Rockets-76ers Betting Guide: Watch for Status of Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler for Line Value

Rockets-76ers Betting Guide: Watch for Status of Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler for Line Value article feature image

Photo credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler

Betting Odds: Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers

  • Spread: 76ers -4
  • Over/Under: 233.5
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT

>> All odds as of 12:45 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

The Houston Rockets will visit the Philadelphia 76ers with several key injuries hanging in the air, most notably to Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler.

What does that mean for the current line? Our analysts dive in.

Betting Trends to Know for 76ers-Rockets

This season, the Rockets are 7-9 against-the-spread against the Eastern Conference, including losing straight up to the Nets and Magic in their last two games vs. the East.

Over the last four seasons, the Rockets are 44-61-1 (41.9%) ATS vs. the Eastern Conference, the second-least profitable team against the East in that span, just ahead of the Cavaliers. — Evan Abrams

Did you know? The Rockets have scored 130-plus points and allowed 130-plus points in consecutive games. No team has done that since the Denver Nuggets in 1990. — Abrams

Did you know? James Harden has 19 straight games with at least 30 points, and he’s scored at least 40 points in 10 of his past 13 games. This will be the 15th consecutive game that Chris Paul has missed with a hamstring injury. The Rockets have gone 10-4 straight-up without him thanks to Harden’s excellent play. — John Ewing

Moore: Why I Like the Over

Joel Embiid should feast here, right? With no Clint Capela, they are throwing P.J .Tucker and poor Isaiah Hartenstein at the monster.

I’m less concerned about Jimmy Butler; he’ll take the same number of bad shots that he can make consistently as he always does. Ben Simmons might be a big problem in this game.

The over feels right here, because the Sixers are going to push pace and try and get Simmons downhill, which the Rockets shouldn’t be able to stop. That said, the Rockets rank as the 11th best team in fastbreak points allowed.

The over still seems like a solid bet, however, as the Sixers’ defensive scheme is not well built to contain the pure-math Rockets, and the Rockets’ injuries will cause them to have trouble with the Sixers’ size and athleticism.

Mears: How I’m Handicapping Tonight’s Game

Let’s first talk about this line and why it’s at 76ers -4 currently.

Oftentimes, oddsmakers will hedge or split the difference a bit when there are questionable players. That seems to be the case today, as our power ratings would have this about Philly -6 with Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler playing; both are questionable to play.

If you think both will play, 76ers -4 is a value. If you think one or either will miss, Rockets +4 is a nice value. The best idea is probably to turn on notifications on our FantasyLabsNBA Twitter feed and jump on the line right after news comes out but before the market adjusts.

Over the past month, these teams have been pretty even, with the Rockets sitting with a +5.8 point differential and the 76ers at +5.2. Houston has done it behind an amazing offense but average defense, while Philly has been top 10 in both categories.

Philly does seem like a tough matchup for Houston on paper. Honestly, betting on the Rockets is really just betting on their 3-point percentage in any given game. They’re setting records on 3-point attempts left and right these days; their game against Brooklyn last week was the first in NBA history to have 100 or more 3-point attempts.

They’ve been even more 3-point heavy since center Clint Capela went down. Without him on the floor, they’ve taken 5.5% fewer shots at the rim but a whopping 7.3% more 3s. They’ve had a slightly better effective field goal percentage without him playing mostly due to that math problem.

Philly has two great defenders in Butler and Ben Simmons to throw on James Harden, and overall the team has been excellent defending 3s this season. They’ve allowed the fourth-lowest 3-point rate and the second-lowest percentage of those valuable corner-3s. They’re also top 10 in opponent 3-point percentage in those areas.

Another area Philly can win this game is in transition. The Rockets are a slow-paced team, but they do allow the eighth-highest transition rate on defense, and they’re miserable at stopping opponents in those plays. They’re more turnover-prone than you might expect, and a lot of them are live balls off steals. Butler and Simmons are lethal in that context.

I’d lean Philly -4 for the reasons listed above, but of course that could change if either of the 76ers stars are ruled out. — Bryan Mears

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.