NBA Odds Set 13.5 Pt. Spread in Spurs vs. 76ers: Can SA Cover?

David Lawrence

Monday, December 1, 2014 12:57 PM GMT

The Philadelphia 76ers lost by seven at home to the Mavs, who were without Dirk Nowitzki,and now face the San Antonio Spurs as 14-point underdogs in NBA odds.23881

The San Antonio Spurs Can Win Because…
Their opponent is 0-16. What better reason could you give in support of the Spurs’ case? The Sixers are just an awful team, much worse than merely being “bad.”  Philadelphia is 26th or worse in the NBA in points scored, points allowed, and rebounds per game. The Sixers are 21st in the league in assists. They have what is by far the worst average point differential in the league, at minus-14.9 points. No other team has a negative double-digit point differential. It would be one thing if the Sixers averaged roughly 91 points scored per game but could hold opponents under 97 or 98 points. It would also be one thing if the Sixers allowed roughly 106 points per game but scored around 100 per game. However, the Sixers score roughly 91 and allow roughly 106. That’s just too big a disparity to give Philadelphia the benefit of the doubt against any team right now, even the Los Angeles Lakers or Detroit Pistons (two teams with 3-13 records entering Sunday).

The Spurs are also pretty good, in case you hadn’t noticed. San Antonio is 9-1 in its last 10 games and has carved out a solid six-point differential, scoring 98.7 points per game while allowing only 92.7. The Spurs’ defense should be far too much for the Sixers to overcome.

 

The Philadelphia 76ers Can Win Because…
They're playing a team that has a lot of old guys and is playing the second half of a back-to-back set. This is how the Philadelphia Sixers are going to eventually win a game or two in the NBA this season. They will get a tired team, preferably an older one, on the back end of a back-to-back and make the most of a difference in energy. Philadelphia has Sunday off, so after a draining game against Dallas on Saturday night, it will be able to bounce back. The Spurs might not be able to do the same. We’ve seen Gregg Popovich rest Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili in back-to-back situations, especially on the road. If this happens on Monday and the Spurs’ backups are not in fine form, Philadelphia could pounce.

One other thing should be said about the Sixers: They played well against Dallas. With only five minutes left in regulation, Philadelphia trailed by only four, 98-94. The Sixers were much better on offense than in previous weeks. They didn’t finish the game, but they pushed a clear playoff team to the end. This is a sign that the team is not quitting on its coaching staff, and that a win is going to happen sooner, not later.

 

Outlook
The Sixers will fight hard, but San Antonio’s bench is too deep, too proven, and too tested for Philadelphia’s starters. The Spurs are the last team you’d expect to become the first victim of the Sixers this season. Take the Spurs on the betting lines as one of today's NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Spurs -13.5 at BetOnline