76ers vs Nets Pick, Odds: NBA Playoffs Game 1 Prediction (April 15)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: 76ers center Joel Embiid.
- The 76ers open the NBA playoffs as favorites in Game 1 against the Nets.
- Philly is laying 8.5 points in a series that it's a heavy favorite in.
- Jacob McKenna previews the game and makes his betting pick below.
76ers vs Nets Odds
|Time||1 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers will kick off a best-of-seven series on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia.
Brooklyn enters this matchup as the No.6 seed in the Eastern Conference and finished the season with a 45-37 record, despite trading Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant before the deadline.
Philadelphia comes into this one as the No. 3 seed in the East. The 76ers finished nine games ahead of Brooklyn in the standings, largely because of MVP candidate Joel Embiid’s stellar season.
Philadelphia went a perfect 4-0 against Brooklyn in the regular season, including a 134-105 win in the regular season finale. Will Philadelphia carry that dominance into this series, or will Brooklyn figure things out after some time off? Let’s dive into the matchup and make a betting pick for Game 1 of the Nets vs 76ers series.
The Philadelphia 76ers began the season a mediocre 12-12, but caught fire shortly after and went 42-16 the rest of the way.
Philadelphia has done a tremendous job on both ends of the floor, as indicated by its +4.4 Net Rating (third highest in the NBA). That rating is carried by a 117.0 Offensive Rating, which is up 4.0 points from a season ago.
The Philadelphia offense was the show stopper for most of the season as the 76ers shot 38.7% from behind the arc. That percentage ranked first in the NBA and has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, it ticked up to 39.3% post All-Star break.
Tyrese Maxey has led the way from deep, shooting an incredible 43.4% from 3 this season. James Harden, Tobias Harris, De’Anthony Melton, Georges Niang and PJ Tucker all shot above 38% from 3 as well, making Philly one of the deepest shooting teams in the league.
The Brooklyn Nets have had quite the season, which was highlighted by some massive moves at the trade deadline.
Irving was traded to the Mavericks in February, and shortly after Durant was dealt to the Phoenix Suns. All of a sudden, two of the biggest stars in the league were on different teams, but Brooklyn got some solid players in return, including Mikal Bridges, Cam Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie.
However, the new talent simply hasn’t made up for the loss of Durant and Irving, particularly on the offensive end of the floor.
Prior to Durant and Irving being traded, the Nets were on fire on the offensive end, ranking sixth in the NBA in Offensive Rating at 115.3. That rating was due in large part to Brooklyn’s shooting efficiency as they Nets ranks second in both Field Goal percentage (50.5%) and 3-Point percentage (39.2%) with Durant and Irving on the roster, per NBA.com.
Since their departure, we have seen Brooklyn’s Offensive Rating slip 2.1 points to 113.2, the eighth-lowest mark in the NBA. That has coincided with a 1.8 point increase in Defensive Rating, further proving Brooklyn’s vulnerability on both ends of the floor.
76ers vs. Nets Pick
Philadelphia has had a clear advantage over both versions of Brooklyn’s roster this season, but I think the Nets are in a position to cover the spread here.
Yes, Brooklyn was just blown out by Philadelphia to end the regular season, but neither the Nets nor 76ers played any of starters in that matchup. That makes that result tough to take into consideration.
However, these teams faced off on Feb. 11 right after Brooklyn traded Durant and Irving. Both teams were at full strength for that matchup, a game in which the new-look Nets lost by only three points and held Philly to 26% shooting from 3.
The 76ers should win this game, but 8.5 points feels slightly high. I would play Brooklyn on the spread down to +7.
Pick: Nets +8.5 (Play to +7)
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