Brooklyn currently resides in 10th place in the Eastern Conference but is in the midst of a two-game win streak. The Nets are 8-9 against the spread while 59% of their matchups have gone under. Philadelphia sits in ninth in the East coming off Saturday's loss to Minnesota. The 76ers are 9-7 against the spread while 50% of their matchups have gone over. This will be the first matchup between the two teams. Last year Brooklyn took three of four games in the series.
Here are the Nets-76ers NBA odds, courtesy of FanDuel
NBA Odds: Nets-76ers Odds
Brooklyn Nets: -8 (-110)
Philadelphia 76ers: +8 (-110)
Over: 216.5 (-110)
Under: 216.5 (-110)
Why The Nets Could Cover The Spread
Brooklyn has been one of the most talked about teams in the league thus far. Whether it be for various off-the-court headlines or the disappointing product on the court, the Nets have not had a lot to hang their hats on. That being said, the Nets have won two games in a row and seem to be rounding into form for a few key reasons. Those same reasons will be major factors in why Brooklyn can cover the spread tonight.
To begin with, the Nets saw point guard Kyrie Irving return from an eight-game suspension on Sunday. Making his first appearance in nearly three weeks, Irving looked solid, albeit rusty in his return. In 26 minutes, Irving scored 14 points on 5-12 shooting. He also pulled down five rebounds in the win. Hardly eye-popping numbers but after an extended time off it can be expected that he wouldn't immediately return to form. Irving was excellent prior to his suspension. In nine games this season Kyrie averages 25.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 4.6 assists. Expect Irving to fill the box score in a similar manner tonight as he continues to play himself back into shape.
While Irving recently returned from suspension, the Nets always welcomed the return of Ben Simmons' talents. No one is quite sure where this play was early on, but Ben Simmons has begun to look more like the All-NBA version of himself. Simmons has scored over 10 points in each of his last three games after failing to do so once prior. In their win over Portland, he scored 15 points, pulled down 13 rebounds, and dished out seven assists. Then, in their most recent win over Memphis, Simmons scored a season-high 22 points on 11-13 shooting. He again racked up periphery stats, finishing with eight rebounds and five assists. It finally seems as though Ben Simmons is returning to form – something key to keep in mind when making a Nets-76ers prediction.
Why The 76ers Could Cover The Spread
First, James Harden went down. Then Tyrese Maxey. Now, Joel Embiid. The 76ers cannot seem to catch a break and with such a decimated roster, it's hard to see them beating a hot Nets team. That being said, you can cover an eight-point line in the NBA regardless of who's in your starting lineup. All you need are some threes!
If Philly is going to cover, they're going to have to shoot well from deep. Coming into tonight, the 76ers ranked ninth in three-point percentage (37.5%). However, they're just 19th in three-point attempts – averaging 32 per game. If they want to cover tonight they're going to need to see that number creep closer to 40. Despite Maxey and Harden being out, Philly still has a number of capable shooters. Georges Niang (42.7% on 5.1 attempts per game) and DeAnthony Melton (38.3% on 4.3 attempts per game) figure to see their usage shoot up and are interesting prop bets given the opportunity in front of them. However, it is Tobias Harris (39.7% on 5.2 attempts per game) who is most critical in determining whether or not the 76ers can cover.
Tobias Harris is probable for tonight's game – returning to action after missing more than a week with an injury. It comes at the perfect time for Philly backers given their injuries. Harris is a capable scorer who is not unfamiliar with being the number-one option for a team. Although he's averaged just 14.7 points this season, he's shown the ability to carry a team in the past. Harris scored 30 points four times last year and in those games, the 76ers were 2-2. He took at least 18 shot attempts in all of those games, something that is likely to repeat given how thin Philly is right now.
Final Nets-76ers Prediction & Pick
The Nets seem to have turned a corner whereas the 76ers have been decimated by injury. Lay the points with Brooklyn.
Final Nets-76ers Prediction & Pick: Brooklyn Nets -8 (-110)