Sunday NBA Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions: 76ers vs. Trail Blazers (August 9)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Embiid.
76ers vs. Trail Blazers Betting Odds
|76ers odds||+2 [BET NOW]|
|Trail Blazers odds||-2 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-130/+110 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||229 [BET NOW]|
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
The tenor of this game changed drastically on Saturday.
For the 76ers, the bad news came early after ESPN reported that Ben Simmons would leave the bubble to have surgery on his knee. The timetable for Simmons’s injury remains unclear, but it looks like he would not play again unless the Sixers make a deep playoff run.
The Blazers are still trying to make the playoffs. Their hopes took a serious blow when Damian Lillard missed a pair of free throws and a late three as Portland fell to mostly Clippers backups. The Blazers remain in position for the West play-in game but cannot afford another misstep.
Al Horford returns to the starting lineup with Simmons out, and pairing him with Joel Embiid hasn’t worked well all season. This lineup should offer more spacing, in theory, if Horford can remember how to shoot. His addition to the lineup lightens an already weak Philadelphia bench, and the Sixers continue to hemorrhage any minutes with Embiid on the sidelines.
Everything was flowing through Embiid before Simmons’s injury, and his role will only increase now. He’s averaging 30 points and 13.5 rebounds in the bubble. Philly should still be motivated to play well since they’re likely still hoping to escape the East 6-seed and need to find some lineup combinations that work.
Portland Trail Blazers
With a nice lead on the Clippers and little time left, it was starting to look like Portland might run away with this race for the play-in. They certainly look the best among the five teams still fighting for the eighth seed. Jusuf Nurkic has returned from his horrific injury and rejuvenated the Blazers with his screening, passing, and defense. And it doesn’t hurt that Carmelo Anthony and Gary Trent Jr. are shooting the lights out from three in the bubble.
Portland is in the second game of a back-to-back after a demoralizing early afternoon loss Saturday, and Damian Lillard has already been logging huge minutes. He can’t afford a letdown game here. Expect him to respond after letting the team down late, and remember — there’s no Ben Simmons on the other side defending him.
Betting Analysis & Pick
You never know what you’re going to get with Joel Embiid, but Portland has the big men to neutralize him, or at least slow him down. Embiid wasn’t as effective against Nikola Vucevic in Philly’s last game, and Nurkic and Hassan Whiteside are better defenders. Philadelphia has struggled all season finding enough shot creation, and that was with Ben Simmons. Without him, they may not have many options but to run through Embiid.
In the end, the superstar matchups favor Portland. The Blazers are better equipped to defend Embiid than the Sixers are to stop Dame and C.J. McCollum. And besides, this is a “road game” for Philly, and we all know how bad the Sixers have been on the road this season.
Don’t let Portland’s Saturday meltdown throw you off the scent. The Blazers are playing great ball right now and should take care of business.
The Pick: Portland -2 (up to -4.5)