Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 3:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Atlanta -1+101 over Philadelphia
7:40 PM EST. We faded the 76ers in their last game, a 100-88 win over the Suns, and we are not going to let up here. We stressed in that write-up that Philadelphia is not ready for prime time, even with the returning Joel Embiid in the lineup. The Sixers were taking back less than a bucket in that home game to the defending #1 seed in the West, Phoenix. They won by double digits, and were led by Emiid’s 33-points. The Philadelphia Inquirer said that the big man looked “comfortable initiating offense” while the defense excelled.
In his post-game comments to the paper, Embiid said, “It’s probably going to take a while, because it (the sickness he missed time with) really hit me, but I’m excited for the challenge. We’re going to need everyone to be able to hold down the fort without James.” “James,” of course, is James Harden, who is out with a strained tendon in his foot. Back to Embiid, who suffered from a significant case of COVID last season, that is still affecting him. During last Sunday’s practice in Philly, after working with the player development coaches for a little less than half an hour, Embiid was forced to lay on the floor for “several” minutes before getting back to work. On top of that, Embiid also came into the season banged up. Dude is not right and we’re not buying into his hyped return. In fact, we’re selling.
We’re not going to spend a bunch of time on the Hawks, but if there was value in fading the Sixers at home last time out against an elite team like Phoenix, there is even more value in doing so again on the road tonight in Atlanta. The Hawks are coming off a 125-119 loss to the Jazz as a 4½-point favorite, which also works in our favor, as they figure to be spotting a smaller number here tonight than they would have otherwise. This is a classic “buy-low,” “sell-high” situation on both sides. If Embiid and the Sixers can keep pace with the Hawks’ high octane offense, so be it, but they are ill-equipped for that lofty mission.
Atlanta -1 +101 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.02)