The East’s best home team meets the West’s best road team when the Philadelphia 76ers (22-6 at home) and the Phoenix Suns (18-7 on the road) play tonight. The Sixers remain a respectable 16-12 ATS at home, despite dropping each of their last three games against the spread at the Wells Fargo Center. The Suns are a stellar 16-9 ATS on the road this season, including 9-3 ATS away from home against winning teams.
Let’s get into our Sixers vs. Suns betting preview, including odds, predictions and picks.
Sixers vs. Suns Betting Prediction (April 21, 2021)
The engine for each team is its defense, with the Suns boasting the NBA’s fifth-best scoring defense (108.2 ppg allowed) and the Sixers sporting the league’s seventh-best (108.4 ppg allowed) unit. Both teams sport efficient offenses, boasting Top 10 ranked field goal percentages.
What will separate these two teams that look so close on paper? Will Phoenix be able to parlay their 120-111 win over the Sixers on Feb. 13 into a 2-0 regular season sweep tonight, or will the Sixers get the right bodies on the court to avoid their first back-to-back losses at home this season?
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Philadelphia’s four-game winning streak ended on Monday night against the Warriors. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that loss showed the Sixers’ vulnerabilities when missing key players. Ben Simmons was a late scratch with an illness, joining Tobias Harris on the sidelines.
Simmons’ absence, at least in part, gave Steph Curry the room he needed to continue his otherworldly run, piling up 49 points against the depleted 76ers lineup.
Simmons and Harris remain in question to play tonight against a generally healthy and hot Suns team that has now won 12 of their last 14 games after a dramatic and controversial overtime win at the Bucks. Arguably the Western Conference’s best front court will look to exploit a Sixers defense that has struggled against elite guard play this season.
Sixers vs. Suns Odds
Here’s the line for the Sixers and Suns at DraftKings Sportsbook:
|Pelicans||+9 (-109)||+330||O 229 (-110)|
|Sixers||-9 (-112)||-420||U 229 (-110)|
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
Philadelphia 76ers Win by 1-10 AND Under 220.5 Total Points (PointsBet +450)
If the Sixers win, the 1-10 win margin band is most enticing. Of the Sixers’ eight home wins against teams currently in the top six spots of each conference, six of the victories were by single digits. In fact, only 17 of the Sixers’ 39 victories came by more than 10 points this season (43.6%).
More impressive even than that, though, is the fact that the Suns have only lost four games by more than 10 points this season and one of those four was an 11-point defeat.
Even in losses, the Suns’ defense remains respectable. They only allowed an average of 113.6 points per game in regulation in their 16 losses this season. Philly has impressed defensively in their 39 wins, allowing just 104.6 points per game on average.
Those two averages combine for a total number of points lower than the 220.5 this prop allows, while also keeping the two teams in that 1-10 point margin of victory for the Sixers needed to cash this one.
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Bets We Like With a Suns Win
Chris Paul to Record a Double Double and Phoenix Suns to Win (FOXBET +350)
Anyone with eyes can see that Chris Paul has been the catalyst for positive change in Phoenix with his veteran leadership and playmaking ability at the point guard position. He has helped this already talented team reach the next level in a similar fashion to how he guided the Thunder team to the playoffs last year despite that team being given zero shot of doing so at season’s start.
Thus, the Suns go as Paul goes and he has been on a tear lately. In his last 15 games,(Suns won 12), he has averaged 15.7 ppg. In his last 10 games, eight of which were Suns wins, he has dished out an average of 9.4 assists per game.
Just focusing on his last 10 wins, as that is what we need here anyway, Paul has averaged 10.7 assists per game. He has six double-doubles in his last 11 games, with all of those coming in Phoenix wins. Since they won nine of those 11 games, he has recorded a double-double in 66.7% of his team’s last nine wins.
Over the course of the season, he has tallied 18 double-doubles, 13 of which came in Suns victories. With the way the Sixers have struggled against multi-dimensional, elite guards, it stands to reason that Paul will have ample opportunity to grab 10+ points and assists.
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Sixers vs. Suns Prediction
You have elite, 7+ foot rim protectors on both ends who will force much of the shooting outside the lane. You have a point guard in Paul who will manipulate late game shot clocks to his team’s favor if playing with a lead. You have tremendous defenders all over the court in Paul, Deandre Ayton, Joel Embiid, Danny Green, George Hill, Matisse Thybulle, Dwight Howard, and Mikal Bridges.
The two teams defend the three-point shot better than they shoot it, each are among the league’s best at stopping the deep ball. And both groups put a clear emphasis on not settling for low-percentage shots.
That approach, which sees Paul working the ball around for good looks and the Sixers finding ways to get the ball into Embiid in the post despite constant double teams, shrinks the shot clock and, by proxy, the game. Even if both teams start off hot, which we don’t expect, look for whichever team leads late to milk the clock.
Both teams are also playing the front ends of back-to-backs here. If the game gets out of hand either way, especially with how thin the Sixers are right now and with Phoenix fresh off an overtime game, expect to see some potential garbage minutes or at least diminished lineups in the final 12 minutes.
The Sixers have played 10 of their last 11 games under after an against the spread loss and each of their last four below the posted total after a straight up loss.
Following a double-digit home loss like they suffered to the Warriors, they have played five of their next seven games under, as well.
Sixers vs. Suns Pick
Playing elite teams brings out the Sixers’ best defensively, as Philly has played nine of their last 13 games against teams with above .600 win percentages under the posted t otal. Expect this important battle to make it eight of 11 under on one day of rest and eight of their last nine under overall.
Pick: UNDER 220.5