The Philadelphia 76ers are now 0-18 and have lost 28 straight games going back to last season, but they have a golden opportunity to snap those streaks hosting the Lakers Tuesday.
The home team just tied the NBA record for the most consecutive losses to begin the season, but instead of a new record, expect an ice-breaking maiden win Tuesday night when the Los Angeles Lakers (2-14, 5-11 ATS) pay a visit to those winless Philadelphia 76ers (0-18, 10-8 ATS) at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA at 7:05 ET in a game available on Comcast SportsNet.
The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Philadelphia as a small home favorite for this contest with the current line at -1½ with odds of -108.
Tied Nets at 0-18
The 76ers tied the record of the 2009-10 New Jersey Nets by being the losing NBA picks for the 18th straight time to begin this season with a 92-84 road loss to the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday, running the Philadelphia losing streak to 28 straight games going back to last season. With that being said, the Sixers took positive strides while covering the last five games if their just completed six-game road trip, and this return home vs. a dreadful team could end the streak!
Just the fact that the 76ers are scant favorites in this game should give an indication of the state of the Lakers right now. Los Angeles sits at 2-14 having lost six straight games overall and seven straight road games, and the Lakers already made the history books once a week ago when they were on the losing end of the Golden State Warriors record-breaking 16th straight win to begin a season, and now they could add another chapter that they would rather avoid.
Five Straight Single-Digit Losses
The problem with that is, as crazy as it sounds the 76ers are actually playing the better basketball between these teams now! At least Philadelphia continues to put forth an honest effort every game as the Sixers are now on a five-game ATS winning streak while losing the last five games of their road trip all by single-digits, in fact losing four straight by five points or less before the covering eight-point loss at Memphis. This leaves the 76ers at 10-8 ATS for the year.
During this five-game ATS run, the Sixers have raised their scoring a from an NBA worst 90.8 points per game to 92.8 and their three-point shooting from 31.8 percent to 34.4. The more notable improvement those last five contests though has been on the defensive end, where while Philadelphia is allowing 102.8 points on 44.2 percent shooting including 37.0 percent from three-point range on the season, it improved those figures to 97.6 points, 43.1 percent and 34.8 percent.
On top of that, the Sixers may have found a go-to guy in the latter stages in Robert Covington, who has averaged 18 points and eight rebounds, as well as 5.2 steals defensively, in those last five games.
Last Game for Kobe back in Philly
The Lakers won their second road game of the year beating the Nets in Brooklyn, but they have lost 10 of their 11 games since that contest including all seven road games, and unlike the 76ers the Lakers have not even competed on some nights while going 5-11 ATS overall.
Granted they did cover the spread in a 107-103 home loss to the Indiana Pacers Sunday to snap a five-game ATS losing streak, but can this team with the second worst record in the NBA and worst in the Western Conference really be trusted trying to cover two games in a row?
Also, Kobe Bryant announced over the weekend that this will be the final season of his NBA career, thus making this his last ever game as an active player at his home town of Philadelphia, where Kobe was born and drafted straight out of Lower Merion High School in 1996. Thus, with the Lakers going nowhere this season, it would not be a shock to see Bryant get extended minutes in this game.
The problem with that from a Lakers’ perspective though is that Kobe is shooting a mere 30.5 percent from the field this season and he has been even worse that that over his last four games, at 23.7 percent.
ATS Success vs. Bad Teams
Finally, despite the dubious losing steak that the 76ers are on, they are actually 5-0 ATS in their last five games vs. teams with a winning percentage below .400. Philadelphia is also 6-0 ATS in its last six games vs. teams with losing records overall, while the Lakers are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win and 0-4 ATS in their last four road games.
We feel that all things point to tonight being the night that the 76ers record their first win of this 2015-16 season, so back Philadelphia at home vs. the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday.
NBA Pick: 76ers -1½ (-108)