For the second time in three contests, the Philadelphia 76ers have an off-court story preceding their game. The two leading MVP candidates will lead their respective teams into battle, as Joel Embiid and his Sixers host Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. Embiid has the advantage on the books and a big performance against Jokic might seal it. As for Philadelphia, they come off a hard-fought overtime win yesterday over the Magic. It would be the Sixers’ second-straight win as they saw strong performances from Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey against Orlando. Philadelphia lost for the first time with James Harden on the floor last Thursday against the Nets but is 6-1 with him active. Danny Green is the only Sixers player on the injury report but is probable with a finger injury.
Jokic may have more important things on his mind than securing the MVP, as the Nuggets are losers of two-straight games. Denver fell to the Warriors this past Thursday then to the Raptors on Saturday. The good news for Denver was getting Will Barton back from a three-game absence due to injury, but Aaron Gordon will most likely be playing through injury tonight against Philadelphia. The Nuggets are 20-15 on the road this year as they embark on a three-game trip away from Denver starting tonight in Philadelphia.
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NBA Player Props & Picks Today | Nuggets vs. 76ers
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Best Nuggets vs. 76ers NBA Bets Today & Odds Shopping
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Nuggets First Quarter ML: -102 (FanDuel)
Denver is on a mini-skid but the Sixers put in way too much work to beat Orlando. Denver has a sense of urgency that is already set in ahead of tonight, much different than a Sixers team that truly had to fight to beat the Magic… in overtime. It is not so much the Sixers will only be tired, as they will be a little complacent. There is the Embiid vs. Jokic battle that will have everyone’s attention but expect the Sixers to need a quarter to get going. Denver has figured out how to maximize Jokic, it is just a matter of his supporting cast, mainly who is healthy around him. Having Barton back will help stretch the Sixers’ defense, which has been recently beatable from deep. Between Harden and Embiid wearing down teams by frequently getting to the free throw line, there are some good opportunities to attack early value on opponents, especially with Jokic who can win one quarter on his own.
Make sure you continue to check OddsShopper throughout the day for the best value and return on any play. It is also important to check as Awesemo’s projections will update and shift any initial data earlier in the day.
Will Barton Under 4.5 Rebounds: +112 (FanDuel)
Barton is back but do not expect him to dominate the boards. OddsShopper sees this as a prop with one of the strongest chances of hitting, and it found a plus-money return. Awesemo’s free projection has Barton finishing with 4.1 rebounds, which is far closer than the OddsShopper data would indicate. The xWin is 78% that Barton stays under 4.5 boards, combined with a 21% xROI on the play. Barton has only hit 5+ rebounds in four of his last 10 games and faces a difficult guard/wing matchup against the Sixers.
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James Harden Under 22.5 Points: -106 (FanDuel)
Harden has a huge target as the definitive second scoring option on the 76ers. As much as there is a concern he could struggle from the floor, Harden bettors have also seen him defer to Embiid. Harden can get to the free throw line at any point but has seen recent struggles shooting the ball. OddsShopper has a 66% chance that the prop stays under, along with a 28% xROI on the play. Awesemo’s free projection has a slower night for Harden, finishing with 19.5 points.
MVP Same Game Parlay: +260 (DraftKings)
OddsShopper has two solid plays for the two leading MVP candidates. The first leg is Joel Embiid Over 30.5 Points as OddsShopper favors Embiid to have the better night. There is a 60% chance that Embiid goes over this number, helped by Awesemo’s free projection of 32.1 points. The second leg is Nikola Jokic Under 25.5 Points as both Awesemo and OddsShopper see the Nuggets star coming up just short. OddsShopper has a 59% chance of Jokic staying under, combined with a 24.7 point projection from Awesemo.
Something to think about: Take one more shot at Embiid to win MVP before this SGP hits, as his return will be north of -200 following a victory over Jokic.
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