This game tonight in Philadelphia features more drama off the floor than on it. Beyond all of the nonsense surrounding Ben Simmons‘ return to his only previous home, there is the matter of James Harden facing his old team, as he also forced his way out of town. The basketball reality is that Joel Embiid and the 76ers look fantastic with their new addition, as they are now 5-0 since the Harden trade. One of the more tangible impacts has been having a true point guard as a dual pass/score threat, which has opened up spacing for everyone else. Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey have benefitted the most and should see a solid amount of looks from Harden. Things are trending up for Philadelphia, as they won eight of their last 10 games.
The Nets are not catching the Sixers atop the Atlantic anytime soon, but are hoping their most recent victory is a sign of things to come. Kyrie Irving exploded for 50 off 9 made 3’s as the Nets won in Charlotte. It was a quiet game for Kevin Durant but do not expect that to carry over in Philadelphia. The Nets are still a work in progress, having lost six of their last 10 games, but have some extra motivation tonight. Simmons is out, and LaMarcus Aldridge is also on the injury report for Brooklyn. It is also a return for Seth Curry and Andre Drummond.
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NBA Player Props & Picks Today | Nets vs. 76ers
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Best Nets vs. 76ers NBA Bets Today & Odds Shopping
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Over 120 First Half Total: -110 (FanDuel)
It is hard to tell how each star will react to the compounding drama that is building by the minute. It might be Durant and Embiid in a battle of mega-stars, it could be Irving or Harden stealing the show, or simply the Maxey or Curry show to counter the public narrative. One thing is for certain. There will be plenty of scoring. Neither team has anything to counter the top-heavy stars on either team. Harden will shred anyone, as can Irving if he is on. There is not anyone on the Philadelphia 76ers who can stop Durant, much like there is not any Nets player who can slow down Embiid. This game might come down to shooters taking advantage of open spacing due to so much focus on the stars, but it will provide points, nonetheless. Jumping in on a first-half over takes advantage of early runs by both teams, as it is the easiest way to move past the drama surrounding the game. Simmons is the only piece not in play, everyone else has some extra motivation in this game to be the standout player. Embiid, Harden, Irving and Durant are enough to combine for plenty of offense.
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Andre Drummond Over 1.5 Assists: -120 (DraftKings)
The “Andre Drummond Revenge Game” theory is quietly flying under the radar, but the actual data does back a strong showing for the Nets center. Drummond has two separate props that show up near the top of OddsShopper xROI, with this one being the better of the two. He still has a solid chance of going over his rebound prop, but both the 35% xROI and 71% chance are higher with assists. Awesemo has Drummond projected for 2.5 dimes tonight, a full assist higher than the books.
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James Harden Under 25.5 Points: -122 (FanDuel)
This is a perfect example of how a real-life narrative combines with the data. This is not Harden’s fight tonight. Save that for his return to Brooklyn. He has also shown recent signs of happily deferring to Embiid to take over games. Awesemo has Harden projected for 21.1 points and OddsShopper has a 30% xROI on the play. Even better, OddsShopper has a 72% chance of staying under. While Harden has gone over this number in three of his first five games with the Sixers, he has failed to hit 26 points in either of his last games.
Joel Embiid Under 12.5 Rebounds: -115 (FanDuel)
For all the things Embiid can do on the floor against the Nets, rebounding may prove to be the most difficult. Drummond will provide enough of a challenge to limit Embiid just enough to stay below this number. He has only hit 13+ rebounds in two of his last six games, as it is just a high number to hit. OddsShopper has a 68% chance of Embiid staying under his total, combined with a 28% xROI on the prop. Awesemo has Embiid projected for 11 rebounds, a significant gap between the books.
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