Embiid is the key.
Despite an offseason highlighted by resigning Tobias Harris, and acquiring Al Horford, the Sixers still need homegrown Joel Embiid to overpower and defend against strong interior scoring opponents. That fact was on full display on Wednesday, when Orlando power forward Nikola Vucevic keyed a big 32-15 fourth quarter that sent the Magic to a 97-112 home win. Going into the quarter, Philadelphia held a two-point lead, in line with what looked to be a close game going in, since Embiid was resting on the second night of back-to-back games. Sixers coach Brett Brown noted the impact of his talented big man, commenting, “Sometimes you can make mistakes and you have 7-foot Joel Embiid putting out fires and covering things up. We didn’t have that tonight.”
In Embiid’s absence, Vucevic scored 25 points and had 12 rebounds. While power forward Aaron Gordon added 18 points and 13 rebounds. In fact, seven Magic players scored in double digits — but not Markelle Fultz. Fultz finished with eight, and was benched the entire fourth quarter in favor of D.J. Augustin. He was matched against Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, who played a second straight night. Simmons missed games over the weekend with shoulder pain. Big Ben used six layups and three dunks to finish with 18 points, but had no steals, as Philly lost the turnover battle 15-13.
NBA Game Preview – 76ers @ Thunder
Thu. 11/15 at 8:00 PM
With Embiid back on the floor, Philadelphia becomes a much more dangerous team, as they face the 4-7 Thunder in Oklahoma City. For the home squad, losing Russell Westbrook and Paul George has clearly taken a toll, as they are not going to win many games within the stacked Western Conference this season. In fact, they are coming off two straight losses to Eastern Conference teams, Indiana and Milwaukee. This, after three of the Thunder’s four wins came against two of the only Western teams worse than them: Golden State and New Orleans.
However, point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is developing nicely into the next franchise player, after coming over from the L.A. Clippers, with a 20.1-point scoring average in only his second season. He’s being mentored by point guards Chris Paul and Dennis Schroder, but their squad’s small size is a glaring weakness. Only center Steven Adams is a real interior threat for the Thunder. Danilo Gallinari is a sweet shooting (but weak rebounding) starting power forward.
Philadelphia at full strength is a load for any opponent, let alone a smaller guard-heavy adversary like Oklahoma City. With Embiid starting at center, and occupying Steven Adams’ attention, Tobias Harris and Al Horford will have favorable matchups against smaller counterparts. Ben Simmons, also, is a good defensive matchup against the talented SG-A. I think Philly snaps their four-game road losing streak, and wins tonight as three and a half point favorites.
Where to bet this:
Sugarhouse and Unibet are offering the top odds right now for the Sixers. These books have Philadelphia as 3.5 point favorites, paying out -112 ($112 wins $100). But Pointsbet offers a better value on the same line, as they pay -105 (that’s a $105 bet to win $100) on all pre-game NBA spread bets.
If you want to go bigger:
If you think the Sixers are set to pound down the Thunder tonight, you can try an ‘alternate line’ play. Unibet is offering a strong NBA betting value on the the Sixers at -7 points. This alt line has a +145 payout (that’s $100 to win $145).
“$20 for free” – Unibet has the craziest promo in sports betting right now. All you have to do is register for an account, and they will give you two free $10 bets. The best part is that there is NO DEPOSIT REQUIRED to get $20 that you can bet with right away. Just make an account, and the $20 is yours.
‘Make it Rain’ – The Sixers sank eight three-pointers against the Magic. So, if you placed a $100 bet on them via PointsBet, you could have recouped $24, thanks to their ‘make it rain’ booster on all Philly games. That’s because betting just $100 on the pre-game spread means PB will automatically apply this promo, and you’ll make $3 on every Philadelphia three-pointer made. Not feeling Philly tonight? This promo is currently also available on all Knicks and Nets games.
Stay tuned to The Props Network for NBA betting news and the best odds on all Sixers games.
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