On Monday night, the Sixers return to the Wells Fargo Center to take on the Denver Nuggets. The Sixers were taken to overtime by the Orlando Magic last night in Florida, but eked out a win. The Sixers are now 41-25 and are in a virtual tie with the Milwaukee Bucks for second place in the Eastern Conference. The Nuggets lost to Toronto in Denver on Saturday night to fall to 40-28, sixth in the Western Conference.
Let’s get into our Sixers vs. Nuggets betting pick with player prop predictions, odds, and analysis for this March 14, 2022 matchup.
Sixers vs. Nuggets Betting Pick (March 14, 2022)
The Sixers beat the Magic last night, just about, but all we could think about was how funny it was that they were sneaking past the Magic in overtime just as the Magic were proving that the magic that seemed to come to the Sixers with James Harden’s arrival was smoke and mirrors.
Having watched Harden play for other teams in other situations for such a long time, it came as no surprise that he doesn’t defend anybody, like, at all. Harden’s value comes at the offensive end. When he’s right, it’s fun to watch…but when he’s not right, woof.
First the Brooklyn Nets and then the Orlando Magic in the past two games essentially conceded the step-back three pointers, deciding instead to deny Harden any path to the basket. Harden’s shot was off in both games, which led to multiple instances of Harden driving into traffic, flailing and hoping to get to the free throw line. It happened rarely in the Nets game; last night, it happened just enough. But all of the playoff teams with reasonable defensive capabilities have a game plan for Harden now.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, at the end of the Magic game, the Magic were essentially double-teaming both Harden and Joel Embiid and daring anyone else to do anything. This strategy panned out beautifully when Tobias Harris missed a potential game-winning layup at the end of regulation.
Starting with tonight, the Sixers’ next five games come against probable playoff teams. If Harden has any of that magic he had when he got here left, he’d better find it soon.
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Sixers vs. Nuggets Odds
Here’s the line for the Sixers and Nuggets at FanDuel Sportsbook:
- Point Spread: Sixers -2.5 (-112), Nuggets +2.5 (-108)
- Moneyline: Sixers -142, Nuggets +120
- Total: 223.5
Bets We Like With a Sixers Win
Sixers to Win and Over 223.5 Total Points (+210, FanDuel Sportsbook)
Overtime is not the friend of the under bettor, and it burned us last night. Unlike the Magic, though, the Nuggets are plenty potent (12th in the league in scoring, 111.1 points per game). The lowest total in the last three Sixers games was 227, and insofar as this is the second half of a road/home back-to-back, the Sixers’ defensive legs may not be there.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
James Harden Over 21.5 Points (-120, Caesars Sportsbook)
One bad outcome is a fluke. A second bad outcome is a shame. A third bad outcome is a concern. Harden went 3-17 from the field against the Nets and 5-19 from the field against the Magic. Whether he’s the championship cog we thought he was, or whether he’s not, he’s just not this poor of a shooter.
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Nikola Jokic Over 25.5 Points (-120, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Is this game going to decide the NBA Most Valuable Player race between Embiid and Jokic? Probably not. Will Jokic be properly motivated to try to make a statement tonight? Probably so. Did Embiid play 41 minutes last night while Jokic had a day off? Yes.
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Joel Embiid Under 31.5 Points (-125, FOX Bet)
It’s a back-to-back following an overtime game on the road. Embiid has scored fewer than 31.5 points in four of his last six outings. Jokic is not a darling of the defensive metrics crowd, but he’s a big body with a point to prove.
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Sixers vs. Nuggets Prediction
The Sixers borrowed from this Nuggets game to get the win in Orlando last night, and the bill comes due tonight. Here were the minute counts on the Sixers last night: 45 for Tyrese Maxey, 44 each for Harris and Harden, 41 for Embiid, 36 for Georges Niang. Less than 24 hours after sneaking out of Orlando with an overtime win, they have to tip off against a playoff team with an MVP candidate. Thanks but no thanks.
Pick: Nuggets money line (-123, Barstool Sportsbook)
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