NBA Odds, Picks & Predictions: Our 2 Best Bets for 76ers vs. Spurs (Sunday, May 2)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers.
- Sunday's seven-game NBA slate includes one matchup in particular that has caught the eye of two members of our NBA staff.
- That game is 76ers vs. Spurs, which tips off at 8 p.m. ET in San Antonio, TX.
- Below, find our staff's top two picks for Philadelphia vs. San Antonio, including odds from the sportsbook offering the best betting lines for tonight's game.
Raheem Palmer is taking a stab at the point-spread, and Brandon Anderson is targeting a player prop bet on Seth Curry. Check out each of their picks below, complete with their full analysis supporting those recommendations.
NBA Odds & Picks
Philadelphia 76ers (-6) vs. San Antonio Spurs
Raheem Palmer: The San Antonio Spurs are coming off one of the most inexplicable losses of the season, blowing a 32-point lead against the Boston Celtics to lose 143-140 in overtime.
After back-to-back losses to the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics, the Spurs now travel back home for a one-game home stand against the Philadelphia 76ers. Then, following Sunday’s game, San Antonio leaves home again for a four-game road trip against the Utah Jazz (twice), Sacramento Kings and Portland Trailblazers — a stretch of games which should decide San Antonio’s season.
The Spurs are up three games up on the New Orleans Pelicans for No. 10 seed in the Western Conference and own the tie-breaker with New Orleans by virtue of winning the season series 2-1. As a result, San Antonio will likely find itself in the play-in game for the 2021 NBA Playoffs. But, before that, they must dust themselves off from a disappointing loss on Friday night and contend with the 76ers — fresh off three straight victories by an average of 32.3 points.
Philadelphia dispatched San Antonio 134-99 on March 14, but that matchup did not include DeMar DeRozan and Joel Embiid. Still, I can’t help but think we’re likely to see more of the same here. The 76ers shot 69.6% at the rim in the first matchup, and I think we’re likely to see a similar level of dominance with Embiid matched up against Jakob Poeltl.
San Antonio’s defense has fallen off a cliff during their most recent road trip: The Spurs logged Defensive Ratings of 128.6, 119 and 133 against the Celtics, Heat and Wizards, respectively. Based on that recent form, a full-strength 76ers team should have no problems scoring here. The Spurs are missing their best wing defender in Derrick White, so I expect dominant performances from both Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons.
Defensively, the 76ers are tough to score on. Philadelphia ranks third in Defensive Rating, allowing just 108.1 points per 100 possessions during non-garbage time minutes. Scoring isn’t the strength of this Spurs team, which ranks 15th in Offensive Rating (112.2). Their best scoring threat is DeRozan, but the 76ers have two players who can make life tough for him.
Although the 76ers’ offense dips a bit on the road, they are still every bit as good defensively, allowing only 107.4 points per 100 possessions. Excluding their two losses against the Milwaukee Bucks — a series during which the Sixers rested their starters — the 76ers are 9-2 in their last 11 road games. So, this team doesn’t have the same road struggles it did last season when it was just 12-26 away from home.
Seth Curry Over 12.5 Points, Rebounds & Assists (-125)
Brandon Anderson: Seth Curry has been the perfect role player for the Philadelphia 76ers this season. Curry is a lights-out, knockdown shooter who is always ready to shoot at a moment’s notice. He is also a nice passer and is more than comfortable playing on or off the ball. Furthermore, Curry can take a smaller role if necessary, but he’s also capable of shouldering something bigger if the team requires it.
Lately, the Sixers haven’t needed as much from Curry. Since the All-Star Break, his scoring has dropped to 11.5 points per game. He has also added 2.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game — still around his typical output. Curry isn’t shooting less; rather, he’s simply playing less. He’s down to 27.0 minutes per game after playing 30 MPG with a grander scoring responsibility before the break — especially during the first few weeks of the season.
Now, there are occasional nights where Curry is mostly invisible. Last week against the Thunder, he had just nine points, one rebound, and one dime in a 31-point blowout win. Early in April, he had an off shooting night and didn’t score a single point. Against the Nets a week later, he had only five points, two boards, and an assist. Curry has played under 26 minutes per game in five straight games as the Sixers try to keep him healthy for the playoffs.
Nonetheless, despite his more subdued role recently, Curry has still gone over 12.5 points + rebounds + assists (PRA) in 13-of-22 games since the All-Star Break, hitting this over 59% of the time. For the season, he’s over in 34-of-50 games: A 68% hit rate. There are still occasional duds when the shots just don’t fall; but even on those nights, he still sometimes gets to 13 PRA. That was the case Curry’s last game, when he shot 1-of-7 and scored seven points but still went over this line thanks to his six rebounds and three assists.
This just isn’t a high line at all for a starter who should play pretty regular minutes against a Spurs team desperate to win any game. We project Curry at 16.3 PRA, and this line is higher at most other books, so I’ll grab the over 12.5 at BetMGM while it’s available. I’ll play the over 12.5 as high as -170; and if that number disappears, our ActionLabs Props Tool still likes the over 13.5 up to -150.