The Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns will lock horns for the first time this season on Saturday night, so here’s the best betting pick for their interconference showdown at PHX Arena in Phoenix along with the latest odds on BetMGM Sportsbook.
Last time, these two foes met in the bubble, and the Suns smashed the Sixers as 9.5-point underdogs, 130-117, tallying their second straight victory over Phila. This time, the Suns opened as 1-point home dogs with the moneyline odds at -110 on both clubs.
Phoenix is without Abdel Nader (ankle), Dario Saric (ankle), and Cameron Payne (foot). Phila misses Mike Scott (knee), while Shake Milton is questionable to play due to an ankle injury.
The 76ers hope to avoid a rare straight loss
The Philadelphia 76ers (18-8; 14-10-2 ATS) are 5-2 SU and ATS following a straight-up loss this season which tells you enough about their consistency. The Sixers have won nine of their previous 12 games overall and are topping the Eastern Conference ahead of the Bucks and mighty Nets.
Still, the 76ers dropped a couple of games in the last ten days, and both losses came against the Portland Trail Blazers, 121-105 and 118-114. Phila is coming off that narrow defeat at Moda Center in Portland, as their 50 points in the paint couldn’t make it out for 6-for-27 shooting from beyond the 3-point line.
Joel Embiid continues to carry the Sixers on his back, averaging 32.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game over his last eight outings. Phila is 14th in the league in points scored per 100 possessions (112.2) and seventh in field goal percentage (47.9%), but the Sixers make just 35.8% of their 3-pointers (19th).
The surging Suns aims for another big scalp
The Phoenix Suns (15-9; 15-9 ATS) are on a four-game win streak following a 125-124 home win to the Milwaukee Bucks this past Wednesday. It was their seventh victory in the last eight games overall, and the Suns covered the spread in all seven wins along with a heavy loss at New Orleans, 123-101.
Despite Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 47 points, the Suns escaped with a narrow win thanks to their solid defense down the stretch. Phoenix allowed just 23 points in the fourth quarter in what was a proper shootout as both teams made more than 50.0% of their field goals.
Devin Booker led the way against the Bucks, accounting for 30 points on 11-for-21 from the field and 7-for-9 at the line, while all other starters finished in double figures. The Suns score 112.3 points per 100 possessions (13th in the NBA) on 46.8% shooting from the field (11th) and 36.0% from downtown (16th).
- 2-5 ATS in the last seven games against Phoenix
- 8-20-2 ATS in the last 30 road contests
- 7-1 ATS in the last eight games overall
- 5-0 ATS in the last five home contests
The Winner Prediction
I don’t trust the Sixers on the road. As you can notice above, Phila has covered eight times in the last 20 outings away from home. On the other side, the Suns are 14-4 SU and ATS over their last 18 outings on the home court.
I’m expecting a hard-fought, defensive battle. The Suns are seventh in the league in points allowed per 100 possessions (109.5) and eighth in opponent effective FG% (52.1), while the Sixers allow 108.5 points per 100 possessions (4th in the NBA) on 51.6% effective FG shooting (7th).
Deandre Ayton will have a difficult job to slow down Joel Embiid, but the Suns’ backcourt should be a key factor on both sides of the ball. Chris Paul is doing a great job at PG, while Devin Booker is posting 26.0 points on 49.6% shooting through his last ten games.
Pick: Take Phoenix to win straight up at -110
With both teams leaning on their defenses, the pace will be crucial for the totals. The Suns are playing at the second-slowest pace in the NBA, recording only 96.7 possessions per 48 minutes. On the other side, the Sixers’ pace of 101.4 possessions per 48 minutes is the seventh-fastest in the league.
Once more, I would trust the Suns to take control of the game and establish their style, though eight of the last ten encounters between Phoenix and Phila went in the over. The under is 5-4 in the Suns’ last nine games overall, and only two of those nine contests produced more than 227 points in total.
Pick: Go under 227.5 points at -110