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Philadelphia 76ers 2019-20 Betting Predictions, Odds and Expert Best Bets 

Best Bet – Philadelphia 76ers Over 53.5 wins

Worst Bet –  Philadelphia to win the Atlantic Division (-110)

Philadelphia is one of the more interesting teams in the NBA right now. They lost to Toronto in game seven of the second round on a memorable shot by Kawhi Leonard at the buzzer. Does that mean they are this close to winning a title? I don’t think so. This is a good team but one with some very obvious and significant flaws. They have made themselves better for the upcoming season, or so it seems, but I cannot see this team, as currently constituted winning a title. 

A few big things have happened since season end. In no particular order they are the sign and trade of SG Jimmy Butler to Miami, the re-signing of SF Tobias Harris and the signing of C Al Horford. The Butler deal might have been the most underrated. Butler is a very good player but he never really fit with Philly. They got Josh Richardson back and I think he is going to fit in a lot better because he does a lot of things well without demanding too much. Getting a smart player like Horford is also never a bad idea. He is probably overpaid but everyone in the NBA is and it’s not like it’s our money so who cares. Horford can still do a lot of things well and commands respect from the young guys. In terms of Harris I just don’t see it for what he is being paid. He is getting a ton of money but will never be a star with this group. They won’t let him be and he is not a truly elite shooter which is what this group really needs with J.J. Reddick having moved on. 

Really the fate of this team comes down to two players though. C Joel Embiid and PG Ben Simmons. There is no doubt that Embiid is a unicorn. He can do so many things well on the court but I think he is always going to be a health risk that needs to be managed. He wears down in games and in series’ through the playoffs. Simmons is a great athlete and has nice skills for someone his size but if he is going to handle the ball like he does he has to learn to shoot or he will never be a real difference maker. It’s not that he doesn’t shoot it well, he just doesn’t shoot and when defenses can gear up on how to stop him they do. That matters little during the regular season but big time when it really counts (like in the futures market). He has to start following the Giannis path of taking his lumps on the jump shot. 

Philadelphia 76ers Win Total O/U 53.5

For starters there is a correlation here between this one and the division title. I can’t see how whoever takes the Atlantic does not cross this threshold. Anyways, this seems to be a very easy number provided that the new guys blend in well and relatively quickly, which is what I expect. Horford is on his last contract and has never really cared about stats and Richardson has been a glue type guy  throughout his career. He will do the things that need to be done and provide toughness and shooting. This looks a little light.  Recommendation:  Take the Over. It is a decent value. Not the best. 

Odds to make the playoffs -1250 (Yes) +800 (No)

It would be somewhat of an epic result if this Philly team does not make the playoffs. The numbers reflect that. Even an injury to Embiid should not derail this group that much. There is no value in tying up your money for this long.  Still I do like that the market posts these yes and no playoff props. There are some good values on that board. Recommendation:  No value. Don’t tie up your money.

Odds to win Atlantic Division -110

Philly is a decent bet to take the division but this is still a hard one to get behind because you are tying up your money for so long and you don’t even double it if you are right. I think the margin between them and Boston, even Toronto and Brooklyn is not that great to justify this kind of  a wager. It’s not that it is not probable just not that valuable. Recommendation:  There is no value with this wager either. 

Odds to win Eastern Conference +275

As far as futures go at least this one is somewhat tolerant in terms of return.   I do expect Philly to have a strong season but I do not like having to rely on a player like Simmons or the late season health of Embiid to cash in here.  For about the same money you can get Milwaukee which is a much better bet. Philly is not going to have the same level of versatility as other teams and their depth is not going to be great either. You need both if you are going to make a real run at a conference championship. I am also not totally sold on the coach.  Recommendation:  There are teams that I like a lot better but this is not a bad bet. 

Odds to win NBA Title +900

I do think Philly is talented enough to win a title, so if they can get there they can really go toe to toe with the other talented teams. Also, if they get there it probably means that Simmons has developed some form of a jump shot and if that happens, this team could easily be the tops in the league and the favorite in the Finals. Come to think of it, their entire season might come down to that factor. If Simmons can shoot you can bet this team across the futures board, if he can’t…well we have seen the limitations of this group over the last two seasons. They are a decent semi-sleeper to win it all but there are teams that I like better.    Recommendation:  This is a fair bet but I am not bullish on Simmons closing the gap enough for them to actually win. 

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