Two young and rebuilding squads, the 13-9 Philadelphia 76ers host the 8-16 Phoenix Suns today (7 p.m. ET Monday).
As the two teams’ records indicate, the Sixers are much further along in their rebuild than the Suns. Philly has two major building blocks in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons on its roster, along with plenty of other young talent and a few solid veterans.
Phoenix may or may not have its future core on its roster already. Devin Booker looks like a keeper, but the jury is still out on other players like Alex Len, Josh Jackson, Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender.
The Sixers are massive favorites with the USA online sports betting sites today. How will the contest play out, though? We will go through some key storylines before advising our predictions and picks for the game.
Can the Sixers’ Stars Be More Careful With the Ball?
One of the ways talented teams can allow upsets to inferior squads is by being sloppy with the ball. The Sixers have played very well this season, but their Achilles heel is turnovers — Philly leads the league in turnovers per contest (17.5).
The two biggest problems in this area are the 76ers’ two young stars, Joel Embiid (4.2 turnovers per game) and Ben Simmons (3.7 turnovers per game). Both guys are very aggressive offensive players. Sometimes, their inexperience causes them to be too aggressive.
The Suns are a terrible defensive team, and they won’t force many turnovers. But if the 76ers’ main guys are careless with the ball, they will let the athletic Phoenix team get a lot of points in transition.
Will the Suns Be Able to Get Second-Chance Opportunities?
Phoenix is very good at keeping possessions alive with its offensive rebounding — the squad ranks first in the NBA with 11.7 offensive boards per game. Alex Len, Tyson Chandler and Greg Monroe are all beasts on the glass.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, is a dominant rebounding team and leads the league in percentage of misses rebounded. Embiid, Simmons, Amir Johnson and many of the teams’ perimeter players are excellent on the glass and will be tough to get position against near the rim.
This is a strength for both teams, but if Phoenix pays more attention to detail here, it can pull off an upset in this NBA matchup.
Can Devin Booker Go Off Against the Sixers’ Solid Perimeter Defense?
One thing Phoenix does have going for it is shooting guard Devin Booker. The 21-year-old scorer has been on fire in his last three games, averaging 31 points in 33 minutes per game on a 55/50/89.5 shooting split.
Interestingly enough, the highest number of points the Sixers have allowed to an opposing wing player this season is 31, or Booker’s average from his last three contests. Philly does a good job locking up those players, thanks to the defensive abilities of Robert Covington and Ben Simmons.
Booker is the engine of the Suns’ offense, and Phoenix will have almost no chance in this contest if he is kept under wraps.
Our Preview’s Phoenix Suns vs. Philadelphia 76ers Betting Picks & Predictions
Philadelphia is the much better team here and is at home. The Suns haven’t beaten a team with a record better than 8-13 in nearly a month, and their defense is downright atrocious. All signs point toward a 76ers blowout and our preview’s predictions and picks reflect that:
- The Sixers are favored by 10.5 points with all major betting outlets. I think they’ll hold off the Suns in garbage time to keep the margin in double digits. Bovada, 5Dimes, Bookmaker, MyBookie and BetOnline all give you best odds of Sixers -10.5 @ -110.
- Both of these squads have a ton of youth who love to push the pace, so this could turn into a track meet. Potential garbage time in the fourth quarter could only escalate the score. Pick Bovada for the best option of over 227pts @ -115. All other bookies have a higher points total amount.
Jared is a lifelong sports fan and writer whose specialist subject is NBA. A 2015 graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Jared has been a sought-after freelance sports writer. In addition to his valuable USA Betting contributions, he has also written for other top media outlets.