76ers vs. Trail Blazers NBA Odds & Picks: Back Philly With All 5 Starters (Thursday, Feb. 11)
Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Ben Simmons.
- The Philadelphia 76ers are 13-0 this season when their entire starting lineup is available.
- That could be a problem for the shorthanded Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.
- Phillip Kall previews this matchup and shares his betting pick below.
76ers vs. Trail Blazers Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||+5.5|
|Moneyline||-225 / +180|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Wednesday night and via BetMGM.|
The 76ers currently sit atop the East with an impressive 18-7 record. Even more impressive is their 13-0 record when their entire starting lineup is available. With all their starters, Philadelphia looks to continue its streak against the Trail Blazers.
While Philadelphia’s players found their way back to health, Portland’s players are still working through their injuries. The two notable players who continue to sit out are starters CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. Against a team vying for a No. 1 seed in the playoffs, missing two of your best players makes pulling off the upset an even greater challenge. However, with a player as talented as Damian Lillard leading the charge, anything can happen.
A clean bill of health gives the 76ers the edge in this matchup. Let’s dig a little deeper to see if they can also beat the spread.
In their rematch against Portland, the Sixers hope to change the result of their 121-105 loss last week. Having Ben Simmons available in this game allows Philly to play different styles on both sides of the court. On offense, Simmons’ ability as a floor general helps the Sixers play with pace and move the ball efficiently. On defense, his ability to stop the opposing team’s top scorer will be needed against Lillard.
While the Sixers struggled as a whole in their first matchup with Portland, the one player who played well was Joel Embiid. So far this year, Embiid has taken his play from arguably the best center in the league to MVP candidate. His 31.2 Player Efficiency Rating currently sits tied for best in the league with Nikola Jokic.
Against Portland, defensive turnstile Enes Kanter will match up with Embiid. In their first meeting, this led to a 37-point performance on an impressive 14-of-21 shooting. With the mismatch inside, Embiid has the opportunity to have another tantalizing performance.
To walk away with a win though, Philly needs to shoot better than 7-of-27 from deep. This performance was definitely an outlier on the low end, as the Sixers shoot 36.3% from behind the arc on the year.
Portland Trail Blazers
A recent run of up-and-down play leaves Portland at 6-6 in their last 12 games. Behind the sixth-ranked offense by Offensive Rating but 28th ranked defense by Defensive Rating, per Basketball-Reference, the inconsistency makes sense. When the offense is in rhythm and hitting their shots, they can outscore anyone. But if the offense has a rough night, the defense can do little to help.
The play of Gary Trent Jr. has been why this offense has only mildly waivered despite losing McCollum. Since being moved to the starting lineup, Trent averages 19.4 points per game on 43.6% shooting from deep.
Trent’s scoring helps maintain the offense but at the end of the day, Portland rides and dies with Dame. Lillard currently averages 29.4 points per game, good for third-best in the league.
Unlike current scoring leader Bradley Beal (33.3 points per game), Dame’s production makes the difference between winning and losing. The Trail Blazers are 10-2 in games Dame scores more than 30 points and just 2-8 when he scores 30 or fewer.
In the rematch, the Blazers need to recreate their rebounding success. Kanter made the largest impact with an absurd 18 rebounds. That success may have been a mirage though, as the Blazers allow 46.8 rebounds per 100 possessions, the fourth-most in the NBA.
This time, if they hope to prove their rebounding is legitimate, they will have to keep both Embiid and Simmons off the glass.
76ers-Trail Blazers Pick
The result of Portland’s excellent offensive play but miserable defensive play has actually led to a net loss per their -0.8 Net Rating. Scheming to their strengths though, Portland relies on 3-point shooting, attempting 42.4 per 100 possessions. This creates a volatile gameplan tied directly to their shooting performance.
On nights their shots are falling, this makes them difficult to outscore. On nights they are cold, this plays them into a blowout.
Philadelphia follows the exact opposite formula. Built on defense and interior scoring, the 76ers go into each game with a low-variance game plan. Offensively, this formula works thanks to Embiid taking his offensive game to the next level this year. Defensively, Simmons makes life difficult on the perimeter while Embiid and Howard provide cleanup support inside.
In their first matchup, everything seemed to go right for Portland and wrong for Philly. Portland shot efficiently and rebounded better than usual. While Philly could not buy a bucket from the outside. In the rematch, look for Philly’s shooters to play much better.
In terms of rebounding, the Trail Blazers played much better than they usually do thanks to the absence of Philly’s second-best rebounder, Simmons. Simmons’ return gives the 76ers size and athleticism to take advantage on the boards and create second-chance points.
Back Philadelphia to continue its dominance with all five starters.
Pick: 76ers -5.5