On Tuesday night, the Philadelphia 76ers are on the road taking on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Sixers enter play at 31-13, which is the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Lakers find themselves in fourth place in the Western Conference at 28-16 this season.
Let’s get into our Sixers-Lakers betting preview, including odds, boosts, and picks.
There was plenty of concern about the Philadelphia 76ers’ viability as a contender for the Eastern Conference’s top seed when they lost franchise center Joel Embiid to a bone bruise in his knee sustained after a an odd landing following a dunk against the Washington Wizards. Philadelphia has responded incredibly well, going 5-1 in the six games since Embiid went down. Their lone loss over that stretch came by virtue of a 109-105 overtime result when Milwaukee roared back to force the extra period.
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Philadelphia is in the midst of a six-game losing streak and will look to improve to 3-0 on this trip following a 101-100 victory over the New York Knicks and a 109-98 triumph over the Golden State Warriors. Their depth could be an issue in this one as both Seth Curry and Danny Green are questionable with a left ankle sprain and left hip soreness, respectively.
The Sixers aren’t the only team who will be without an MVP candidate. The Los Angeles Lakers lost LeBron James to a high ankle sprain in last Saturday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. He’s been officially ruled out of tonight’s contest, along with start forward Anthony Davis, who is out with a right calf strain. That’s bad news for a Los Angeles squad that’s lost each of their last three games.
It’s not the star-studded affair that basketball fans had circled on their calendars ahead of the season, but it should still be a worthwhile watch.
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Here’s the line for the Sixers and Lakers at DraftKings Sportsbook:
And here are the current best available odds for the Sixers (may not display on Google AMP pages):
FiveThirtyEight gives the Sixers a 54% chance of winning with a -1 point line. The oddsmakers clearly disagree, with the Sixers’ implied win probability based on the moneyline at a much higher 67%.
The Philadelphia 76ers are 9-1 in their last ten games and have won 12 games on the road this season, the second-most in the East. Philadelphia is 6-0 in each of their last six games against Western Conference teams and, with the absence of LeBron James and Anthony Davis, the Sixers appear poised to extend that streak to seven straight.
The Philadelphia 76ers will be without Joel Embiid, while starters Seth Curry and Danny Green are listed as questionable. If Curry and/or Green were to miss tonight’s contest, it could bring the game a bit closer than the six-point spread, but the outcome should not be in doubt.
As for the total points, most sportsbooks have the over/under set at 215.5 total points. We’d recommend hedging a bit, raising the total to 219.5 points and taking the under with a Sixers moneyline bet in a same-game parlay.
There are a number of trends that indicate a high likelihood of the under hitting. Philadelphia has seen the under hit in five of their last six road games overall. The Sixers have seen the under hit in four of their last five games, with a 234 total point game against the Sacramento Kings standing out in stark contrast to the other four games in that stretch. The Lakers have seen the total points go under the 219.5 point threshold twice in their last three games. Overall, the under has hit in three of their last four games.
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This matchup is one that screams a big Ben Simmons performance. In one game against Los Angeles, Simmons put up a triple double with 17 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. In six career games against the Lakers, Simmons has averaged 17 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 9.3 assists.
In recent games, Simmons has either flirted with or posted a double double consistently since Joel Embiid went down. Simmons has recorded double-digit points in each of the five games he’s played over that stretch. He posted back-to-back double doubles against the Knicks and Bucks, followed by performances of 16 points, 8 rebounds and 22 points, 8 rebounds against the Knicks and Warriors, respectively, on the road.
If you’re looking for a player prop and moneyline same-game parlay, look no further.
Sixers point guard Ben Simmons converting a dunk is as close to a sure thing as it gets. As a slasher with plenty of shooting weapons around him, Simmons should have plenty of opportunities to get to the rim. The absence of LeBron James on the wing and Anthony Davis’ potential presence around the rim should provide further encouragement to attack the paint. Plus, Simmons’ propensity for getting his team out on the break should also increase the likelihood of him converting at least one dunk.
Perhaps the biggest factor in Philadelphia’s 9-1 stretch has been their ability to get leads early on in games. The Sixers have won the first quarter in seven of their eight games since the NBA All-Star Break:
Of those seven first quarter wins, Philadelphia has done so on the road four times, including in both games on this road trip. The Lakers have lost the first quarter in each of their last three games, including both since losing LeBron James to an ankle sprain.
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Pick: While it’s not the high profile game it could have been -with Joel Embiid, LeBron James, and Anthony Davis all out- it’s still a matchup between two of the preeminent franchises in the NBA. Take the Sixers to Win and Under 219.5 Points.
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