Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard
Sports Betting Commercial Content. 21+. Provided by Action Network, official betting partner of The Inquirer.

76ers vs Celtics player props: Fade James Harden, Jaylen Brown point totals in opener

A slow night for 76ers guard James Harden and Celtics forward Jaylen Brown leads our best prop bets ahead of the NBA season opener.

James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers during a preseason game at Wells Fargo Center on October 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
James Harden of the Philadelphia 76ers during a preseason game at Wells Fargo Center on October 12, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)Read moreTimothy Nwachukwu / Getty Images

The 2022-23 NBA season kicks off with a matchup between two teams that could represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals by season’s end: NBA Finals runner-up Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers.

The divisional foes of the Atlantic Division split their season series last year, with each team picking up one win on the road. This meeting in TD Garden will be the first between both teams since late December 2021.

None of the matchups last season featured James Harden, who was dealt to the Sixers after their last meeting on February 15. So, when these two teams meet later tonight, will Harden pour in a high point total? Here’s a look at the best prop bets to play ahead of the NBA season opener using the Caesars Sportsbook betting market.

James Harden under 18.5 points (-104)

Despite not playing for the 76ers last season during their four matchups, James Harden did face this Boston Celtics squad once during the 2021 season, pouring in 20 points, 11 assists on just four of 13 shooting as a member of the Brooklyn Nets in a 123-104 win at TD Garden.

Last season, in 21 regular season games in a Philly uniform, Harden averaged just 21 points on 40% shooting, but in the Sixers 12 postseason games, he eclipsed more than 20 points only five times. His postseason production should be more indicative of how the team will utilize him as more of a facilitator than scorer, with teammate Joel Embiid expected to be a top MVP candidate this season.

Because of that, taking the under on his point total, set at 18.5, seems like a smart play. Although Harden is averaging 25 points per game in his last four season openers, Harden has scored 20 points or less in three of those four games.

» READ MORE: 76ers season betting odds, preview: Which futures bets are worth making in 2022-23?

Jaylen Brown under 21.5 points (+114)

No one can argue that Jaylen Brown wasn’t the best player on the floor for the Boston Celtics during the 2022 NBA Finals. The 2016 3rd overall pick averaged nearly 24 points per game and finished with 34 points in the Game 6 loss to the Golden State Warriors that clinched Steph Curry and co. their fourth ring.

Brown has been profitable for prop bettors the last two season openers, pouring in 46 points last season and 33 points two seasons ago. However, in the 2019 season opener against the 76ers, Brown struggled and finished with eight points on just three of six shooting.

The former Cal standout has turned it up a notch in his game, but this feels like a letdown spot after two fantastic season openers in the previous two seasons. Plus, with the addition of having to spend time defending Harden and rising star Tyrese Maxey, his offensive output may be put on the back-burner against this loaded 76ers squad.

» READ MORE: Will 76ers eclipse 51 wins in 2022-23? Here's the best bets ahead of the NBA season

Tyrese Maxey over 2.5 3pt field goals (+129)

This is a long-shot play considering Maxey netted three or more three pointers in 21 of 75 games, but with the need for spacing to allow Harden and Embiid to operate, this could be a great value play ahead of tonight’s matchup.

Maxey made the three-point ball at a 42% clip last season, a dramatic increase from the 30% behind the arc he shot as a rookie. One of his best games from deep came against these Celtics on January 14, when he poured in 23 points while shooting five of seven from the three-point line.

Fourteen of the 21 games where Maxey finished with three or more three pointers made in a game came after the start of the year, including a career-high eight three pointers made in a 30-point outburst during an April 5 win over the Indiana Pacers. Tonight could be another night Maxey gets it cooking, and could be the start of his Most Improved Player campaign.

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.