Sixers vs. Hawks Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction (December 3, 2021)

Sixers vs. Hawks Betting
Photo credit: Craig Dudek

On Friday night, the Philadelphia 76ers will be in Atlanta to take on the Hawks. The Sixers lost to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night because, trailing by one with the ball in the closing seconds, they didn’t even get a shot to the rim. The Hawks beat the Indiana Pacers in Indiana on Wednesday night.

Let’s get into our Sixers vs. Hawks betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this December 3, 2021 matchup.

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Sixers vs. Hawks Betting Pick (December 3, 2021)

We’re not great enthusiasts of Russian literature here, but the Tolstoy quote “all happy families are alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way” is a pretty apt summation of what’s going on with the Philadelphia 76ers. Put another way, all championship contenders are alike, and all .500 teams that have no chance to win a title and might have to scrap and claw just to get into the playoffs have different reasons for their mediocrity. 

If the season ended today, the Sixers wouldn’t even be in a play-in game to make the postseason tournament. The Sixers are 11-11 and in 11th place in the conference standings. The teams floating around them in the standings are all there for different reasons. 

Tonight’s opponent, the Atlanta Hawks, are 12-10 and perhaps are being exposed as being not as good as their playoff run last season may have led you to believe. The New York Knicks are young and athletic – especially after dropping Kemba Walker from the rotation – but their best player (Julius Randle) doesn’t average 20 points per game and struggled under the hot playoff lights last season. The Boston Celtics, who just beat the Sixers two nights ago, have stars in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown and, well, not much else unless you really love Dennis Schroder’s game. It’s fair to say that the Celtics miss Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier, two players who helped them make deep playoff runs and who now play for the Charlotte Hornets – another team hovering around .500.

At the top of the standings right now are the Brooklyn Nets, who have Kevin Durant and James Harden. Two games behind them are the defending NBA Champions, the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the best player in the game (Giannis Antetokounmpo). Having superstars is great; having deep benches and championship experience is even better.

As for the Sixers, well, they have plenty of reasons (excuses?) for being .500. Their erstwhile MVP candidate, Joel Embiid, has missed almost half of their games thus far. Their former #1 overall draft pick, Ben Simmons, hasn’t played in any of their 22 games this season and, um, there is no timetable for his return. Those two factors dwarf every other, and are probably also causally related to the fact that the Sixers’ second unit isn’t very good and that the Sixers struggle in late game situations if the score is close. 

So all .500 teams are .500 for unique reasons. It doesn’t make watching them any more rewarding.

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Sixers vs. Hawks Odds

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

  • Point Spread: Sixers +1.5 (-110), Hawks -1.5 (-110)
  • Moneyline: Sixers +102, Hawks -120
  • Total: 213.5

Bets We Like With a Sixers Win

Sixers to Win and Under 213.5 Total Points (+262, FanDuel Sportsbook)

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Maybe we should not have been surprised, but the return of Embiid to the Sixers has slowed their offense down perceptibly. When Embiid was absent, the Sixers sort of had no choice but to run up and down the court with a smaller lineup, take a ton of three-pointers and hope for the best. Even when he is fully healthy, Embiid is a not much of a lane-filler on fast breaks and he certainly isn’t the first one up the court after a defensive rebound whether or not he was the one to get the rebound. So if the Sixers win, the game will probably be under just like the previous two.

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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome

Trae Young Over 26.5 Points (-120, Caesars Sportsbook)

Keep it simple, stupid. Young and the Hawks have a score to settle with the Sixers from October 30, when the Sixers hammered the Hawks 122-94 and Young had an anemic 13 points. That game, of course, was something of a payback by the Sixers for the Hawks ending their season in the 2020-2021 NBA Playoffs. Around and around it goes, then. Young definitely has had this game in mind for at least a month.

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Joel Embiid Under 22.5 Points (-110, DraftKings Sportsbook)

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It seems a little unfair and a lot ungrateful to pick on Embiid by continuing to play his under prop, but this is not a sentimental business. Embiid was substandard against the Orlando Magic on Monday and he was worse against the Celtics on Wednesday. The thing is, he could bounce back in this game and still end up under this prop — like 21/14/4 or something like that. He could also not bounce back at all, which is sort of where we are leaning here.

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Tobias Harris Under 18.5 Points (-127, Barstool Sportsbook)

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If we hadn’t reached it long ago, we are officially at the “Tobias Harris is what he is” stage of his Sixers career. Harris isn’t a bad player, but too often the things he does seem like empty calories and if you have a lot of vivid recollections of Harris making a key shot at the end of a game or carrying the Sixers to an important win, please share them with us. As for this prop, Harris has scored 17 points or fewer in five of his last six games. On the road against the Hawks is not the spot where you’d expect him to break out of this slump.

Sixers vs. Hawks Prediction

Speaking of keeping it simple, here we have a game where one team knocked the other out of last season’s playoffs when the losing team still had an All-Star playing point guard. The losing team no longer has that player. The Hawks also have a revenge factor working for them based on the thumping they took from the Sixers earlier this season. Bottom line, the Hawks are a marginally better team and they’re at home. This line probably should have been more like three or four, but we’ll happily lay just one and a half if they’ll let us.

Pick: Hawks -1.5 (-112, Barstool Sportsbook)

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