The Philadelphia 76ers (29-13) visit the Indiana Pacers (24-20) on Thursday, January 25, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. ET. Betting odds have the Sixers as the favorites at -5.5 against the spread, while the over/under is set at 237.5 total points. This article provides in-depth analysis of this 76ers vs. Pacers matchup, including odds, starting lineups, key matchups, and a prediction that the 76ers will cover the 5.5-point spread.
76ers vs. Pacers Prediction
What will Joel Embiid do for an encore?
In case you somehow missed it, on Monday night Embiid set a 76ers franchise record with a whopping 70 (!) points against the Spurs and sensational rookie Victor Wembanyama.
Joel Embiid is the first NBA player with at least 70 points, 18 rebounds, 5 assists in a game
— John Clark (@JClarkNBCS) January 23, 2024
The current frontrunner to win his second consecutive Michael Jordan trophy as the NBA MVP, Embiid is now leading the NBA with a career-high 36.3 points per game and has scored at least 30 points in 21 consecutive games. That is the fifth-longest streak in NBA history and he is just the third player ever (along with Wilt Chamberlain and James Harden) to score 30+ points in at least 20 consecutive games.
What Embiid is doing right now is simply historic, and there is no reason to think that it won’t continue tonight against the Pacers as he leads the 76ers to another comfortable victory. Embiid averaged 38 points in two games against Indiana earlier this season, and he has dominated the Pacers throughout his career. His career average of 31.6 points per game against them is his second-highest average against any team in his career.
The Pacers are also slumping right now with and are sorely missing their best player Tyrese Haliburton, who has missed seven of their last eight games. They have lost five of their last six games and have a point differential of -45 (-7.5 per game) over that span.
The 76ers have the second-best record ATS so far this season (27-15-0) and are tied for the second-best average margin of victory (8.3 points). They are also 8-4 as road favorites and have the best average margin of victory (11.8) when favored on the road (minimum 2 games).
On the other hand, the Pacers are a very solid 5-2-1 ATS as home underdogs this season. While they are missing Haliburton, the 76ers are also banged up with multiple rotation players missing multiple games recently. Philadelphia also could be missing starting forward Tobias Harris tonight.
We would like to have a bit more confidence in picking the Sixers to cover tonight, but we still can’t pick against them right now.
76ers vs. Pacers Prediction: 76ers -5.5 (-105 at DraftKings)
Best NBA Betting Promo Codes
76ers vs. Pacers Best Odds
(Editor will insert odds tile here)
The 76ers are the betting favorites in this game at -5.5 against the spread, with moneyline odds of -200. The Pacers’ moneyline is +165. The over/under in this game is set at 237.5 total points.
76ers Starting Lineup
Pacers Starting Lineup
76ers vs. Pacers Injuries
Star guard Tyrese Haliburton will miss this game for the Pacers with a hamstring injury. Reserve forward Jalen Smith is also questionable with back spasms.
For the Sixers, starting forward Tobias Harris is questionable with an illness, while several other rotational players including De’Anthony Melton, Robert Covington, Marcus Morris Sr., Mo Bamba, and Jaden Springer have all missed multiple games recently and could be out again tonight.
76ers vs. Pacers Key Matchups
Check out the key matchups and mismatches for 76ers vs. Pacers below.
Joel Embiid vs. Myles Turner
Embiid’s recent dominance is one of the main reasons we picked the 76ers to cover the -5.5 spread in our 76ers vs. Pacers prediction. Pacers center Myles Turner will have his hands full slowing down the dominant big man.
One of the keys for Turner will be staying out of foul trouble, which is easier said than done considering Embiid is leading the league in free throw rate by a considerable margin. Turner fouled out in just 19 minutes last time these teams played.
Turner is not the best defender, but he is at least a big body that can offer some resistance to Embiid and also compete with him for rebounds. The Pacers don’t have any great options behind him if he gets into foul trouble again.
Free Throw Shooting
Speaking of fouls and free throws, that could become a big factor in this game. Not only are both teams dealing with injuries that will shorten their rotations, but the 76ers also have a huge edge when it comes to free throw rates.
Philadelphia is leading the league with a 30.8% free throw rate, while Indiana is dead last when it comes to keeping opponents off the line. They are allowing a 30.3% free throw rate to their opponents. The Sixers are also leading the league in free throw shooting at 83.8%. It helps when you have a dominant player like Embiid who is shooting 88.7% on a league-high 12.2 attempts per game.
If the Sixers can get to the line at will like they so often do, that will not only help them build and maintain a lead but also slow down Indiana’s fast-paced offense that is 2nd in the league in both pace and offensive rating and leads the league in effective FG%.
This could also become a major factor late in the game that will help the 76ers protect and pad their lead and make it more likely for them to cover the -5.5 spread.