Another day in the bubble, another full slate of NBA action. In a Wednesday afternoon matchup, the Philadelphia 76ers take on the Washington Wizards. The Sixers are headed into their third game inside the bubble and are 1-1 in their previous 2.
The Wizards have played three games already, but have yet to claim a victory. Of course, Washington is without John Wall, Bradley Beal, and basically every other player important to their team through the end of the season.
The Sixers experienced a little on floor tension in their loss to the Pacers, but seemed to put that behind them against the Spurs. Tip off is set for 4:00 ET in this one.
A Sketchy Favorite
It doesn’t take a professional handicapper to predict who will be favored headed into this one. The Wizards roster is depleted and they are 7.5 games behind the 8 seed in the East. The Sixers are right in the midst of the playoff picture, sitting in the 6th spot in the East right now, although 4 and 5 are still in play for them.
Nothing about the Sixers has looked cohesive since their return. The Pacers handled them and the Spurs almost skated by as well. They only won that game by 2 and were favored by 7. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid have to find a way to get their group to gel if they want to improve their seed.
A Tough Way to Go
There isn’t a team in the league that is going to trot out there and give away wins, but the bottom few teams of this NBA “tournament” are highly overmatched in playoff style basketball. Scott Brooks’ bunch haven’t been close since coming into the bubble.
We’re looking at an offense that is led by Ish Smith and Thomas Bryant. No disrespect to those guys, they just can’t be the best two scorers on the floor if you plan to win a championship. Or seeding games in a bubble as it turns out. Oddly though, Washington has been better at covering the spread than Philly this season.
A Wide Margin
BetOnline has the Sixers favored by a healthy -10.5 points headed into the matchup. The over/under is 231. With the fickle lineup of the Wizards and the hot/cold play of the Sixers, I’d stay away from the total.
As for the spread, if ever the Sixers were to get in rhythm and buck the trends against the spread. It is now. 76ers win big and cover the 10.5. Good luck.