Thunder-76ers Betting Guide: Will Russell Westbrook and Co. Get Back on Track?

Thunder-76ers Betting Guide: Will Russell Westbrook and Co. Get Back on Track? article feature image

Photo credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Russell Westbrook

Betting Odds: Oklahoma City Thunder at Philadelphia 76ers

  • Spread: 76ers -2
  • Over/Under: 234.5
  • Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: ABC

>> All odds as of noon ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets

The Oklahoma City Thunder are reeling right now and will try to turn things around on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers. Where’s the betting value in this one? Our analysts dive in.

Betting Trends to Know

The Thunder opened as 2.5-point underdogs on the road against the Sixers Saturday night. This season, Oklahoma City is 7-2 against the spread when opening as underdogs, covering the spread by eight points per game.

Under Billy Donovan, the Thunder are 13-7 ATS when they open as an underdog against the Eastern Conference, covering the spread by 4.6 PPG. Against Eastern Conference opponents, the Thunder have covered seven consecutive games in this spot, including nine of their past 10. Evan Abrams

  • The Thunder are 23-21 ATS this season, including 4-2 as underdogs
  • The under is 15-8 in Thunder away games and 5-1 when they’re dogs
  • The 76ers are 19-4 straight-up and 13-10 ATS at home
  • The over is 26-19 in 76ers games, including 14-8 in home games
    Bryan Mears

Mears: Watch for Embiid’s Status

This line really depends on the status of 76ers center Joel Embiid, who is questionable today with a tight back.

He was a game-time decision on Thursday, and he played 35 minutes despite looking uncomfortable on the court. We’ll see if the 76ers play it cautiously with him moving forward.

This line is currently at 76ers -2 with Embiid’s status up in the air, and there’s probably already a little bit of value on the Thunder at that number. Based on our power ratings this is more of a pick’em even with Embiid, and without him we’d have it more like Thunder -4 on the road.

The data this season confirms Embiid’s importance: With him on the floor, the 76ers have been 10.7 points per 100 possessions better vs. off; that’s in the 90th percentile of players this season. The defense has especially struggled without the rim protector, as its been 7.0 points worse per 100 possessions with him on bench.

The rim protection will take a hit if he’s unable to go or even just limited, but watch out for the rebounding battle as well. The 76ers have really struggled to corral defensive boards without Embiid, and that’s bad news against a Thunder team that sits third in offensive rebound rate and has one of the best individual guys in Steven Adams.

The scary part about betting on the Thunder today is their recent play: They’ve lost five of their past six, including two brutal ones in a row this week to the Lakers and Hawks. The issue in that span has been the defense; they allowed a 132.7 Offensive Rating to the Hawks, which is egregious.

That said, there are positive signs for the defense. During that span, opponents are drilling shots (55.6% effective field goal rate) classified as “very tight” — a defender 0-2 feet away. That’s likely to regress.

Further, the Thunder during that span have allowed the sixth-fewest shots classified as “wide open,” but opponents are posting a league-best 68.4% eFG% mark on those. They’re allowing the fifth-fewest wide-open 3-pointers, but opponents are hitting a very high 44.8% of them.

The long-term data suggests the Thunder’s defense is very good, so I’m always willing to be ahead of the curve and bet on regression on a unit like that. Factor in the Embiid uncertainty, and there could be quite a bit of line value on the Thunder in this one.

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.