Sixers vs. Nets Betting Preview (February 6, 2021)

sixers nets betting preview
PHOTO CREDIT: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

On Saturday night, the Philadelphia 76ers will play host to the Brooklyn Nets in what represents the second meeting between the teams this season. The game will see two of the Top-3 teams in the Eastern Conference square off in a matchup that could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals.

Let’s get into our Sixers-Nets betting preview, including odds, boosts, and picks.

Preview

The Sixers (16-7) had been riding high until a brutal home loss to a shorthanded Portland Trailblazers team without Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The Nets (14-10) are on the second half of a back-to-back following a 123-117 home loss to the Toronto Raptors.

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The Nets’ game against Toronto saw an odd storyline unfold as superstar Kevin Durant was initially held out of the game, then allowed to play, then ended up being pulled by the league due to health and safety protocols. As of the 1:30PM injury report, Durant is listed as questionable, while Kyrie Irving is out with a right index finger sprain.

Regardless of whether or not Durant plays in this one, it should be an interesting matchup that could be a preview for the Eastern Conference Finals. The Nets beat the Sixers earlier this season 122-109 at Barclays Center. They also beat the Sixers away from the court in their acquisition of James Harden, who had reportedly drawn interest from Philadelphia.

This game could hinge on the availability of Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, whose absence was felt in a major way against Portland.

 

Sixers vs. Nets Odds

Here’s the line for the Sixers and Nets at DraftKings Sportsbook:

    • Spread: Sixers -4.5, Nets +4.5
    • Moneyline: Sixers -180, Nets +148
    • Total: 236.5

And here are the current best available odds for the Sixers (may not display on Google AMP pages):

 

Bets We Like With a Sixers Win

FiveThirtyEight gives the Sixers a 65% chance of winning with a -4 point line. Philadelphia’s implied win probability based on the moneyline is 61%.

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Sixers to Win and Under 236.5 Points (+186, FanDuel)

To be clear, this is a game we’d advise staying away from in terms of the final result. There are a number of juicy player props outlined below that have a legitimate chance to hit, but if you’re looking for a way to make more from a Sixers win, take the Sixers to win and under 236.5 points.

The Nets are already slated to be without Kyrie Irving. They’ve been without Spencer Dinwiddie for a month. There’s a chance Kevin Durant could miss this game. Still, the Nets have James Harden. The Sixers were inexplicably blown out by the Trail Blazers who were without both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. If Ben Simmons can’t play in this one, the game could end up going in the Nets’ favor comfortably. If Simmons does suit up, however, the Sixers should be able to pull out a close win at Wells Fargo Center, where Philadelphia is 25-2 in their past 27 games.

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Keep in mind that the Sixers and Nets haven’t crossed the 236.5 point mark over their past six meetings dating back to the 2018-19 season:

  • March 28, 2019: 233 points
  • December 15, 2019: 198 points
  • January 15, 2020: 223 points
  • January 20, 2020: 228 points
  • February 20, 2020: 216 points
  • January 7, 2020: 231 points

While there’s a chance that the Nets can win this one, the under is a safe bet.

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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome

Nets to Cover +4.5 Points and Under 236.5 (+265, DraftKings)

We believe the under will hit for the reasons above and there’s reason to believe that the Nets will keep this game close with a legitimate chance to win. A team with as much upside as the Nets should be taken when a spread like +4.5 points is available. It insulates bettors against a potential moneyline upset, while keeping a close Sixers win in play.

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Joe Harris Over 13.5 Points (-160, BetMGM)

Given the uncertainty surrounding Kevin Durant’s status in this game, Joe Harris could be a more heavily leaned on option than normal. Kyrie Irving’s absence from the lineup means a number of scoring chances for Harris and James Harden, so it’s worth looking at how he could fare.

Harris has put up at least 19 points in four of his last seven games. Two of the remaining three contests saw him drop 12 and 13 points. He racked up 19 points in the Nets’ last game against the Raptors on 6-9 shooting, including 5-8 from three-point range. Harris was an offensive dynamo in the Nets’ 122-109 win over the Sixers earlier this season, connecting on 6-9 attempts from beyond the arc and 11-19 overall for 28 points.

The Sixers have struggled to defend elite shooters from deep. If Ben Simmons can’t go in this one, Harris could feast.

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James Harden Over 38.5 Points and Assists Combined (-120, BetMGM)

The absence of Kyrie Irving means a more James Harden centric gameplan with plenty of opportunities to directly facilitate for his teammates, including the aforementioned Joe Harris.

Since arriving in Brooklyn, James Harden has settled in as a facilitator for his team and not as much of the scoring powerhouse he was required to be with the Houston Rockets. He’s had at least 11 assists in nine of his first ten games with Brooklyn. His scoring numbers have been down as of late, coinciding with the return of Kyrie Irving. Since Irving is out for this game, it stands to reason that Harden will have a larger scoring game, plus a ton of opportunities to dish out double-digit assists.

 

James Harden Over 27.5 Points (-120, BetMGM)

The Sixers have struggled for years to contain dynamic scorers. Last season, Harden torched the Sixers to the tune of 35.5 points per game in two meetings with the Sixers.

If you’re worried about the potential dependency on Harden to rack up assists in the over 38.5 points and assists prop bet, this one will eliminate that necessity with a manageable scoring threshold.

 

Sixers vs. Nets Prediction

Pick: Avoid a moneyline bet, but if you must, take the Sixers and under 236.5 points. We’d recommend taking the Nets to Cover +4.5 points and Under 236.5 Total Points. Also, take a flier on the James Harden and Joe Harris markets.

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