We celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with 14 NBA games set for Monday. The Philadelphia 76ers will take on the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on the earlier half of the slate at 3:00 p.m. ET. The Sixers (28-16) are comfortably in the No. 6 spot in the East, though we all expected them to be a bit higher. They have won two in a row but have been without All-Star center Joel Embiid (finger). Ben Simmons has stepped up and provided more offense lately, but the Sixers remain a defense-first unit.
The Nets (18-23) have lost three in a row despite having Kyrie Irving back in the lineup. He’s been critical of the team to the media and it feels like things are only going to get worse. Perhaps we were right in thinking that the Nets were playing better because Kyrie was out. DeAndre Jordan is out of the lineup and is expected to be re-evaluated sometime this week.
Sixers vs. Nets spread, moneyline, over/under
Spread: Nets -1.5
Moneyline: Sixers (+105), Nets (-124)
Philly doesn’t generally fare well against the spread (20-23-1) on the season and is 8-14 on the road ATS. I was burned by the Sixers last game against the Knicks when I thought they could actually defeat a much worse team by more than 3.5 points. That’s been the big problem with the Sixers all season.
Forget the Embiid injury, they just don’t crush teams as often as they should. It sort of makes this spread and ML feel like a trap of sorts. But I’m a glutton for punishment and you only live once (YOLO), so yeah I’m going back to the well with the Sixers on the spread getting points this time. Al Horford is questionable and may be out, but I think between Simmons, Josh Richardson and Tobias Harris the Sixers can stay in the game and have a shot at winning. Oh yeah, and two games ago Philly beat Brooklyn 117-106.
Pick: Sixers +1.5
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