On Wednesday night the Philadelphia 76ers will play host to the Phoenix Suns. Philadelphia enters play as the top team in the Eastern Conference at 39-18, which has them 0.5 games ahead of the Brooklyn Nets. The Phoenix Suns are 41-16 on the season, which has them just 1.5 games behind the Utah Jazz for the top seed in the Western Conference.
Let’s take a closer look at this matchup with three top player prop picks and predictions for this April 21, 2021 matchup.
Sixers vs. Suns Player Props (April 121, 2021)
Wednesday night’s meeting between the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns represents a potential NBA Finals matchup featuring the Beasts of the East taking on the second-best in the West. There are a number of variables at play that could lower the overall magnitude of the game, however, as well as which prop bets to play.
The Phoenix Suns are coming off a 128-127 overtime road victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. In that game, Devin Booker (24), Chris Paul (22), Mikal Bridges (21), and Deandre Ayton (20) all put up at least 20 points, while Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne also contributed double-digit points.
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Philadelphia comes into this one after a disappointing 107-96 home loss on national TV to the Golden State Warriors. In that game, the Sixers were without starting point guard Ben Simmons and their second-leading scorer Tobias Harris. Franchise center Joel Embiid shouldered the scoring load, dropping 28 points in 32 minutes of play, but the Sixers couldn’t get a second scorer going in the second half.
There’s potential variance in how this one could play out due to the uncertainty surrounding a number of Sixers’ status. As of Wednesday afternoon, 4/5 of Philadelphia’s starting lineup was listed as questionable, including Embiid, Simmons, Harris, and sharpshooter Seth Curry.
Chris Paul to Record 10+ Assists and Danny Green to Record 2+ Steals (+425, BetMGM)
Given the questionable status of four of five members of the Sixers starting lineup, let’s start with a two-player parlay that includes the lone member who wasn’t listed on this afternoon’s injury report. Danny Green has been a defensive pest over the past two weeks. His minutes played have increased into the 30+ range in each of his last three games. In Monday night’s game against the Warriors, Green swiped the ball three times, following a strong four-steal performance against the Los Angeles Clippers. In fact, Green has recorded multiple steals in three of his last six games overall.
On the other side, Chris Paul continues to prove just how much of an impact a true floor general can have. Acquired this past offseason in an effort to bolster the young core of Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, and Mikal Bridges, Paul has guided Phoenix to the second-best record in the Western Conference. His role as the team’s primary facilitator has been on full display as of late, recording double-digit assists in four of his last six games and seven of the eleven games in which he’s played in April. He’s averaging a higher number of assist per game against Eastern Conference teams (8.9) than Western Conference foes (8.7), while his 9.1 road assists per game are higher than what he’s averaged in Phoenix.
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Devin Booker to Score 25+ Points (-172, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Devin Booker finally has a backcourt partner with gravity that defense have to account for in Chris Paul. It’s paid massive dividends as Booker’s 25.4 points per game are good for 13th in the NBA. While his shooting percentages are down a tick from a season ago, Booker has improved in a number of ways, registering his fewest turnovers per game (3.2) in four seasons, while seeing his steals per game bump up a bit to 0.9 per game.
If there’s one elite quality Booker has possessed throughout the majority of his career, it’s been his ability to rack up plenty of points. However, Bookers has seen his point totals drop over his past five games, failing to hit the 25 point threshold. However, a major reason for that has been a legitimate shooting slump unlike any he’s suffered from this season, hitting just 36 of 95 field goal attempts (37.9%). Shooters often shoot their way out of slumps and given the questionable status of Ben Simmons to dog him on the perimeter, it stands to reason Booker could follow in Steph Curry’s shoes. Curry took advantage of a Simmons-less Sixers squad on Monday to the tune of 49 points. It’s worth noting that Booker put up 36 points on 14-23 shooting, including 3-5 from beyond the arc when the teams met earlier this year in Phoenix.
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Deandre Ayton to Record Over 9.5 Rebounds (-118, FOX Bet)
This one is the most tenuous of the three bets due in large part to the questionable status of Sixers center Joel Embiid and forward Tobias Harris. If Embiid were to miss Wednesday night’s game, Philadelphia’s best interior presence would be that of Dwight Howard, the 17-year pro and eight-time All-Star has pivoted admirably well from a lead guy to a veteran bench presence, but his propensity for getting into foul trouble could leave the Sixers exposed around the rim.
Ayton has pulled down at least ten boards in three of his last four games and seven of his last nine games. He’s also averaging more rebounds per game on the road (11.5) and against Eastern Conference opponents (11.1) than at home and against the Western Conference.
Keep an eye on Embiid’s status as game time approaches. If Embiid is out, hammer this one. If Embiid is set to play, consider playing this one with a bit of caution.