The Philadelphia 76ers are winning games again, but a proper test will come when they visit the Nets, with Aldridge and Durant back. How does the team from Philly stack up? Find out below.
Philadelphia 76ers Betting Preview:
The Sixers have been winning games again, and it’s a very good thing to see for their fans. The team has been very up and down this season, and an 18-16 record is largely uninspiring. Most players are healthy now, and if they can keep that up, they can finally start building some much-needed chemistry. They need to develop it because their offense at times can look so disjointed that you wonder whether they ever played together. Embiid has looked fairly solid after coming back from COVID-19, and their perimeter players are also starting to hit shots. It’s not pretty, but they are winning, and that’s the only thing that counts.
Offensively it’s still below average, but I don’t think the Sixers will ever be a top 10 offense. Maybe if all players become hot, but the way the team is constructed, it’s not likely. Possesions tend to drag, and it’s just not pretty to watch, and neither is it efficient. There is room for improvement, but I don’ think they will be setting the world on fire. Now defensively, they hover around the top 10 mark, and that’s a good sign for them. If they can keep teams from scoring big on them, they will be winning matches. And building that for the playoffs is also a good thing.
Brooklyn Nets Betting Preview:
The Brooklyn Nets are a good team, both record-wise and with the eye-test. The team survived a very rough stretch where they essentially had 6-7 players, even winning a couple of those games. Kevin Durant is playing a superb season, albeit with a lot of minutes, and that’s something the Nets will have to reduce going forward. They can’t afford an injury to their star player. James Harden has found some form and torched teams in the past couple of games. He is not the Harden of old, but he’s still good enough to deliver every night. The role players have done their part as well, and had Kyrie Iriving been cooperative, they would have possibly been the best team in the League.
Even in this iteration, they are the best team in the East, along with Milwaukee. Defensively they are an average team at the moment but those numbers took a hit with the COVID-19 outbreak and before that, they ranked inside the top 10. It’s a crucial stat for them because the offense can only get you so far. Offensively they are in the top 10 as well which showcases the talent of Harden and Durant with some solid role players play.
Embiid – Aldridge
Joel Embiid will have plenty of chances against the Nets, who admittedly don’t have the biggest interior presence in the League. Even the players they have are not a huge threat because they have never been known as defensive stoppers. He will need to be a bully down below, often getting himself to the free-throw line and scoring easy buckets. If Philly can dominate the paint, they will be in a very good position to win this one.
Harden – Thybulle
I expect Rivers to push Thybulle in the starting five to guard James Harden. Kevin Durant will do his part and score, and there is hardly anyone who can stop him. The x-factor will be James Harden, who has played superb basketball lately. If Thybulle can make it hard for him, the Sixers might just have enough to pull out a win. Matisse has the requisite skills needed to do that.
76ers vs. Nets betting lines
As I expected, the Nets are favored in this one because most people tend to agree that they are way more trustworthy than the Sixers. When it comes to the points, it’s set at 2018, which seems like a fair number.
Free Betting Pick
This will largely come down to matchups and how players perform in them. Philly has some solid matchups against the Nets, but their inconsistent play makes them a very hard team to back on the road. They can win, but all their players need to perform well, and outside of Embiid, you never know what you are going to get.
I trust Durant and Harden way more, and that’s why I’m going with the Nets. Keep an eye on the line, but I’m fairly confident the Nets will get it done. When it comes to the points, I tend to think that it can go either way. I simply prefer the Nets.