NBA Betting: Oddsmakers Still Prefer The Celtics, But Bettors Prefer The 76ers

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Looking at the NBA Odds at betmgmYou'd never know that the Boston Celtics are a second round battle with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The 76ers won Game 1 in Boston and then won Game 4 in . The series is tied 2-2 and the 76ers, won 54 games in the regular season (only three fewer than the Celtics) and have two elite talents in Joel Embiid and James Harden, have shown they are capable of taking the series.

Nevertheless, the Celtics are still favorites to win the NBA title, 10 wins away.

The Celtics are +165 at BetMGM to win the championship. It is a heavy favorite at this stage in the playoffs. Jason Tatum is +275 to win NBA Finals MVP, and one is younger than +500.

Bettors are not even sure that the Celtics will beat the 76ers in Game 5.

Bettors Are Taking The 76ers

The 76ers are 7.5-point underdogs, and 66% of bets and 60% of the money are on them to cover in Game 5. That's a lot of points for a team that is 2-2 in a series, so that makes sense.

But a lot of bettors think the 76ers can win outright. 67% of all bets on the moneyline are on 76 people.

It is a battle between bookies and bookmakers, and the house usually wins when there is a disagreement. But there are plenty of reasons to like the 76ers. The Celtics faltered at the end of the season, struggling to eliminate the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, and they lost two games earlier in the series. The 76ers have won both games in which Harden has played well, and if he overheats a couple more times in this series, it could spell trouble for the Celtics.

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But the audiences remain strong on the Celtics.

The Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid, center, goes for a shot against Marcus Smart, left, and Al Horford of the Boston Celtics. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Celtics big favorites for game 5

The point spread for Game 5 is an indication of where the Celtics are rated at sportsbooks.

The Celtics were 10.5-point favorites in Game 1 and lost straight away. Then the spread for game 2 became 7.5. Even if the 76ers win another game in Philadelphia, the spread for Game 5 is still 7.5. A low seed that happened to upset the first round.

Boston is a whopping -185 favorite to win the East, and that makes some sense. If they get by the 76ers, they will be a big favorite over the Miami Heat, or the New York Knicks if the Knicks rally from a 3-1 deficit in the series.

Still, it must be a little scary to take on a big favorite when they aren't even assured of a second round exit. The next few days will go a long way in deciding whether the Celtics are the favorites worthy of winning it all.