Sixers vs. Nuggets Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction (November 18, 2021)

Sixers vs. Nuggets Betting
Photo credit: Craig Dudek

On Thursday night, the Philadelphia 76ers will be in Denver to play the Nuggets. The Sixers have lost five in a row and with a loss tonight would be stuck at .500 after starting the season 8-2. The Nuggets are 9-5 after losing to the Dallas Mavericks on the road on Monday night.

Let’s get into our Sixers vs. Nuggets betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this November 18, 2021 matchup.

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Sixers vs. Nuggets Betting Pick (November 18, 2021)

It’s bad enough when your favorite team’s superstar is out of the lineup for the usual injury-related issues. You follow the Sixers, you know that part of the experience is that Joel Embiid will miss time with his back, or his knee, or his other knee, or his ankle, and you just shrug you shoulders and say, welp, that’s the understanding we have with a physical anomaly like Embiid. Stuff is going to happen.

Embiid is going to miss his sixth straight game tonight, this one against the Denver Nuggets in the Mile High City, and by all accounts, he has nothing physically wrong with him. What he has wrong with him is COVID-19, which he tested positive for early last week and which, by the NBA’s health and safety protocols, has kept him out for multiple games and which will keep him out until some yet-to-be-determined time during this grueling West Coast swing that the Sixers are on.

On a micro level, this is a letdown for the Nuggets fans who wanted to see Embiid take on Denver’s elite center, Nikola Jokic. Embiid and Jokic have had some battles in recent seasons, and Jokic is off to an astounding start to the 2021-2022 season. The Joker is averaging over 26 points and 13 points per game. He’s also averaging over six assists per contest, which is a better average than many starting point guards in the league…that’s what happens when you’re able to pass out of double-teams out to open shooters on a regular basis. Embiid missing this game is a disappointment for the Sixers fans watching at home, too – that matchup is must-see.

On a macro level, though, what Embiid’s continuing absence means is essentially an early death knell for the team winning enough games in the regular season to seriously contend for one of the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference. As Embiid goes, so go the Sixers, and without him they’ve lost five games in a row. They are an eight-point underdog in Denver tonight…that sounds like a loss.

Being .500 or thereabouts after this road trip, with by that time 19 games already off the schedule, makes winning the 57-60 games they’ll need to be at the top of the conference at the end of the season a plainly unrealistic goal for this Sixers team. So they’ll slog through the rest of this campaign knowing that a second-round playoff series is likely going to be a road series.

It doesn’t make you miss the Process or anything, but it’s still not great.

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Sixers vs. Nuggets Odds

Here’s the line for the Sixers and Nuggets at FanDuel Sportsbook:

  • Spread: Sixers +8 (-114), Nuggets -8 (-106)
  • Moneyline: Sixers +265, Nuggets -330
  • Total: 209.5

Bets We Like With a Sixers Win

Sixers to Win and Under 209.5 Total Points (+565, FanDuel Sportsbook)

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We are leaving this item in this serial piece because, before too long, the Sixers will be back in the position of being a team that is either favored to win or getting so few points in a road game that a parlay bet on a win for the Sixers would make sense. But look at the odds on this bet. You don’t want to try to hit a +565 on the Sixers right now. This bet is only listed here because, if you really, really want to parlay the Sixers and the total, you should play the under because the Sixers aren’t scoring much these days. Ultimately, though, the best thing you can do here is stay away.

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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome

Tyrese Maxey Over 16.5 Points (-125, Caesars Sportsbook)

Maxey is taking and making more shots than he ever did when Ben Simmons was monopolizing point guard minutes. The Nuggets are rested – they haven’t played since Monday night – so they’ll be looking to run against what projects to be a pretty tired group of Sixers who are in the middle of a difficult road trip and have lost five games in a row. For the purposes of this prop, this set of facts suits us fine. Maxey will be happy to get some transition layups and some of his patented floaters off against the Nuggets as baskets get traded.

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Seth Curry Under 13.5 Points (-105, FOX Bet)

It’s not just that Curry isn’t making as many shots as he was before, it’s that he’s taking fewer shots, too. Curry’s eight field goal attempts against the Jazz on Tuesday night was his lowest total of attempts since October 30 against the Atlanta Hawks. With Tobias Harris back in the lineup, and Tyrese Maxey taking more shots as he blossoms into a consistent scorer, there just isn’t as much need or room for Curry to shoot in the type of volume he needs to score much more than 10 points per game.

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Nikola Jokic Over 1.5 Made Three-Point Field Goals (-120, DraftKings Sportsbook)

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For a big man, Nikola Jokic takes a lot of three-point shots. And this season, he’s making more of them. Jokic is a career 34.9% three-point shooter. This season, he’s making those shots at a 38.6% clip. Conventional wisdom might say that with Embiid out, Jokic will look to do most of his damage around the basket. The truth is that Jokic can do that and still squeeze off four or five long range shots, especially if the Nuggets get out to a lead early. He has made five of these shots over his last two games. Getting two to go down tonight is doable.

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Sixers vs. Nuggets Prediction

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Until Embiid gets back, there is no compelling reason to believe that the Sixers can win a game on this road trip. Generally, it’s a bad idea to pick a team with the points if you don’t think they could somehow find a way to actually win the game. On recent evidence, the Sixers don’t have the legs or the bodies to beat a good team on the road. The Nuggets, at 9-5, are a good team. Incidentally, notice that while FanDuel has the Nuggets -8 at -114, Barstool has the Nuggets at -7.5 at -110. That half-point may have value.

Pick: Nuggets -7.5 (-110, Barstool Sportsbook)

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