The chances of the Philadelphia 76ers (+7) upsetting the visiting Chicago Bulls on Friday got longer when the 76ers announced rookie star Joel Embiid will sit the game out to rest. That certainly affected the NBA spread on the game.
Sixers Playing It Safe
The 76ers have been much improved this season even if their overall record doesn't perhaps show it yet -- they are a respectable (for them) 4-6 at home and just had a four-game winning streak there snapped Wednesday in a double-overtime loss to Memphis.
A big reason for that loss? Philadelphia wouldn't allow its stellar rookie big man Embiid to play in the second overtime because he already had exceeded his minutes limit of around 25. The team is being overly cautious after Embiid missed his first two seasons with foot problems. And it already has been announced that Embiid will not play Friday at home against the Bulls. Embiid is the early Rookie of the Year favorite, averaging 17.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in 22.6 minutes per night. The Sixers are 4-1 ATS on NBA odds this season in their past five after a loss. They opened at +7 for Friday's game.
The Bulls are completing their six-game Circus Trip and had covered every game on it before losing 110-107 on Tuesday in Denver as a very slight favorite on NBA odds. Chicago has won its past 10 games against the 76ers, however. The Bulls remain without one of their best 3-point shooters in small forward Doug McDermott, who is still dealing with concussion symptoms. He hasn't played on the trip. Jimmy Butler has scored 20+ points in nine straight games for the Bulls, which is a career long. Chicago is 8-3 ATS on NBA picks in its past 11 after a loss.