Vegas prop is lower for Ben Simmons in Game 3

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Sixers guard Ben Simmons has vowed to put the nightmare that was Game 2 in the rearview mirror.

Ben Simmons had the worst game of his career in Game 2 and everybody knows it. Especially Vegas.

The Westgate Superbook props for today’s Sixers-Celtics game are out and the expectations for Simmons are noticeably lower.

“We mix it up,” Westgate general manager Jeff Sherman said.

Perhaps, but their line on Simmons reflects the rookie’s poor performance the other night.

Prior to Game 2, the prop bet for Simmons was his total number of points, rebounds and assists, which Westgate set at 34.5. For today’s Game 3, the line is only on the number of points he’ll score, which they have at 15.5.

[Simmons gets a pep talk from a Sixers legend]

Simmons, after scoring one lonely point in Game 2 on Thursday, is now averaging 11.5 points in six games this season against the Celtics. Against every other team, his scoring average is 16.1.

Tread carefully here, if Simmons struggles again, coach Brett Brown would have a lot of trouble allowing Simmons to play nearly 31 minutes like he did in Game 2. Maybe this time, staring at a potential 0-3 deficit, T.J. McConnell would stay in the game.

Other props for Saturday’s Sixers-Celtics game:

*Joel Embiid: 23 points

Westgate dropped rebounds from its Embiid prop after the Sixers center grabbed 13 and 14 boards in Games 1 and 2, respectively. Embiid scored 31 points in the opener and 20 in Game 2. The key will be whether he falls in love with launching three-pointers, which seems to be just fine with the Celtics. Embiid was 1 for 6 on Thursday and is 4 for 23 against Boston this season (17.4 percent).

*Jayson Tatum: 22.5 points + rebounds

This line feels low. Tatum has scored at least 20 points in four consecutive games and is averaging better than 15 shot attempts. He’s not in the rookie of the year conversation, so it sure seems he’s feeding off Simmons’ struggles.

*Terry Rozier: 17.5 points

Rozier has taken the sting out of Kyrie Irving’s injury by averaging 25 points over the last three games. He’s hit 11 of 18 three-pointers in the two games in this series.

*Largest lead/either team: 20 points

The Sixers, you may have heard, led by 22 in Game 2.

*Total three-point field goals made/both teams: 22.5

In Game 1, they combined for 22 (remember how bad the Sixers were that night?). In Game 2, they made 28.

 

Vic’s pick

The Sixers are favored by 9 and the total is 206.5. In Saturday’s other NBA game, Cleveland is -4 over Toronto and the total is 216.5.  Our sports handicapper, Vegas Vic, makes his picks:

Not really thrilled about laying NINE in this spot — that’s a big number to swallow — so you know what time it is: two-team, 6-point teaser time.

Take the Sixers, and drop ‘em down from -9 to -3 points against the Celtics. Then grab Cleveland and take the Cavaliers from -4 to +2 points against the Raptors.

As usual, I’ll put up $70 to win $50 on the tease.

This date in gaming

It was 45 years ago today that Secretariat won his first Triple Crown race, blistering the Kentucky Derby track with a time of 1:59 2/5. It’s a record that still stands.

Secretariat paid $5.00 to win that day. When he won the Belmont Stakes a month later and cemented his claim as the greatest thoroughbred ever, he paid $2.60.

Good luck to those playing today’s Derby.