NBA Betting: Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers

Philly Sixers

Jason Lake

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 12:35 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 12:35 PM UTC

The Philadelphia 76ers are reaping the rewards of The Process – and so are their supporters. Philly could be a sharp NBA pick this Wednesday night in La-La Land.

Philadelphia 76ers vs L.A. Lakers

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Free NBA Pick: UNDER 224
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline

It’s a race against time for the Philadelphia 76ers. Sam Hinkie got their Process rolling in 2013 when he took over as GM, using analytics and aggressive tanking to stockpile high draft picks. But two years ago, when all that losing got a little too much for some people, the Sixers undercut Hinkie’s authority, and he was soon out the door. Now it’s up to Bryan Colangelo to fulfill Hinkie’s ultimate vision: Turn all that young talent into a winning basketball team.

They haven’t screwed it up yet. Despite coming up dry with Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, the Sixers are loaded for bear this year, and they’re already crushing expectations at 7-6 SU and 9-4 ATS. Can they keep the ball rolling this Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) when they visit another rebuilding team, the Los Angeles Lakers? Philly just opened at –4 on the NBA odds board, so it’s looking good for our heroes.

Shake and Bake All Takers

Doubters of The Process should take a look at what’s happened in Los Angeles. The Lakers (6-8 SU, 7-7 ATS) had very little interest in analytics until Magic Johnson took over as PBO in February. They also had one foot in the boat and one on the shore when it came to roster-building; Kobe Bryant and other broken-down veterans were trotted out to sell tickets while their draft picks waited in the wings.

Things are different now, but it’s going to take some time. The Lakers hired former NBA director of basketball analytics Jason Rosenfeld to run the numbers, they installed Luke Walton as their head coach, and they cashed in on their lottery fortune by taking local product Lonzo Ball No. 2 overall in the Draft. It’ll work out eventually.

Nance Can’t Dance

Meanwhile, we’ve got a game Wednesday, and just as I write this, the Lakers have moved to –3. People love to bet on the Lakers. Maybe they should; FiveThirtyEight and ESPN’s Basketball Power Index both project this game as a pick ‘em. What what? Do they know that Larry Nance Jr. (2.1 BPM) is out for the next month or so with a broken left hand? He’s one of their best players.

Well, we’re not about to go against those projections, but we are tempted to put the UNDER in our NBA picks. The Lakers (UNDER 9-5) are fourth in the league in defensive efficiency at 99.6 points allowed per 100 possessions, and No. 28 in offensive efficiency at 97.2 points scored. The Sixers (OVER 8-5) are in the middle tier in both categories. And we’re looking at a big total of 224 for Wednesday’s game. We’ll buy that for a dollar.

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