The Philadelphia 76ers will head to New York City to take on the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night. The Sixers have been without star center Joel Embiid (finger) for the past week and it’s impacted their effectiveness on offense. But is it enough for the Sixers to be short favorites on the spread against an inferior Knicks squad? I don’t think so.
UPDATE: Jan. 18, 3:30 p.m. — The Sixers are favored by more. The line has jumped up to -4 for the Sixers over the course of the day and I imagine it will go up again, potentially to -5 by tip-off. Still think this is a favorable line to get in on, per the analysis below. Check it out.
Sixers vs. Knicks spread, odds, over/under analysis
Spread: Knicks +3.5
Moneyline: Sixers -167
How to bet on Sixers vs. Knicks
I have a lot of strong feelings about this game and the spread, but I’ll keep it tame. There was a similar situation like this the last game when the Knicks faced the Suns at home. Phoenix was only favored by 3.0 points in that game and ended up winning by 121-98. The game wasn’t even close. The Suns are 17-24 and well below .500. The Sixers were picked by many experts to come out of the East this season. Sure, they’re without Embiid and have underperformed, but they’re still an above average team.
Philly’s one deficiency is a lack of 3-point shooting. Well, fortunate for the Sixers the Knicks make every team look like the Warriors dynasty, allowing opponents to shoot 39% from distance on the season. Over the past five games, that number goes up over 40%. The Sixers are one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the NBA, but should look better in this matchup.
All this not counting the way Ben Simmons is playing in Embiid’s absence. Nobody on the Knicks can guard Simmons and he should have an easy time picking apart New York. Al Horford, Josh Richardson and Tobias Harris are all healthy and I think that’s more than enough to beat the Knicks by 4.0 points tonight.
This seems like an advantageous spot that should you definitely be getting on early before the spread goes up. Hell, even the ML is insane, right? This seems like a spot the Sixers would be at least -300 or -400 in if they were at home. The Knicks have lost seven of their past eight games. I mean, come on, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!
Pick: Sixers -3.5
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