So far, so good. For better or for worse, this year’s version of the Philadelphia 76ers was going to be significantly different.
The team brought in new head coach Doc Rivers and new president of basketball operations Daryl Morey.
Al Horford and draft picks were traded to Oklahoma City for a package that included Danny Green and others. Josh Richardson and another pick were sent to Dallas in exchange for Seth Curry. And the team added promising rookie Tyrese Maxey in the draft.
So one way or the other, things were going to be different in Philadelphia. And after eight games this season, everything is falling into place.
76ers overcome a 60-point outburst from Bradley Beal
Last night, the Sixers beat the Wizards 141-136 to improve to 7-1 overall. Wizards guard Bradley Beal exploded for 60 points, but it still wasn’t enough to take down Philadelphia, who had every starter score at least 15 points. Center Joel Embiid was the team’s top scorer with 38.
“They pay me to take over the game, and they pay me to dominate,” Embiid told ESPN.
The Sixers (7-1) now have the best record in the NBA. And tonight, the team will take on the Brooklyn Nets in a nationally-broadcast game on TNT at 7:30 p.m.
Brooklyn is still a futures favorite
The Nets are off to a slower start at 4-4, but with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, they have one of the best rosters in the entire league. In fact, the Nets are still ahead of the 76ers in Eastern Conference futures.
FOX Bet has Milwaukee as the favorite to win the East at +230, followed by Brooklyn at +250. Boston is third at +650 and Philadelphia is now fourth at +700, with a boost by FOX Bet lifting them to +900.
But in Thursday night’s game, FanDuel Sportsbook has the Sixers as 2.5-point favorites. Philadelphia is -138 on the moneyline, while the Nets are +118. The game’s over/under is set at 224.
And one of FanDuel Sportsbook’s newest features is the Same Game parlay. At press time, the winning team and margin of victory were listed with the following odds:
- Philadelphia 1-10: +170
- Philadelphia 11+: +310
- Brooklyn 1-10: +210
- Brooklyn 11+: +500
76ers vs. Nets betting stats from DraftKings:
- The Sixers are 5-3 ATS; The Nets are 3-5 ATS.
- 76ers are 2-1 on the road; Nets are 3-3 at home.
- Two of the 76ers’ games have gone Over and six have gone Under the points total.
- The Nets’ O/U record is 3-5.
- 76ers are scoring 114.8 ppg on average; 119.5 ppg for the Nets.
- The Nets have outscored opponents in the first half in 12 of their last 15 games at Barclays Center.
- The 76ers have a 52% implied win probability.
FOX Bet offers big returns if the Sixers can win every quarter
Back over at FOX Bet, there are over 160 wagers available for Thursday’s game. In addition to alternate spreads and totals, FOX Bet has a lengthy list of custom wagers. One of the interesting ones for Sixers fans is +875 odds if Philadelphia can win all four quarters.
Perhaps it’s a long shot, but the Sixers have been red-hot so far this season. The other PA sports betting apps should also have an extensive offering of wagers for tonight’s game. Live betting should also be available on those sites shortly after the game tips off at 7:30 p.m.
Oddsmakers expect a close game tonight. And Brooklyn should be the best team the Sixers have played this entire season.
It’s a big game for sure. But a single outcome – regardless of the result – is unlikely to alter the excitement that Philadelphia is feeling this season.
So far, it’s so good.
Lead image: AP Photo/Young Kwak