Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Series Odds and Expert Betting Predictions
The 2019 NBA Playoffs get underway at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday with two Atlantic Division rivals. Brooklyn comes into the series with confidence, having won four of their last six games both straight up and against the spread. The same can't be said about Philadelphia. The 76ers have had exact opposite result, winning just two of their last six both SU and ATS.
The Nets gave the 76ers all they could handle this year splitting the season series. Both teams got a win at home and on the road. Brooklyn averaged 121 points in those four contests, which helped lead to three of the four games flying "over" the total.
Brooklyn shoots the trey at a 35 percent clip while doing a great job defending the perimeter…only allowing opponents to hit from downtown at a 34 percent rate. They give up 112.3 points per game while averaging 112.2 themselves leaving point differential pretty much dead even at -0.1.
Some interesting trends here have the Nets doing well as of late on the road at 6-1 ATS their last seven and 4-2 ATS in their last six playing the 76ers. The Nets have been a phenomenal road team in general ATS this year, posting a fantastic 24-15 road record ATS. They were 45-37 ATS the entire season.
Brooklyn has been hit or miss in general regarding the total. They were 41-41 O/U, and 22-19 O/U on the road.
DeMarre Carroll (wrist) and Joe Harris (foot) have both been upgraded to probable for Saturday's matchup.
Philadelphia is definitely "all in" this year with the additions of Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. Both players are free agents after the postseason, so this could be the last time we see this collective group compete for a title. This is a very young and talented team. In fact, many experts say they are arguably the most talented team in the Eastern Conference. "The Process", as many Philadelphia basketball fans have called it, has finally come to fruition.
The 76ers are not the most defensive-minded team. They are 19th in the NBA, giving up 112.5 points per game, and 27th in creating turnovers at 12.3 percent of possessions.
Offensively, Philadelphia does just fine. They rank fourth in points per game at 115.2, as well as hitting from downtown at a 36 percent rate. They protect the ball as well only turning the ball over 14.5 percent of the time.
Jimmy Butler (back) has been upgraded to probable for Saturday. The City of Brotherly Love, however, is holding its collective breath as Joel Embiid is still questionable. The Sixers GM Elton Brand has admittedly said it is a big concern. They were 8-10 without him this year, and they average 10 fewer points per game given up with him on the floor. His presence inside and ability to rebound and defend inside is a real threat to Brooklyn. He is hands down the best player on the floor, and if he does not play Brooklyn has a shot at making this a long series.
With Philadelphia having defensive struggles lately and Brooklyn playing well on the offensive end, I see this series going at least six games. Brooklyn was 20-62 last season and improved on that substantially this season to 42-40. That is an incredible improvement, and a lot of it thanks to Kenny Atkinson. Atkinson will have his players ready to go. And with Embiid not 100 percent, look for the Nets to capitalize and go straight at him, possibly get him in foul trouble but make him work hard through the injury.
D'Angelo Russell will be the key to Brooklyn's success. He had a career year, averaging 21.1 points per game, 3.9 rebounds and 7 assists. He's grown up a lot since the Laker "Swaggy P" incident. All this kid wants to do now is ball and show LA they made a mistake showing him the door.
Ben Simmons will be the key factor for the Sixers. His 17 points per game, 8.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists make him one of the best all-around players in the league. He needs to work on his FT percentage and maybe eventually develop an outside shot. His presence and athleticism will be one of the reasons Philadelphia wins this series if indeed they do.
One way to think about this series from a handicapping perspective game-to-game is taking Brooklyn plus the points every game (if they are an underdog). They are +7 for Game 1. Even the games in Brooklyn should see the line somewhere near a pick'em, I believe. Of the four games they played this year, the Nets covered 3 of the 4 and won SU twice. Only once were they blown out, so they have a tendency to hang tough against Philadelphia.
Odds: Philadelphia -650, Brooklyn +500
Sixers in 6
I think Brooklyn can steal one of the first two games. They will be highly motivated, and with Embiid not himself they will look to take advantage of that immediately. I do think, however, The Sixers have too much talent in the end. Brett Brown wants to improve on only winning one playoff series last year and possibly take this team to the NBA Finals. After all, it's been a long process.
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