On Sunday evening, the Philadelphia 76ers will play host to the San Antonio Spurs. The Sixers enter play at 26-12, which is the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Spurs enter play as the Western Conference’s seventh seed at 19-15.
Let’s get into our Sixers-Spurs betting preview, including odds, boosts, and picks.
Sixers vs. Spurs Betting Pick (March 14, 2021)
The Philadelphia 76ers are about to enter a critical stretch of their season, following the news that Joel Embiid will miss at least the next two weeks with a bone bruise in his knee sustained after hyperextending his knee following a dunk against the Washington Wizards.
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Philadelphia remains the top seed in the Eastern Conference and have put together one of the best home records in the league at 16-3 at Wells Fargo Center. On a positive note for the team hailing from the City of Brother Love, point guard Ben Simmons is expected to make his return to the lineup following a league-mandated time absence after coming into contact with a barber who tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the All-Star Game.
The visiting San Antonio Spurs are coming off a 104-77 blowout win at home over the Orlando Magic and are 1-1 since resuming their regular season schedule. The Spurs made headlines this past week when it was announced the team would explore options for big man LaMarcus Aldridge, who mutually agreed the best path forward was to head down different paths. In addition to Aldridge, guard DeMar DeRozan is listed as out of tonight’s game due to personal reasons, which will force Dejounte Murray into a lead scoring role.
Can San Antonio pull off the road upset or will Philadelphia find their footing without their franchise center?
Sixers vs. Spurs Odds
Here’s the line for the Sixers and Spurs at DraftKings Sportsbook:
- Spread: Sixers -4.5, Spurs +4.5
- Moneyline: Sixers -180, Spurs +148
- Total: 223.5
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 64% chance of winning with a -4.5 point line. Philadelphia’s implied win probability based on the moneyline is a bit lower at 61%.
Sixers to Win and Each Team to Score Over 99.5 Points (+105, FOX Bet)
Despite missing both Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in their first game back from the All-Star Break, Philadelphia dropped 127 points on the Chicago Bulls. On Friday night, the Sixers managed to repeat the feat by putting up 127 points, even though Embiid was lost due to injury midway through the third quarter.
The Spurs, meanwhile, have crossed the 99.5 point threshold in each of their last six games, including two contests since the All-Star Break. San Antonio isn’t going to dazzle anyone with a 130+ point breakout, but the loss of Embiid from the lineup means there will be opportunities to attack the rim.
The Spurs are a .500 team over their last ten games, though they’re 9-5 on the road this season, which is impressive all things considered. However, Philadelphia is an impressive 16-3 at home this season and are 8-2 in their last 10 games.
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Sixers to Win and Ben Simmons Over 19.5 Points (+155, FOX Bet)
If there were a reason for Ben Simmons to come out with his hair on fire, it should be for this game. He was forced to miss the All-Star Game after coming into contact with a barber who tested positive for COVID-19. Then he was disrespected by the Washington Wizards’ play-by-play announcer. Now, he’s facing the reality that his team will be without franchise center Joel Embiid for at least two to three weeks with a bone bruise in his knee.
Both Simmons and forward Tobias Harris will be called upon to shoulder the scoring load in Embiid’s stead. This player/moneyline same game parlay is a solid value play rather than taking the Sixers’ moneyline alone.
Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Ben Simmons to Record a Double Double (+100, BetMGM)
Sixers point guard Ben Simmons confirmed on Instagram that he’ll be in the lineup for this evening’s game. This will be his first game following his absence from the All-Star Game and Philadelphia’s wins over the Bulls and Wizards after coming into contact with a barber who tested positive for COVID-19. Sixers center Joel Embiid will miss tonight’s contest after suffering a bone bruise in his knee after a scary hyperextension following a dunk.
Embiid’s absence leaves a 29.9 points and 11.5 rebounds per game deficit to be made up for by other players, and Simmons would appear to be a potential beneficiary. He’s the Sixers’ third-leading scorer at 16.1 points per game and the team’s second-leading rebounder at 7.9 per game.
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Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris to Combine for 44.5+ Points (+135, FOX Bet)
The most likely duo to make up the 29.9 point void in the Sixers’ lineup is that of Tobias Harris and Ben Simons, who average the second- and third-most points on the team, respectively, this season. On the season, they’re averaging 36.3 points per game combined and they’ll certainly see plenty of scoring opportunities in this one.
If there’s one area head coach Doc Rivers will want to see the duo make up for, it’ll be at the free throw line, where Embiid has converted a respectable percentage of his points in each contest. An aggressive Simmons, who was forced to miss the All-Star Game, combined with an increased number of shots for All-Star snub Tobias Harris should be enough to get past the manageable 44.5 point threshold.
Sixers vs. Spurs Prediction
Pick: Even without Joel Embiid in the lineup, the Sixers should be able to take down a visiting Spurs side that has opted to move on from big man LaMarcus Aldridge. Take the Sixers to Win and Ben Simmons Over 19.5 Points.
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