Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets Pick
Philadelphia 76ers (52-32 SU, 40-45 ATS) vs. Brooklyn Nets (43-42 SU, 46-39 ATS)
When: Saturday, April 20th, 2019 – 3:00 PM ET
Where: Barclay’s Center – Brooklyn, NY
By: Keith Franks, NBA Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: PHI -2.5 / BK +2.5 (5Dimes)
Power Rankings: Brooklyn +5
Takeaways From Game Three
Seemingly the Game One upset orchestrated by the Nets has lit a fire under Philadelphia. Once again, the Sixers cruised to an impressive Game Three victory when they defeated the Nets by a score of 131-115 to cover easy as a 1.5-point favorite at 5Dimes. The win gave Philadelphia a 2-1 lead in the series. The question at this point remains as to whether or not the Sixers can be stopped as they have won the last two games against Brooklyn by an average of 19 points.
How the Public is Betting the Philadelphia-Brooklyn Game
Early action has been indicated to come in on Philadelphia. The Sixers opened as a two-point favorite but the market has already risen by half of a point to the Sixers laying 2.5 points to Brooklyn. Furthering that sentiment, 99% of the consensus like the 76ers in this spot.
The Historical / Betting Trends
The Sixers have gone 3-1 both straight up and against the spread in the last four meetings between these two Atlantic Division rivals. For Over/Under players, the Over has gone 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.
A big question in this series has been the status of Philadelphia Center Joel Embiid. Embiid has been battling soreness in his left knee that rendered him on the side-line for Game Three. Despite losing an All-Star that averages 13.6 rebounds per contest and 27.5 points per game, the Sixers did just fine without him. Journeyman Center Greg Monroe joined the cast in Game Three and provided nine points and 13 boards in Embiid’s absence. The combination of Philly stand-outs J.J Redick, Ben Simmons, and Tobias Harris proliferated more than enough scoring as they accrued 86 points collectively to minimise the loss of output from Embiid.
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Rest Advantages and Concerns
Both Brooklyn and Philadelphia will be playing this game on two days of rest. This will serve as the second game of Brooklyn’s two-game stint as hosts before the series moves to Philadelphia on Tuesday for Game Five. For the Nets, a sense of urgency must be filling the air here as a loss puts them down 3-1 with two games still to take place in the City of Brotherly Love.
Will Philadelphia Bully Brooklyn On The Glass?
In Game Three, the Sixers had their way against the Nets on the boards as they outrebounded them by a margin of 54-43 in total rebounds. This is a trope commonly associated with Philadelphia basketball as they were a top-four outfit at the end of the regular season in total rebounds per game (47.8 rpg) and total rebounds against per game (43.5 rpg). On average, the Sixers are +3.3 in rebounding margin but they nearly tripled that against the Nets which was instrumental in getting the win and cover in Game Three. On the season, the 76ers were eighth in the NBA in field goal efficiency with a 47.1% success rate while the Nets sat 25th in the league with a field goal percentage of 44.9%. Game Three reflected this narrative vividly when the Sixers outshot the Nets 48.4% to 41.1% from the field. The Sixers will look to exploit their edge on the boards and outshoot from the Nets from the field like they did in Game Three.
Will Nets Bench Give Them A Shot At An Upset?
On paper, Brooklyn’s bench provides them with a considerable edge. After all, the Nets’ bench averages 48.4 points per game which is 16.5 points greater than Philly’s bench which generates an average of 31.9 points per outing. However, Brooklyn’s offense as a whole was non-existent outside of the contributions of their trio of guards: Caris LaVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and DeAngelo Russell. The three guards combined for 67 points mirroring what brought them success in Game One when the trio led the Nets to victory with identical prolific scoring (they had 67 points in total, there too). In Game Three, the Nets had three starters that combined for only 17 points. Such sluggish production can undermine the efforts of the three guards and it will also make it hard for the bench to bail them out against a Philadelphia offense that has averaged 138 points against them in the last two matches.
Keith’s Pick to Cover the Spread: Philadelphia -2.5
I can see the must-win angle being a reason why some may venture to back Brooklyn on the Money Line outright here. However, I will be having no part of that. As an outright selection, the Nets have not done well against teams with winning records on the year as they have gone 15-27 SU against teams with a .500 record or better. The contrasting quality between these two sides is beginning to show and since the lines-makers are so generous to offer the Sixers at a bargain price, I will go ahead and dive in. Brooklyn has had no answer for Philadelphia and I am not expecting Coach Kenny Atkinson to pull an Ace from his sleeve here. I got the Sixers winning this one yet again by double-digits.