A couple of massive Game 6s in the NBA on Friday night, with the 1-seed in each conference looking to avoid elimination on the road following embarrassing Game 5 home losses, for completely different reasons. Can the 76ers overcome consecutive historic collapses? Can the Jazz capitalize on the Kawhi Leonard injury?
It’s become impossible to put your hard-earned money on the gutless 76ers to win a game with what they’ve shown us down the stretch the last two games. You could talk me into playing the Sixers in the first quarter or first half given the level of desperation in this game, but never for the full game.
But I’d prefer to just go to the props with Curry, who might be the only Sixer showing some actual heart in this series. Seth has been nails shooting the ball, going 40-for-64 from the field in the first five games combined, including 22-of-38 from beyond the arc. Seth is the best perimeter scoring option Philly has right now and is getting even more looks with Danny Green sidelined. Since dropping 30 on the Wizards in the closeout game, Seth is averaging 22.8 points in 33.5 minutes per game. Curry’s gone over 15.5 points in five of those six games and was cooking in the embarrassing Game 5 loss, finishing with 36.
I don’t know if the Jazz just overlooked Kawhi’s absence in Game 5, or Donovan Mitchell just had an off-night or what ... but the Jazz are coming off an extreme letdown. Now as short road favorites, I’m expecting a bounce-back in Los Angeles. No Leonard on the floor not only means Paul George will have to be relied upon for another monster performance, but role players like Reggie Jackson, Marcus Morris and Terance Mann will all have to step up again. It’s a big ask. Utah also went ice cold from downtown in the second half of Game 5, while the Clippers stayed hot. Unlike the 76ers, I think this Jazz team has some grit, and I expect them to grind this one out on the road.
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