Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard
Sports Betting Commercial Content. 21+. Provided by Action Network, official betting partner of The Inquirer.

Nets vs. 76ers prediction: Bet on surging Brooklyn as a road favorite

With Embiid, Harden and Maxey all sidelined with foot injuries, the Nets should roll Tuesday night

Ben Simmons, who was drafted by Philadelphia in 2016 with the No. 1 overall pick, makes his long-awaited return to Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday when he and the Brooklyn Nets face the injury-plagued 76ers. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons, who was drafted by Philadelphia in 2016 with the No. 1 overall pick, makes his long-awaited return to Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday when he and the Brooklyn Nets face the injury-plagued 76ers. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)Read moreSteph Chambers / Getty Images

The injury bug — check that: the injury shark — has bitten the Philadelphia 76ers this month. And that shark keeps targeting the lower extremities of Philadelphia’s best players.

First All-Star shooting guard James Harden suffered a right foot sprain on Nov. 7 and isn’t expected back for at least another week. Then in back-to-back games to close out last week, point guard Tyrese Maxey (broken left foot) and center/MVP candidate Joel Embiid (left foot sprain) went down. Maxey could be sidelined for a month, while Embiid will miss at least the next two games.

Throw in forward Tobias Harris’ balky hip, and the Sixers’ top four scorers, top three rebounders and top three assist leaders are dealing with some sort of malady.

At least Harris, who missed the last two games, is probable for Tuesday’s home tilt against the Brooklyn Nets. But can he and a bunch of role players — none of whom are averaging double figures in scoring — conquer Kevin Durant and the suddenly surging Nets? Unlikely.

Here’s how we’re betting Nets vs. 76ers, which tips off at 7:40 p.m. ET Tuesday on TNT.

Note: Odds updated as of 12:15 p.m. ET on Nov. 22.

  1. Maryland betting debuts — get your pre-launch promo offer from BetMGM

  2. Read about the Best Sports Betting Sites

Nets vs. 76ers Prediction: Pick

  1. Nets -7.5, -115 (at BetMGM)

Nets vs. 76ers Prediction: Analysis

Let’s say Harris laces ‘em up Tuesday night and comes close to matching his season averages of 14.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.6 steals per game.

How are the remaining healthy Sixers going to make up for the 77.2 points, 20.6 rebounds, 19 assists and 2.9 steals that Embiid, Maxey and Harden collectively average? Unless those Sixers are named Allen Iverson and Julius Erving, the answer is: They can’t.

» READ MORE: Inside Sixers: Tyrese Maxey’s positivity post-injury, why Danuel House Jr. wears 25 and more

While Philadelphia (8-8 SU, 9-7 ATS) is wounded, Brooklyn waltzes into Wells Fargo Center with zero health concerns. The Nets (8-9 SU, 7-9-1 ATS) have even regained the services of polarizing point guard Kyrie Irving, who was reinstated from his controversial team-imposed suspension over the weekend.

Playing his first game since Nov. 1, Irving chipped in 14 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes Sunday, as Brooklyn pounded Memphis 127-115 as a 7.5-point home favorite.

More impressive than Irving or even Durant (who scored a team-high 26 points) was the performance of Ben Simmons. Philadelphia’s onetime No. 1 draft pick went a blistering 11-for-13 from the field for a season-high 22 points, to go with eight rebounds and five assists.

After failing to score more than nine points in any of his first seven games, Simmons has suddenly sprung to life. In the last three games, he’s made 22 of 26 shots and averaged 16 points, 10.6 rebounds and five assists.

» READ MORE: Ben Simmons is prepared for an emotionally charged — and hostile — Philly return: ‘I know what’s coming’

In the process, Simmons has given Nets fans a glimpse of what they thought they were getting when the team acquired him last season in exchange for Harden.

Thanks in part to a rejuvenated Simmons, Brooklyn has bounced back from an uneven 3-5 start by winning six of its last nine games. That includes Thursday’s gritty 109-107 upset win at Portland that capped a four-game West Coast road trip.

True, the Nets have yet to win three straight games this season. And following a stellar five-game effort in which they held opponents to just 91.2 points per contest, the Nets’ defense has started leaking again, giving up at least 115 points in three of the last four outings.

But both those things should change Tuesday against the heavily-depleted 76ers, who will be missing 71% of their scoring and 53% of their rebounding production. As it is, Philadelphia ranks 28th in the league in scoring (108.6 points per game) and 29th in rebounding (39.1).

Worried about laying a big number with Brooklyn on the road? Don’t be. Four of the Nets’ last six wins have been one-sided, with victory margins of 12, 15, 27 and 42 points.

Meanwhile, six of Philadelphia’s eight defeats have been by nine or more points — and Embiid played in five of those contests.

Add it all up, and there doesn’t appear to be much for 76ers fans to get excited about Tuesday — that is, other than to vociferously booing Simmons at every turn.

Lay the points at BetMGM with the Nets, who finally appear to be trending in the right direction.

Nets vs. 76ers Odds (via BetMGM)

  1. Point spread: Nets (-7.5) @ 76ers (+7.5)

  2. Moneyline: Nets (-300) @ 76ers (+240)

  3. Total: 217.5 points

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

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.