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76ers vs. Suns odds, prediction: Can Philly surprise as short-handed home underdog?

Phoenix is favored to beat a struggling Sixers team that won’t be at full strength on Monday.

Tyrese Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots a lay up between Jae Crowder and Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns  at Wells Fargo Center on February 08, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Tyrese Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots a lay up between Jae Crowder and Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns at Wells Fargo Center on February 08, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.Read moreTim Nwachukwu / Getty Images

After a disappointing start to the season that included six losses through their first 10 games, the 76ers find themselves as rare home underdogs at BetMGM against the red-hot Suns, who own the best record in the Western Conference after posting the NBA’s best mark a year ago.

Here’s how we’re betting Monday’s contest, which tips off at 8 p.m. ET on NBA TV.

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76ers vs. Suns Prediction

Suns -2.5 (-110 BetMGM)

76ers vs. Suns Prediction: The Analysis

A troubling start to the season for the 76ers got worse late last week, when news broke that star guard James Harden would miss a month with a foot injury he suffered on Wednesday.

The early returns haven’t been great. Philadelphia lost that game to the Wizards after Harden left and subsequently lost outright to the Knicks on Friday, when Joel Embiid (illness) was also sidelined for the fourth time in his last five games. That’s been a familiar and concerning issue so far for the Sixers, who simply haven’t been healthy all season long.

That won’t change in this one. Embiid is still questionable to make his return after missing three straight games, and he hasn’t looked like himself in the previous three games he played, recording seven or fewer rebounds in each one while posting a combined three blocks and 11 fouls. He’s also attempted 17 or fewer shots in all three games – something he did just twice in his final 15 games of the 2021-22 regular season.

» READ MORE: Suns vs. 76ers player props: Chris Paul over first quarter assists, Joel Embiid under rebound total

Clearly, Embiid isn’t right even if he does suit up on Monday, and that’s a problem against one of the best teams in the league. Entering this week, the Suns rank third in net rating (+11.3) and are the only team in the NBA with a top-three mark in offensive efficiency (116.4) and defensive efficiency (105.1). Their loss to the Trail Blazers on Friday was just their second of the season, and they followed it up with a 20-point beatdown of Portland the next day.

Losing Cameron Johnson (knee) does hurt Phoenix’s frontcourt rotation, especially with fellow wing Jae Crowder (personal) still unavailable, but that’s mitigated with Embiid still playing through pain and illness. And unless rising star Tyrese Maxey can outplay the backcourt duo of Devin Booker and Chris Paul, the Sixers will have a tough time keeping this one close.

» READ MORE: How to bet 76ers futures’ odds after James Harden injury

76ers vs. Suns Odds (via BetMGM)

  1. Suns -2.5 (-110), moneyline -140

  2. 76ers +2.5 (-110), moneyline +115

  3. O/U 214.5 (-110)

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

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