Tuesday night, the 76ers were in Boston facing the Celtics, winning that matchup 106-96, mostly due to Embiid’s incredible 35-point night. With the 76ers only a few games behind the Brooklyn Nets in the East, tonight’s game versus the Pelicans has huge implications.
The Pelicans are coming off two tough losses to the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets. Both of these losses were on the road, and this will be their first game back at home. With a 22-29 record, the season is slowly slipping away from New Orleans. If they can snag a big win over a leader in the Eastern Conference, it could very well get their season back on track.
The question then becomes, who should you put your money on? The 76ers, who are looking to overtake the Brooklyn Nets in the East? Or the Pelicans, who desperately need a win after losing two straight games.
Embiid’s presence is essential to Philadelphia’s success Friday
Joel Embiid was a dominant force in Philadelphia’s game against Boston on Tuesday night and will need a similar outing against the Pelicans. New Orleans big-man Steven Adams will likely be the one tasked with guarding Embiid, which will be entertaining, to say the least. Tobias Harris, who underperformed on Tuesday, will be tasked with guarding Zion Williamson on Friday night.
The 76ers have a 30-8 record as a favorite with an ATS road record of 12-11-3. An above .500 record against the spread on the road is no easy feat. The only trouble is that the 76ers have gone 2-4 ATS in their last six games and haven’t covered very often when playing the Pelicans. However, with Joel Embiid outperforming every Center in the league, bettors should have a lot of confidence in Philadelphia.
The Pelicans need a big win to get the season back on track
The New Orleans Pelicans are 1-4 in their last five games. Their only win in the last five was against the 14-37 Houston Rockets, which is nothing to brag about. New Orleans has folded against big teams and has seen their record slide to 22-29, leaving them far behind in the West. Friday night, they have a chance to get back to business and claim a win against a household team, but can they capitalize?
The Pelicans have been awful against the spread in recent weeks with a 1-4 ATS record in their last five games. Overall they have a 23-28 ATS record, not a team that gives you the confidence to bet on. With the injuries piling up on the Pelicans team, betting on them against a streaking 76ers squad is a recipe for disaster.
The 76ers are coming off a huge win against the Celtics and need to keep up the pressure if they plan to contend with the Brooklyn Nets. They’ve been much more consistent against the spread, and the Pelicans will be down a few players. Look for Philadelphia to pull this one out with another dominant performance by Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers -4.5
Free Pick: Philadelphia -4.5
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