On Thursday night, the Philadelphia 76ers will play host to the Detroit Pistons at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers are coming off a fairly dispiriting and possibly foreboding loss to the New York Knicks in Manhattan on Tuesday night. The Pistons are 0-3 and the last remaining winless team in the NBA this season.
Let’s get into our Sixers vs. Pistons betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this October 28, 2021 matchup.
Sixers vs. Pistons Betting Pick (October 28, 2021)
Value is a tricky concept and quite often a subjective one. Take, for example, the recent story of the man who gamed the Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park value proposition by eating all of his meals there for six years at a cost of $150 per year. The scheme went like this: He bought a $150 year-round pass to the amusement park which included two meals, a snack and unlimited non-alcoholic drinks each day the park was in regular operation. By doing this, the man saved thousands and thousands of dollars on groceries, money that he used to retire his student loan debt and, so the story says, save enough money to put a down payment on a house. Pretty ingenious, right?
Well, sure, but then you think about it some more and you wonder why anyone would do this. You’re eating every meal at an amusement park. Have you ever gone to Dorney Park or Hersheypark on an August afternoon? The crowds, everyone sweating all over everybody else, the lines, the smells…not appetizing. Then you consider that you’re eating, well, amusement park food. Everything is deep fried and a lot of it has been sitting under a heat lamp waiting for you to show up. Finally, and this would probably be the low-key toughest part: Before long, the amusement park workers start to recognize you as “the guy who’s here every day but isn’t here with kids.” That’s some FBI watch list stuff right there. So yes, the man saved a ton of money. But at what cost?
What you pay for what you get also enters into the analysis of tonight’s game between the Sixers and the Pistons. As of this writing, on Ticketmaster, you can buy a ticket in one of the corners of the upper bowl for six dollars (plus the $4.09 in fees that Ticketmaster always comes up with.) Still, that’s basically ten bucks to see an NBA game in the second week of the season. This isn’t a game in February or March, where NBA season fatigue has set in and all the people you know who have season tickets are trying to give them to you. This is Game Five of the season for the Sixers, and you can get into the Center tonight for less than the cost a double cheeseburger combo at SmashBurger. That can’t be right, can it?
Actually, yeah. The Sixers are again going to be coy about the availability of Joel Embiid, who is now just about the only compelling reason to watch the Sixers at all. Embiid apparently could not even walk after sustaining a meniscus injury in his knee in the season opener against New Orleans. Embiid played against the Knicks on Tuesday night at least in part because it was a nationally televised game. Sixers/Pistons should probably be shown only on local access. If Embiid is at all limited by this injury now (and it figures that he still would be), he should probably sit. And if that happens, paying $10 to watch Andre Drummond and Paul Reed try to patch 48 minutes together suddenly doesn’t look like such a great deal. But if you go, you know, have fun!
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Sixers vs. Pistons Odds
Here’s the line for the Sixers and Pistons at FanDuel Sportsbook:
- Spread: Sixers -10.5 (-110), Pistons +10.5 (-110)
- Moneyline: Sixers -590, Pistons +440
- Total: 213.5
Bets We Like With a Sixers Win
Sixers to Win and Under 213.5 (+120, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Not to oversimplify things, but the Pistons are winless because, um, they have so far consistently scored fewer points than their opponents. Not just that, they don’t score very many at all. Their three point totals to date: 88 against the Chicago Bulls in Detroit, 82 against the Bulls in Chicago, 104 in Atlanta against the Hawks on Monday night. The Pistons just don’t have any elite talent. This season, their leading scorers are Saddiq Bey, the Villanova product, with 18 points per game and Jerami Grant, casualty of The Process, at 16.5 points per game. The Pistons have yet to see what Cade Cunningham, who they selected first the 2021 NBA Draft, can do — he is being given extra time to recover from an injury and is expected to play two nights hence. So the Pistons aren’t likely to fill it up tonight. And if Embiid sits, which he should, the Sixers don’t project to go off, either.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Sixers (-3.5) to Win the First Quarter (-115, DraftKings Sportsbook)
The Sixers are a .500 team primarily because their second unit is much, much worse than their starting five and because they continue to have trouble closing games out in the fourth quarter. Neither of those problems factors into this bet. The Sixers will play their best five for most of the first quarter against an underwhelming and undermanned Pistons group. The Sixers have won all four of the first quarters in their games this season. That trend should continue tonight, and laying three and a half shouldn’t be an issue as the Sixers have yet to win a first quarter by fewer than four points this season.
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Pistons Under 101.5 Points (-120, Barstool Sportsbook)
At the risk of repeating ourselves here, the Pistons just don’t score that many points. And while Drummond is nowhere close to Embiid’s skill level (assuming Embiid is out), he rebounds very well and defends the basket at a reasonably competent level. Additionally, if Embiid is out, the Sixers will be better served playing at a slower tempo and trying to grind out a win against an inferior team rather than getting into some run-and-gun game that gives a team with inferior talent a chance to out layup them.
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Pistons (+1.5) to Cover the Fourth Quarter Spread (-115, Caesars Sportsbook)
Assuming the Sixers put the Pistons down early and keep them down for much of the game, by the time the fourth quarter rolls around, the Sixers should have a comfortable lead and should be looking to get the likes of Tobias Harris and even Tyrese Maxey a little bit of rest. That means a heavy dose of Isaiah Joe, Furkan Korkmaz, Georges Niang and the rest of the backups. The Pistons should be able to cover the spread if not win the fourth quarter outright against the Sixers’ second (third?) unit.
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Sixers vs. Pistons Prediction
The Sixers should win this game, and comfortably enough, but let’s not mince words: The Sixers shouldn’t be laying double digits to any team where Embiid is either not going to play or will be limited in his effectiveness. Until further notice, and absent unusual circumstances, the play is going to be whoever the Sixers are playing plus the points whenever the Sixers are favored.
Pick: Pistons +10.5.
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