Knicks v. 76ers Odds: What Joel Embiid’s Covid-Related Absence Means to Point Spread (Monday, Nov. 8)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Embiid.
Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid will miss Monday’s game against the New York Knicks after he tested positive for the coronavirus, ESPN reported.
Embiid joins three other 76ers in the coronavirus health and safety protocols. That list includes forward Tobias Harris and guards Matisse Thybulle and Isaiah Joe.
Embiid and Harris have accounted for roughly 57% of Philly’s offense this season, according to Basketball Reference’s usage rate metric.
The two account for about 37% of the team’s scoring.
Much of the offensive onus now falls on Seth Curry, Furkan Korkmaz and Tyrese Maxey for at least a few games.
Embiid will be forced to sit for at least 10 days because of the NBA’s coronavirus-related protocols instituted for this season. That means he’ll miss at least five games.
Harris had already planned on missing this game because he tested positive for the coronavirus, too. He will miss at least three more games.
With bookmakers and bettors alike expecting Embiid to play this morning, the Knicks had a +4 point spread and +155 odds to nab an upset victory in Philadelphia.
However, after The Athletic’s Shams Charania tweeted that Embiid would miss tonight’s game, both lines started to plummet.
First, the moneyline moved to +110 before dropping further to -110. Then, it moved later in the day to -130 before finally resting at -145, where it sits three hours before tip-off.
The point spread moved from +4 to +1 in the aftermath of the news, then to a pick ’em. As it stands at around 4:30 p.m. ET, most major American sportsbooks have the Knicks as three-point favorites after the line steadily moved down throughout the day.
That means Embiid is worth about seven points to the spread.
The 76ers were 10-11 without Embiid last season, not including the playoffs. They went 39-12 with him in the lineup.
Generally, the Sixers scored fewer points and opponents were more efficient from the field without Embiid on the floor last season.
The 76ers also shot more threes on the aggregate. Expect Curry to try to compensate by shooting at least seven times from three.
He averages 5.2 so far this season.
In the one game this season the 76ers have played without Embiid and Harris, Curry shot 10 threes and made three of them, ending with 23 points. Somehow, Philly beat the Portland Trail Blazers 113-103.
Andre Drummond added 14 points and 15 rebounds while Korkmaz had 15 on three-of-eight from deep.
The Knicks are better than the Trail Blazers in every major offensive metric so far this season, though.
New York outperforms Portland in field goal efficiency and three-point efficiency. The Knicks shoot more free throws and do so at a better clip, too.
Expect the line to continue to move toward the Knicks as tip-off approaches.
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