76ers vs. Hawks Pick
Are the host Atlanta Hawks going to take advantage of the absence of Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid tonight when the two teams meet at 7:30PM ET?
503 Philadelphia 76ers at 504 Atlanta Hawks, 7:30PM ET
According to oddsmakers at YouWager, the Sixers are a 7.5-point favorite on the spread line. The total sits at 218 points.
The spread is still at -7.5 where it opened, while the total has come up from 216.5. Philadelphia is a 7-5.-point favorite at most books, but can be found at -8. The total is 218.5 at most books, while it can be bet as low as 217.5 if you shop around.
As of Friday afternoon, 75 percent of public bets are pouring in on the 76ers. Online wager info also states that 51 percent of bets are coming in on the over.
INJURY TO WATCH
Philadelphia will be without the services of Embiid (orbital fracture) for up to four weeks, a major blow as it prepares for the postseason. Center Amir Johnson (illness) and shooting guard Justin Anderson (ankle) are both questionable. Shooting guard Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (knee) is out indefinitely. For Atlanta, point guard Dennis Schroder (ankle) is out tonight and point guard Malcolm Delaney (ankle) is out indefinitely. Point guard Jaylen Morris (ankle) is out until early April. Shooting guard Kent Bazemore (knee) is out for the season, while small forward DeAndre Bembry (abdominal) and shooting guard Antonius Cleveland (ankle) are out indefinitely.
The Sixers are always a very different team with Embiid off the court and it's unfortunate that his status for the first round of the playoffs is in jeapordy. Philadelphia is still in a fight for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference, which would give it home-court advantage in the first round. Needless to say, every game is important for the 76ers going forward. But with the Hawks struggling so mightily against opposing centers and now not having to deal with one of the best in the NBA, that gives them the edge they need to keep this contest close. Take the points with the home team.
NBA DAILY PREDICTION: ATLANTA HAWKS +7.5