76ers vs. Celtics odds: Picks from expert who's 16-9 on Sixers games

Longtime division foes clash Thursday when the Boston Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers at 7 p.m. ET. The Celtics opened as six-point favorites and now are laying 4.5. The over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 209.5, down from 212.5.

Before picking either side, you need to read what SportsLine NBA expert Larry Hartstein has to say. Hartstein has put together an impressive 16-9 run picking Sixers games.

Now, Hartstein, who has a strong analytical background, has examined every matchup, every player and every trend for 76ers-Celtics on Thursday and locked in his pick. You can only see it at SportsLine.

The last time these teams squared off, Hartstein reminded bettors that the Celtics had held Joel Embiid to 11 points in their previous contest and confidently selected Boston -3. The result? Embiid scored only 15 points on 6-for-17 shooting and coughed up the orange four times in a 114-103 Sixers loss. While Philly lost, Hartstein and everyone on SportsLine won.

Hartstein knows the Celtics are 7-1-1 against the spread in their past nine games following a straight-up loss, while the over is 6-2 in the past eight head-to-head matchups in Boston.

Philadelphia's best shot at covering the spread -- and winning outright -- will be to exploit Boston's guards since Kyrie Irving (shoulder) is questionable. Even if he does play, a physical Sixers squad could wreak havoc from the perimeter.

But Boston can cover the spread by pressuring J.J. Redick's replacement. Second-year guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is Redick's likely fill-in and is shooting 38 percent from the field. Redick is out at least 10 days with a leg injury.

So what side of the Sixers-Celtics do you need to be all over? Visit SportsLine now to see the strong point-spread pick for 76ers-Celtics, all from an expert who's 16-9 picking Philadelphia games, and find out.

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