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Nets vs. 76ers Betting Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions: Can Brooklyn Keep Up Without the Injured Kyrie Irving?

Nets vs. 76ers Betting Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions: Can Brooklyn Keep Up Without the Injured Kyrie Irving? article feature image

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Caris LeVert (22) talks with Spencer Dinwiddie (26) of the Brooklyn Nets.

  • The Nets and 76ers square off in Philadelphia (-7) in one of Thursday's biggest games.
  • Will Brooklyn be able to keep up after learning that Kyrie Irving will miss the rest of the year with a shoulder injury?
  • See the full betting breakdown below.

Nets at 76ers Picks, Betting Odds & Predictions

  • Spread: 76ers -7
  • Over/Under: 215
  • Time: 8 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: TNT

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The theme of the NBA season prior to All-Star weekend was injuries to star players in nationally televised games. That theme will carry over into the first national TV game of the second half of the season with Kyrie Irving out against the Philadelphia 76ers.

See how the injury news impacts how our experts are betting tonight’s matchup below.

Betting Trend to Know

The Nets-Sixers total opened 217 and more than 60% of tickets are on the over at the time of writing. Yet the line has decreased to 216. Sharps are driving the line movement. While only 32% of tickets are on the under that accounts for 69% of dollars wagered.

Historically, it has been profitable to follow reverse line movement in divisional matchups. — John Ewing

Matt Moore: Brooklyn’s Offense Will Struggle

To follow up on the trends, the Nets have been good in certain situations defending the post, with Jarrett Allen and Deandre Jordan both above 60th percentile, via Synergy Sports. Being able to defend Joel Embiid’s post-ups takes a lot of the easy stuff for the Sixers away.

Now, the drawback on that is Taurean Prince at power forward, who is allowing 63% shooting defending the post, and doing it most often for Brooklyn. But Al Horford and Tobias Harris are both shooting below 50% in the post, so that may not be as much of a pressure point, especially with Horford now coming off the bench.

The Nets’ defense is surprisingly good: seventh in spot-up defense, eighth in transition. The Brooklyn’s one defensive weakness? Against pick-and-roll ball-handlers, where they rank 29th per possession.

Good news for them: the Sixers are 28th in scoring by the pick-and-roll ball handlers. (Cue the furious debate about Ben Simmons being unwilling and unable to shoot.)

The Nets won’t be able to do anything offensively vs. the Sixers, especially with Kyrie Irving out again (indefinitely); they struggle with most everything offensively and the Sixers are a lockdown defense. So I think one of these teams probably goes in the low 100’s and that should be enough to spike the under.

I’m staying away from the spread, but I want to note that the Sixers are 14-21 against the spread vs. Eastern Conference opponents this season.

Bryan Mears: Expect a Slow Paced Game

I grabbed the under here for a variety of reasons.

First, the Sixers are at home, where they’ve had some extreme splits this season:

Sixers at home: +11.7 Net Rating (2nd) | 113.7 ORtg (11th) | 102.0 DRtg (1st)
Sixers on road: -5.1 Net Rating (23rd) | 105.7 ORtg (25th) | 110.8 DRtg (9th)

Perhaps those are neutral splits for an over/under in a vacuum — at home the defense is much better, but so is the offense. But in this game against the Nets, who rank 22nd this season on offense but ninth on defense, I think we’ll see more of a defensive battle than a potential explosion from Philly.

Two of their first three games this season were played at a slower pace — and one of them, without Kyrie Irving, was quite slow. And that’s consistent with the Nets’ play this season: With Kyrie off the floor, they’ve gotten out in transition much less and have been in the halfcourt for designed sets much more.

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I bet this total before it was announced that Simmons was questionable, and he has even more extreme pace splits for his team than Irving. When he’s playing, the Sixers run halfcourt sets at a 4.5% lower rate — one of the strongest on/off splits in the league. Per Cleaning the Glass, he’s literally the most important player in the league when it comes to pushing pace in transition for his team in the league: They get out in transition 5.1% more with him playing.

Further, I thought maybe the Sixers would operate in the halfcourt a little more tonight anyway. The Nets have been devastated this season down low by opposing centers, and Embiid is obviously a difficult player to defend.

I could see a situation in which the Sixers let him go to work on Jordan and the rest of the frontcourt, which would work to slow down the pace even more than usual.

This line drifted down to 214.5 after the Simmons news, but I think there’s still some value there if he’s ultimately ruled out.

One last piece of info: When an under is getting the minority of bets but the total has moved down, it’s been profitable to tail that line movement:

That’s also been true for unders in the first half, and I grabbed that earlier as well at 105. Overs have hit historically in the first couple of days after the All-Star break, but I’ll take my chances here.

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.

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