Do 76ers’ NBA Title & Eastern Conference Odds Offer Value?
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The Philadelphia 76ers had lost four in a row before taking care of the Grizzlies and Bulls on Friday and Sunday. With one game left before the NBA All-Star break, they’re 33-21 and in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, 13 games out of first place and 13.5 games ahead of ninth place.
The 76ers are a confounding bunch, stuck in the middle of the pack in the East but with preseason expectations to not only advance to the NBA Finals but win it. There have been stories about locker room issues off the court and lack of hustle on it. But they still have Joel Embiid, they still have Ben Simmons, they still have Tobias Harris and just added depth at the trade deadline.
Oddsmakers aren’t questioning Philadelphia’s chances to win it all. At Unibet and FOXBet, they’re still +1400 and the fourth-highest team on the chart, behind only the Bucks, Lakers and Clippers. They’re the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference futures (+600) behind only Milwaukee at most top U.S. online sportsbooks.
3 Things to Consider When Betting 76ers
Should we question those odds? Are the 76ers worth your backing in the NBA futures markets right now? Here’s how we break it down:
The Dog Days
Things haven’t been clicking for the 76ers lately, and it’s affecting things on and off the court. All-Star center Embiid said he’s not having fun and isn’t sure what his role is in the offense. His average of 22.8 ppg is down drastically from the 27.5 of a year before. Veteran Al Horford admitted to locker room issues being a distraction.
The 76ers recently ended a four-game losing streak, but three of those losses were unimpressive duds against other Eastern playoff contenders.
That said, this team has been in funks before and bounced out of them. Few title contenders can boast such stretches of non-winning action. Philadelphia has had two four-game losing streaks and two other three-game skids. But it’s also had two five-game win streaks and three four-game streaks – a case study on inconsistency.
Trade Deadline Moves
Philly made a move that brought in more offense for the 22nd-ranked scoring team, adding combo guard Alec Burks and shooting forward Glenn Robinson III from the Warriors.
Burks was averaging 16.5 over his last 14 games in Golden State, while Robinson is shooting a career-best 48% from the floor, including 40% on 3’s. For an offense struggling with identity as players have claimed, the two newcomers have the opportunity to find real roles, even in a crowded depth chart for coach Brett Brown to figure out.
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Success Against the Best
It’s been a mixed bag when it comes to Philly’s success against the other Eastern Conference contenders. Against the Celtics, the 76ers are 3-1 this season, but against the Bucks, Raptors, Heat and Pacers combined, they’re 4-8.
But much of their success against those teams came before the calendar flipped to 2020. In the last meeting between those five teams, Philly is 0-5, with four of those losses by double figures.
Which 76ers team will be there in the end? Will it be the one that can’t lose, or the one that can’t find a way to win? If offensive identity has been a source of frustration, is adding a pair of shoot-first options via trade the answer?
There are a lot of questions for a team that’s considered a top-five bet to win the NBA title. That they may be using “us against the world” mentality that includes Philly’s own fans on the other side hints at a lack of maturity, if true.
On the court, the 76ers are only 1-6 against the other top East teams since Christmas. Their big wins came early in the year when other squads may have still been figuring things out.
There is a lot of season yet to be played, and perhaps the 76ers will plow through the issues and play to expectations when the postseason begins. If Philly drops to +1000 to win the East and +2000 to win the Finals, that’s value. Where the 76ers sit right now, it’s not.
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