For a team that pushed eventual champion Toronto to the brink in last year’s playoffs, the Sixers would seem to be an interesting longshot for when this year’s postseason gets going.
PointsBet is among the houses that have the Sixers at 25-1. They’re lower in some places (20-1 at William Hill), higher in others (30-1 at Parx and DraftKings). Their odds have not changed since the games stopped in mid-March, a sign that playing in empty arenas should favor the 'dogs.
The Sixers were 10-24 on the road this season, so the lack of hostility from the stands should mitigate that awful .294 winning percentage
“Neutral-site games will be more of a disadvantage for the higher seed, as opposed to an advantage for the lower seed,” said PointsBet’s Pat Eichner. “Regardless, it will even the playing field a bit.”
The season tentatively is scheduled to resume on July 31 with eight games before the playoffs start. The Sixers, currently tied for fifth in the East, figure to finish seeded anywhere between 3-6.
If they finish third or sixth, they’d likely get Toronto in the second round again. With Kawhi Leonard no longer a Raptor, maybe the bounce will go in Joel Embiid’s direction this time. Eichner said the Sixers (8-1) have written more bets to win the Eastern Conference, followed by overwhelming favorite Milwaukee (1-2).
Speculation that Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant could return made the bookies nervous enough to drop the Nets from 250-1 when play stopped to 60-1 earlier today. Alas, it was reported Friday that Durant will not return from his ruptured Achilles injury until the 2020-21 season. Irving’s status is still uncertain. This shot the Nets’ championship odds back up to 200-1.