The NBA season has arrived and the Philadelphia 76ers have three opening-week contests. They host the Washington Wizards tonight, visit the New York Knicks on Saturday, and Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday.
Before anyone says “3-0” as the Sixers battle three sub .500 teams from last year, let’s observe where they are projected in the overall NBA dynamic.
Looking at 76ers upcoming schedule
The Sixers odds were an excellent home team last year, and the Sixers -7 is going to jump out at bettors.
They also figured to be favored against the Knicks, who, at +50000 or roughly 500-1 to win the NBA championship, will be hard-pressed to win a third of their games. Then there are the Cavs, who only won 19 games last year.
Here’s a betting observation: The Knicks were one of the league’s best teams against the spread last season. Oddsmakers bestow heavy points with them. They’re always worth a look throughout the season, especially at home
Who are these new-look Sixers?
The “S” stands for “shakeup” with the Sixers. Daryl Morey is the new president of operations, Doc Rivers is the new head coach. Plus the duo of Danny Green and Seth Curry add shooting-guard additions to the team. There is a chemistry balance and excitement about their opportunities, at least in the regular season. New Jersey online sportsbooks expect their jubilation to stop there.
The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are at +270, the favorites to repeat at DraftKings Sportsbook.
The biggest jump is the Brooklyn Nets, now propelled to fourth position and +600 with the expected season-long contributions of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.
The Sixers are +2000, down in the pack, but good value. They should have a strong regular season. The question then becomes whether they can get past the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks, and the Nets in the East during the playoffs.
Looking at Joel Embiid + NBA MVP betting
Philadelphia’s new makeup is also reflected on the MVP betting board at DraftKings.
Luka Doncic of the Dallas Mavericks is the favorite at +400, as one might expect. Doncic corralled 35% of the money and 25% of the handle, most on the board.
Guess who’s number three in terms of money?
None other than the Sixers’ Joel Embiid at +4000 with 8% of the handle and 7% of the bets.
One pervasive reason is the expectation that the backcourt play of Green and Curry will be sufficient enough to relieve double-team pressure off of him.
Embiid in single coverage? He’s getting some wagering love.
Durant, who did not play last year for the Nets, has soared all the way to second place at +1200 with 11% handle and 12% bets.
The Sixers’ Ben Simmons is a long shot at +10000, but his 2% handle and 3% bets total placed him ninth among prospective NBA MVP’s.
Sixers and Nets 2020-21 win totals
You won’t see 43 as the Sixers’ projected win total at DraftKings. The number is reflected as a percentage, 58.5, of the 72-game schedule. DraftKings implemented that move in case the season is shortened.
Brooklyn’s total 62.5%, which comes out to 45.
There’s an interesting angle here. If Brooklyn is expected to win only two more games than the Sixers, why is there such a disparity between the teams for the post season? This means that oddsmakers expect Brooklyn to outperform Philadelphia, and others, during the playoffs.
Bettors can view this as post-season projections being too high or the season win total being too low for Brooklyn. There’s a nice betting opportunity if one believes the Brooklyn regular-season win percentage is too low compared with post-season expectations.
The Nets, who finished 35-37 last year, are the betting story of the NBA.
That’s because they have two bonafide stars in Durant and Irving, along with new coach Steve Nash.
The Nets signed Durant and Irving last year, but injuries kept them out of the lineup.
Just the perception that they would return for the summer NBA restart caused a massive drop in their post-season odds, even though they were a sub. 500 team.
Now that the rumor has been replaced by fact, there’s a premium on the Brooklyn team.
This will be an interesting saga. The Nets will have some big games, in which Irving and Durant star. Brooklyn will blow a few teams away. But keeping two previously-injured stars healthy for several months is a daunting task.
NBA point spread trends
The gaudy records are one thing. But bettors have their eyes on good values regarding teams that obtain favorable spreads or elite teams that have too much demanded of them.
Oklahoma City was the best team against the spread last year, followed by the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat.
The Knicks, one of the league’s worst teams, hit the spread more than half the time. They are always obtaining large points. The Lakers, who won it all, were in the middle of the pack.
See if it repeats this year. Teams like the Celtics, Denver Nuggets and the Heat, strong clubs that don’t get the media hype of the Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, often return fair value at the books.
Who will light it up individually?
As for the scoring championship, Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks commands 18% of the handle, with Doncic receiving 14% and Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors taking 13%. Young only played 60 games last year and would need a full season to cop the title.
Last year, Young was fifth in the scoring. James Harden of Houston was first, but he is an unhappy player at the start of the season and several trade attempts to get him have fallen through. Hey Sixers fans, analysts say don’t get your hopes up about him playing here.
Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers was second, followed by Devin Booker of the Phoenix Suns and Giannis Antetokounpo of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Who will be Chairman of the Boards?
Last year Antetokounpo was also fourth in total rebounds. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz led the way. Hassan Whiteside of Portland was second, Andre Drummond of the Cavaliers was third. Whiteside is back with the Sacramento Kings now
For prop players, Doncic led the league with 17 triple-doubles last year.
Regardless of whether you find season-long props for rebounders, they factor into one-game bets.
Sixers and BetMGM are partners
Getting back to the Sixers, the BetMGM is the team’s newest official sports betting partner.
The news comes following BetMGM’s recent mobile launch in Pennsylvania. Here is what the deal includes:
- TV-visible signage including BetMGM’s logo on the pole pads during 76ers games
- Fan-focused engagement campaigns including promotions within the official 76ers app
- 76ers-branded casino games
“We are thrilled to partner with BetMGM and together create new, engaging experiences to deliver to our 76ers fans,” said Katie O’Reilly, 76ers Chief Revenue Officer. “This partnership will give us the ability to connect with our fans on the digital channels where they spend their time through customized 76ers branded games and activations. BetMGM will also propel us into a new space, strategically targeting fans in the sports betting and gaming realm.”
In addition, the MGM-0wned Borgata in Atlantic City will be designated as an “official away game host of the Philadelphia 76ers,” an activation that will feature events on site when it is deemed safe to do so. Borgata will also host a co-branded Season Ticket Member and VIP event in the future featuring casino games, appearances by 76ers legends, autographed memorabilia raffles and other exclusive prizes
Sir Charles + FanDuel are feeling Jolly
However, the BetMGM deal wasn’t the only to be announced this week. Remember Charles Barkley?
Well, FanDuel Group announced an exclusive agreement with the NBA icon And as part of the new partnership. Jolly Ol’ St. Chuck is delivering odds boosts for the holiday season.
Since the integration of FanDuel odds into TNT’s NBA broadcasts, Barkley educated fans on NBA betting implications. He also delivered the “Chuck Guarantee.”
It became popular on social media and has evolved into another step.
Bettors can now look for Barkley Boosts on Christmas Day NBA games and a free entry into the FanDuel NBA daily fantasy sports contest through Dec. 25.
Whether or not Chuck guarantees a Sixers win remains to be seen.