Last Wednesday we had the two-best teams in the Western Conference meet. On this Hump Day, we have the Top 2 in the Eastern Conference, with Brooklyn visiting Philadelphia. We can only hope the game is as good as Utah and Phoenix seven days ago.
As opposed to the thriller in the desert last week, both clubs will not be completely fresh as Brooklyn played at Minnesota yesterday afternoon and they pummeled the T-Wolves 127-97, in a makeup game from the cancellation Monday. Quality sportsbooks like BetMGM have Philadelphia as a 6.5-point favorite, with a total of 230 according to the NBA odds.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Wells Fargo Center
How Brooklyn Wins Covers Against the 76ers
Imagine a collection of your favorite musical artists got together to form a ‘super group’ but every time they went to play concerts, one or two of the members was out and fill-ins were continually taking their place. The shows were still good, yet you wondered how great would it have been to have them all together?
That sums up the continuing saga of the Nets (26-28 ATS), who are without James Harden for a bad hamstring and the continual “personal reasons” for Kyrie Irving. We don’t know if anyone behind the scenes is writing a book about Brooklyn, but it seems it could be fascinating.
What is also enthralling about the Nets is how first-year coach Steve Nash and the rest of the team is handling this season and why they cannot only win this encounter but make the East Finals.
Brooklyn’s success at its simplest form is not complicated, they look to generate pressure on opponents by filling up the basket and making enough stops or the opposing team just misses and they win.
Kevin Durant is back from injury and he’s a mismatch for any foe. What gives the Nets a chance every contest is the steady efforts of Joe Harris, Jeff Green and Bruce Brown, who accept their roles as non-stars, yet, they are critical to their team’s success. When they play well for whatever superstar(s) suits up for Brooklyn, the visitor has a shot.
How Philadelphia Covers Against the Nets
Philadelphia’s (31-21-2 ATS) play of late has been inconsistent at 5-4 (4-5 ATS). However, a great deal of this has to do with playing 10 of 12 times on the road. With this battle, the 76ers will play in the City of Brotherly Love seven times in their next nine outings.
Over the last several seasons, the Sixers have thrived at Wells Fargo and this year is no different with their 20-5 record (16-9 ATS), winning by 6.1 PPG.
Like Nash, veteran first-year coach Doc Rivers has not had his full complement of players, though not as bad as their division rivals. Joel Embiid has missed the most time. Additionally, key players like Ben Simmons, Seth Curry and Shake Milton have worn street clothes more often than preferred.
Maybe it just wasn’t the Nets’ night, but last Saturday the Lakers fed center Andre Drummond the ball in the middle and he had 20 points and 11 rebounds in just 22 minutes and Brooklyn had no answer for him. Obviously, Embiid is far more skilled offensively and he’s become a good passer in finding open shooters, Philly can take advantage of their opponent’s No. 24 scoring defense.
Do this and Rivers squad reclaims the top spot in the East.
The Point Spread Winner
Home court has mattered in two confrontations between these clubs, as both visitors have fallen by double digits each time.
The implications are significant because the winner takes the season series. Winning the top seed in the conference means the two-seed will likely have to beat Milwaukee in the East semis and they will not have a home-court advantage in the conference finals.
The point spread suggests Irving will not play and early this morning he is listed as questionable. If Irving ends up playing, the number comes down considerably. Off hand, you cannot ignore the Nets are 2-8 ATS against the Sixers and 0-5 ATS at Philadelphia. Nor can you just let pass Brooklyn is 10-4 ATS in recent away games and 5-1 ATS as road underdog.
For NBA picks, we’ll grab the points with Durant and company with the 76ers 2-6 ATS coming home after a road trip of a week or more.
NBA Picks: Nets +6.5 (-110) at BetMGM