Spurs-76ers Betting Guide: Will San Antonio Continue Its East ATS Dominance?
Photo credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: LaMarcus Aldridge
Betting Odds: San Antonio Spurs at Philadelphia 76ers
- Spread: 76ers -4
- Over/Under: 226
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV Channel: ESPN
>> All odds as of 1 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds and track your bets
The 27-21 San Antonio Spurs will visit the 31-17 Philadelphia 76ers, who have some key injuries hanging in the air.
What are those guys worth to the spread? Will the Spurs continue their ATS dominance over East teams? We break it all down.
Betting Trends to Know
The Spurs play their sixth game this season against an Eastern Conference team that is over .500 straight-up.
Entering this game against the Sixers, San Antonio is 4-1 SU and 5-0 against-the-spread facing an above .500 East team, covering the spread by 13.4 points per game this season. The Spurs are the only undefeated team ATS vs. above .500 non-conference opponents in 2018-19.
Over the last three seasons, the Spurs have dominated really good teams from the Eastern Conference. The Spurs are 17-4 straight up and ATS when facing an Eastern Conference team with a win rate of 60% or higher since the beginning of 2016, covering the spread by 6.6 points per game. — Evan Abrams
The Spurs opened as two-point underdogs in Philadelphia, and the line has shifted to 76ers -4. Since 2005, when the line gets bigger for San Antonio as an underdog in the regular season, the team is 68-50 (58%) ATS. In the past two seasons (during which Kawhi Leonard played just nine games), the Spurs are 16-8 ATS in this situation. — John Ewing
Matt Moore: The Most Important Injury Tonight Is … Davis Bertans?
The Sixers’ injury situation, where one, two or three of Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler and Joel Embiid could play or sit out makes this line tough to bet right now.
But I can’t help think about the actual most important absence tonight. Davis Bertans has the best Net Rating on the Spurs at +9.2. The Spurs are 2-1 SU this season without him, but they need a floor-spacing big.
Jakob Poeltl will have a nightmare time with Embiid, who is expected to play, and the same goes for Pau Gasol.
Much the same way Houston’s big-man situation opened the door for Embiid’s dominance Monday, the same could be true for the Spurs. As for LaMarcus Aldridge? He has the worst Defensive Rating this season of any Spur to play at least 300 minutes. –– Matt Moore
Mears: How I’m Handicapping Tonight’s Game
For a while there, the Spurs were the hottest team in the NBA and seemingly unbeatable. They started a long home-stand on Dec. 7, and over the next month went a scorching 13-3. They posted a league-best +15.1 point differential in that span, ranking first in offense by a mile and fifth in defense.
As I wrote at the tail end of that, there were clear signs that they would regress hard, especially on offense. During that month stretch, they led the league with a 58.2% effective field goal rate on “tightly-contested” shots — a defender 2-4 feet away. That accounted for 40.3% of their shots overall.
On open shots — a defender 4-6 feet away — they posted a 58.3% eFG%, and they hit a league-best 44.3% of their open 3-pointers. It was the same story with wide-open shots.
You get the point: Teams go through unsustainably hot shooting stretches, and the Spurs had a historic one from the beginning of December to the start of the new year. Since then, they’re slightly below average on tightly-contested shots and near the bottom of the league on open ones. All good things eventually come to an end.
As a result, over the last seven games, the Spurs sit 21st with a -3.1 point differential. They’ve gone 3-4, posting the 19th-ranked offense and 14th-ranked defense. They’re probably a bit better than that, but they’re certainly worse than that December run.
Tonight’s line currently sits at 76ers -4 after opening at -2. There are some notable trends to keep in mind: First, the Spurs are just 9-14 straight-up and 11-12 ATS on the road this year. The 76ers, meanwhile, are 20-5 straight-up and 14-11 ATS at home.
But a couple key injuries hang in the air, notably to Ben Simmons and Jimmy Butler, who are both questionable. Butler missed last game, although I’m skeptical he’s really worth a significant amount to the spread. The 76ers have been just 1.0 point per 100 possessions better with him on the floor vs. off.
Simmons also has odd on/off splits, to be fair. But the one guy who doesn’t is Joel Embiid, who will play after being a game-time decision each of the last three games. The 76ers have been 11.7 points/100 better with him on vs. off — easily the best mark on the team. He’s clearly the most important guy.
This is probably a fair number, and the trends listed in the section above about San Antonio are compelling. Still, I’m skeptical in backing them given their shooting regression. I’ll likely wait to see if Butler is out and then try to grab the 76ers at a lower number once the market — in my opinion — overreacts to his absence. — Bryan Mears
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.