The Philadelphia 76ers returned from the All-Star Break and beat the Brooklyn Nets 112-104 to put their record at 35-21. With 26 games left, they are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and will look to climb the standings to secure home-court advantage in the first round, and maybe beyond. The Sixers are 26-2 on their home court and 9-19 on the road.
The 76ers went into the season with high expectations. With LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard in the Western Conference, this was the year that Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were supposed to power the 76ers to the top of the Eastern Conference.
Fifth place and some maddening losses (like a 31-point loss against the Miami Heat) disappointed many “Eastern Conference Champs or Bust” 76ers backers.
Inability to cover the spread has also frustrated bettors. According to DraftKings, the 76ers covered the spread 43.8% of the time, sixth-worst in the NBA. The Detroit Pistons cover a league-worst 37.9%. By contrast, the Oklahoma City Thunder are the best ATS team (65.5%) in the NBA.
76ers hit the homestretch
The 76ers return from the break healthy, but face questions. Can Simmons and Embiid coexist? Will Simmons attempt jump shots? Can Embiid stay in shape down the stretch?
The Milwaukee Bucks hold the top spot in the East with the 76ers 12 1/2 games behind. The 76ers are also within striking distance of the Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, and Heat.
The 76ers will play 13 of their remaining 26 games at home. Their biggest advantage during the final stretch is the weak schedule they will face. The 76ers have the second-easiest remaining road to finish the season.
FanDuel’s 76ers promotion
On Feb. 22, the 76ers face the league-best Bucks. FanDuel users in Pennsylvania will have their first chance to “Spread the Love.” The promotion originated in Indiana and is making its way to the Commonwealth. Taking a cue from Huey Lewis, FanDuel is showing the power of bettors’ love.
For every 1,000 bets made on the “Spread the Love” market, FanDuel will move the point spread one point in the 76ers’ favor. The 76ers opened at +8.5 vs Milwaukee (Max bet $50 and payout at -110 for the Spread the Love promotion).
It might not quell the “Ben and Joel can’t play together” chatter, but doesn’t the world need all the love it can get?
DraftKings triple-double betting
DraftKings recently introduced triple-double betting markets.
It includes which player will have the most triple-doubles:
Lebron, Luka or the field?
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) February 18, 2020
Also, there are player-based over/unders for triple-doubles for the rest of the regular season.
- Over 19.5 (-143)
- Under 19.5 (+118)
- Over 18.5 (-110)
- Under 18.5 (-110)
- Over 17.5 (-134)
- Under 17.5 (+110)
- Over 13.5 (+115)
- Under 13.5 (-139)
- Over 9.5 (+122)
- Under 9.5 (-148)
- Over 6.5 (-110)
- Under 6.5 (-110)
76ers still a popular choice to win NBA Championship
Despite a less-than-inspiring start to the regular season, the 76ers remain the second-most bet team to win the NBA Finals at DraftKings.
At the halfway point of the season, the Lakers are the most bet team to win the NBA Finals pic.twitter.com/PEsN2jgUob
— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) February 14, 2020
76ers’ odds to win the NBA championship