The Philadelphia 76ers are coming off a tough 117-115 loss at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Even so, the 76ers are 30-17 on the season and 19-5 at home. Houston is 26-19 overall, but just 9-12 on the road. The teams split the two meetings last year, both winning as road underdogs.
Statistically, the 76ers are fourth in scoring and fifth in rebounding. They get into trouble with defensive lapses and careless ball handling, ranked 22nd in points allowed and 28th in turnovers. Houston is excellent at taking care of the ball, ranked 2nd in fewest turnovers. Solid both offensively and defensively in terms of points, Huston’s big weakness is their lack of rebounding. This could hurt them against one of the best rebounding teams in the NBA.
Houston relies on MVP candidate James Harden, who is averaging an astronomical 35.7 points per game. At the pace he’s playing, holding him under 40 is an accomplishment. His back court mate Chris Paul is averaging nearly 16 points and eight assists per game. Clint Capela hs been a force inside, averaging 17.6 points and 12.6 rebounds. Eric Gordon is an excellent complimentary piece (16.2 points per game), while P.J. Tucker is one of the best long range shooters on the team, connecting on 38 percent from beyond the arc.
There’s no doubt that the 76ers success runs through center Joel Embiid, averaging 27 points and 13.2 rebounds per game. Jimmy Butler provides an excellent second option at 19 points and 39 percent from three point range, while JJ Redick is averaging 18.5 on 38 percent from long range. Ben Simmons continues to refuse to take a jumper, but is scoring 16.6 per game, with 9.5 rebounds and 8.2 assists. Rookie Landry Shamet has become a good long range option off the bench.
Wiseguy Talk Betting Prediction
Houston is a tough opponent for anyone, but it’s difficult to envision the 76ers losing back-to-back games at home. The best bet is to go with Philadelphia as the home favorite. The over/under hasn’t been posted yet, but both teams can light up the scoreboard, so bet on the over in what should be a very entertaining game.