76ers Preview: Is Dynamic Duo of Simmons & Embiid Enough?

Thursday, October 4, 2018 2:06 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018 2:06 PM UTC

While their stars are still very young, the Philadelphia 76ers could be the dark horse in the Eastern Conference this season. They have a solid defense, a good group of experienced veterans, and LeBron James is no longer in the East. Can Philadelphia really contend with the Celtics, or even get to the NBA Finals?

2017-18 Record: 52-30

2017-18 ATS Record: 53-37-2

  • (Bovada) 2018-19 Season Win Total: (54)
  • (Bovada) Odds To Make Playoffs: (-3000)
  • (BetOnline) Odds To Win Division: (+300)
  • (BetOnline) Odds To Win Eastern Conference: (+350)
  • (BetOnline) Odds To Win NBA Championship: (+1200)

ATS Outlook

The Sixers took a big step last season in Ben Simmons’ rookie season, and the sky is about the limit that he and Joel Embiid can take them this season. The issue for them is that the East is very East Coast heavy when it comes to the top teams. The Celtics, Sixers, and Raptors all play in the Atlantic Division, so essentially one out of every ten games for Philly will be against Boston or Toronto. The Sixers went 8-13 ATS last season in divisional games.

Combine that with 30 games against a mostly tough Western Conference, and this division will be a dog fight. Nonetheless, Philadelphia is poised to be as good or better than Toronto, and at least good enough to beat the Celtics in a seven-game series.

That being said, the Sixers are in my opinion one of the toughest teams to make a prediction on ATS-wise. With younger star players they will be prone to inconsistency both SU and ATS.

If you remember last season the Sixers opened the year like they couldn’t lose for bettors, going 14-4 ATS in the first month of the season. However, after opening the season 14-4 ATS, they followed that up going 2-12 ATS before winning both SU and ATS on Christmas.

The Sixers will likely be prone to that kind of ATS inconsistency early in the season, and potentially through its entirety. That being said, they had six, seven, and nine game stretches of covering every game ATS last year, so when they’re on, ride them.

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.@MarkelleF nets 12 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist and 1 block in pre-season action vs Orlando.

🎥 https://t.co/4zeFcdPOqu | #HereTheyCome pic.twitter.com/I9qwJELnZF

— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) 2 de outubro de 2018
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How Can They Dethrone the Warriors?

I think the simple answer to this question is no. But the broader context makes the discussion worth having. Let’s say the Sixers really go for it to try and out-do the Raptors and Celtics. They already acquired Wilson Chandler, who will be great for them at both forward spots.

Imagine if they let go of a draft pick or two, or maybe traded for another big name player before the deadline?

They are well below the tax threshold right now and they will have plenty of money to spend this offseason. If the right all-in moment came to them, I guarantee they take it. I don’t think they are better than Boston right now, but that could change if Simmons or Embiid take another leap, or they acquire another big piece. Plus, I haven’t even mentioned the possibility of Markelle Fultz leaping into a big role on this team also.

After the Eagles won the Super Bowl to kickoff a big sports year in Philly, the Sixers would love to at least bring the Warriors into Philly for the Finals. They could sell some expensive tickets and lose in a showing that they are back as a force in the Eastern Conference.

Official Pick: Sixers Win Atlantic Division (+300) @ BetOnline

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