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76ers’ NBA Title Odds Getting Worse in Spite of Winning 9 of Last 12

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons go for a rebound.
The Philadelphia 76ers have won nine of 12. Are they a good value bet to win it all? Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].
  • The 76ers have won nine of 12 but their odds to win the NBA championship have actually gotten longer
  • In the 11 games Philadelphia has faced Boston with Ben Simmons, they’ve been outscored by 125 points when he’s been on the court
  • Simmons has a -30 plus/minus rating in seven career games against the Toronto Raptors

When the Philadelphia 76ers acquired Jimmy Butler, the general perception was that they had done enough to be considered among the Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics as the top teams in the Eastern Conference. However, even after winning nine of their last 12, their odds to win the 2019 NBA title have dropped. Is there value betting them right now?

2019 NBA Championship Odds

Team Odds to Win 2019 NBA Championship at
bovada (01/24/19)
Golden State Warriors -190
Toronto Raptors +650
Boston Celtics +950
Milwaukee Bucks +1100
Houston Rockets +1200
Los Angeles Lakers +1800
Philadelphia 76ers +1900
Oklahoma City Thunder +2100
Denver Nuggets +2500

Are the 76ers Legit?

That’s the question people seem to be asking right now. Originally, right after the trade, the Butler answer was no. There were rumblings out of Joel Embiid that he wasn’t happy with his new role and another report in early January that Butler was butting heads with coach Brett Brown.

They’ve seemingly figured out the team chemistry, however, as January has been their best month.

As mentioned, they’ve won nine of 12, and Embiid is in the midst of his best month as a pro. He’s averaging 29.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 blocks per game.

At the same time, there are concerns. Many of the wins in this little hot streak were against losing teams. Yes, they beat the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets, and Indiana Pacers in their three most recent wins, but those are the only teams above .500 they’ve defeated in that stretch. They also have had some ugly losses, including a game in Washington and a home defeat to the lowly Atlanta Hawks.

We’re going to learn a lot more about the 76ers in the coming two weeks as they have a four-game road trip where they’ll face off with the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors – the top two teams in the West – and then they’ll come home to face the Toronto Raptors, Nuggets, and Boston Celtics.

Are the Sixers Worth a Bet?

In short, the answer is no. The 76ers have a number of concerns that should keep you from betting on them to win the 2019 NBA Championship.

For starters, they don’t have a ton of depth. Their bench is ranked 24th in scoring and 23rd in minutes played. That’s a concern because Joel Embiid is playing with a bad back.

Philadelphia’s bench is ranked 24th in scoring and 23rd in minutes played.

Secondly, the 76ers don’t look like they’re built for the playoffs. Ben Simmons was a huge asset in the regular season last year, but was a big liability in the playoffs. It doesn’t look like much has changed this time around as his jump shot is extremely unreliable.

In 11 career games against Boston, the Celtics have outscored Philly by 125 points in the 402 minutes that Simmons has been on the court. He’s also a -30 on the court in seven games versus the Raptors. That’s ugly.

Lastly, the 76ers have some stiff competition. While they have flaws, the Raptors look like they’re ready. The Milwaukee Bucks look legit, and the Boston Celtics still have plenty of time to sort out their chemistry issues. Philly deserves to be fourth. Don’t bet on them to win the NBA championship or even the Eastern Conference.

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