expert with degrees in physics and mechanical engineering, Dragiev uses his strong analytical background whenever he makes a pick. And he has uncanny data on the Sixers and Celtics: In his past 24 against-the-spread picks involving the Celtics, Dragiev has been correct 17 times. In his past eight involving Philly, he's 6-2, giving him a 23-9 mark on spread picks involving these two teams.

Now Dragiev has analyzed 76ers-Celtics from every possible angle and locked in a strong point-spread pick. He's sharing it over at SportsLine. 

Dragiev knows Boston has won 14 of the past 16 regular-season meetings and covered four of the past five matchups at TD Garden. With Hayward and Irving back, the Celtics are the NBA's deepest team and should exceed last season's 55 wins. Jaylen Brown (14.5 points per game last season), Jayson Tatum (13.9) and Marcus Smart (10.2, 4.8 assists per game) are among several key young pieces complementing vets like Al Horford on this stacked team. 

But just because the Celtics have owned Philly lately doesn't mean they'll cover a substantial spread in the opener.

Last season was just the beginning for the Sixers after a years-long rebuilding plan, or at least they hope. They spent years picking near the top of the draft to restock their roster and now they finally have the talent to make a true surge to the top.

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have already shown the potential to be regular All-Stars and they'll continue to be the focal point as 2017 No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz hopes to make big strides after shooting an alleged 100,000 jumpers this offseason. But Fultz is no guarantee, so it's up to Embiid and Simmons to continue carrying the load while Fultz tries to get up to speed.

The good news: Simmons, in particular, looks up to the task. He led the Sixers to a 19-1 finish last regular season and he recorded six triple-doubles during that time.

We can tell you Dragiev is leaning over, but his much stronger play is against the spread. He says a major x-factor makes one side of the spread a must-back. He's sharing what it is, and who to back, only at SportsLine.

So which side of the 76ers-Celtics spread should you back? And what x-factor determines the outcome on Opening Night? Visit SportsLine now to see which side you need to be all over, all from the expert who's 23-9 on spread picks involving Philadelphia and Boston.

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