NBA Odds, Preview, Prediction for Wizards vs. 76ers Game 5: How Will Joel Embiid’s Absence Affect Philadelphia? (June 2)
Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Ben Simmons of the Philadelphia 76ers.
- Philadelphia and Washington continue their series in Game 5 as the competition returns to the City of Brotherly Love with the 76ers looking to close things out.
- Joel Embiid has been ruled out of Game 5 with a small meniscus tear in his knee and will be day-to-day going forward.
- Without the big man helping Philadelphia offensive output, Malik Smith explain below why he's targeting the total.
Wizards vs. 76ers Game 5 Odds
|Moneyline||+205 / -260|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
Once again, the Washington Wizards have their backs against the wall with their season on the line, which is likely a familiar spot for the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 seed.
Down 3-0 in their series with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Wizards managed to get a win at home in Game 4 to extend the series to a fifth game. More importantly, Joel Embiid left that game with an injury and will not play in Game 5 in Philadelphia.
With Embiid on the bench, the 76ers are still 6.5-point favorites against the scrappy Wizards. Can the Wizards shock the Sixers again and keep this series going?
Wizards Just Won’t Quit
If you had to use one GIF to explain the Wizards’ season, it would be the Undertaker popping up out of his casket ringside. The Wizards have come back to life before toward the end of the season and went on a crazy run just to make the NBA Play-In tournament. After losing to Celtics in brutal fashion, they came back to blow out the Indiana Pacers to officially make the NBA Playoffs.
However, the first three games of the playoffs were not kind to the Wizards. In Games 2 and 3, they were outscored 54 points combined, struggling to keep up with the top seeded Sixers. In Game 3, they came out with much more fight early behind 12 first-quarter points from Davis Bertans. They also played the following three quarters without Embiid on the other side of the court.
The Wizards outscored the Sixers, 95-85, once Embiid left the game and shot 50% on their uncontested field goals over that span, according to NBA Advanced Stats. The two top players on the Wizards — Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook — didn’t shoot well from the field, but combined for 22 free-throw attempts with Embiid off the floor, while the 76ers took 27 free throws as a team over the same time frame.
The Wizards won’t have Bertans’ shooting, as he has been ruled out fo the series with a calf strain, and that will likely shrink the floor for the Wizards. If they can’t find some shooting from their role or star players, scoring will continue to be inconsistent for them in this potential elimination game.
How Will the 76ers Look Without Embiid?
As mentioned above, Embiid is unlikely to play Game 5 due to his sore knee. He is reportedly going to be re-evaluated over the next 24 hours, which isn’t a great sign for the 76ers in the long term. In the short term, though, the Sixers just need to get past the Wizards to give themselves at least three days off before the second round.
Without Embiid in Game 4, the Sixers scored just 104.9 points per 100 possessions and had a paltry 45.9% Effective Field Goal Percentage. That’s not surprising when you widen the scope on the Sixers and their offense over a longer time frame.
During the season, Philly’s Offensive Rating was 11.2 points higher with Embiid on the floor compared to when he was off the floor (117.8 to 106.6). In the playoffs, the differential is even greater: the 76ers score 38 more points per 100 with Embiid on the floor vs. off the floor.
The defense doesn’t see as much of a change, which is good new for the Sixers in this game. They’ve managed to make things tough on Beal and Westbrook for most of the series and have the personnel to defend both players. And with the Bertans out, they have one fewer player to pay attention to among the role players.
Three of the four games in this series have gone over the total in large part because the 76ers have dominated on offense. However, without Embiid, I don’t trust that the Sixers to have the same offensive flow.
I also don’t think the Wizards will have enough firepower on offense. Bertans might not seem like an impactful part, but his ability to stretch the floor is crucial for the Wizards, who ranked 23rd in 3-point shooting this season.
During the 10-game stretch at the end of March where Embiid missed 10 games, the Sixers went under in seven of those matchups. As of this writing, 53% of the tickets being bet on this total are hitting the under, but it is also drawing 98% of the money. I’m going to bet this goes under as well, as I expect there to be a choppy flow on the offensive side of things.
Pick: Total Under 230.5