In one of the most anticipated games of the season, Ben Simmons and the Brooklyn Nets (8-9) travel to face the shorthanded Philadelphia 76ers (8-8). Joel Embiid, James Harden, and Tyrese Maxey are all out due to injury, while Kyrie Irving returned for the Nets on Sunday.
Can the rowdy home crowd provide enough of a boost to keep Philadelphia within striking distance? Odds, predictions, key matchups, and starting lineups are below.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Betting Odds
Given Philadelphia lacks their top three scorers and playmakers, it’s surprising that the Nets are only favored by 7 points. Their moneyline is at an ugly -295, but it likely ends up a staple for parlays. Philadelphia’s moneyline is +260, which means they must theoretically win 28% of the time to be profitable long-term.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction
My first two thoughts upon seeing -7 Nets: “that’s a poorly set line” followed by “trap game?”. It seems too good to be true, but I am willing to be ensnared. The emotional context doesn’t come close to canceling out the absolutely immense talent gap. It’s a two unit play on Nets -7 here, as they possess the top two players in this matchup and arguably six of the top eight.
Embiid, Harden, and Maxey produce a combined 77.2 PPG, 20.6 RPG, and 19 APG. The amount of lost production is staggering, and the thin 76ers don’t have the personnel to come even remotely close to these figures. Tobias Harris, De’Anthony Melton, and Shake Milton represent Philadelphia’s only three players capable of creating their own shot. Outside of them, the 76ers have spot up shooters (Tucker, Korkmaz, Niang) and opportunistic scorers (Harrell, Thybulle, Reed).
Philadelphia was 17th in Offensive Rating even with their stars, so it’s unlikely they breach 100 points versus an improving Brooklyn defense. Claxton is morphing into an elite rim protector, Durant’s on-ball and help defense is impactful, and Simmons is shaking off the rust. The Nets will easily shut down a defanged 76ers offense that lacks scorers and playmakers. How can this group compete with the likes of Kevin Durant (30.4 PPG), Kyrie Irving (25.4 PPG), and a plethora of three-point shooting and cutters?
WIth Embiid out, Montrezl Harrell likely gets the nod at center. He’s undersized and utterly fails to deter or alter shots at the rim, so Brooklyn will thrive around the basket. Harrell’s offense and rebounding doesn’t compensate for his poor defense anymore, and he fouls too much to play steady minutes. Tucker and Thybulle are Philadelphia’s premier defenders, but Thybulle is a negative asset on offense who doesn’t space the floor and Tucker is ineffective outside of the corner. And despite their great defense, Kevin Durant is scoring over and around them with ease. The 76ers defense will bleed points in the paint, which doesn’t bode well considering the Nets will stretch them out from deep through a barrage of made three-pointers.
Philadelphia doesn’t even have the three-point shooting advantage to keep it interesting because Brooklyn’s three-point shooters vastly outpace them. Harris, Curry, O’Neale, and Watanabe are snipers from deep, and that’s not even mentioning Irving or Durant.
Overall, Brooklyn should cruise and win this game by 18-20 points. Their offensive and defensive edges are vast, and the Nets will control the glass and free throws. The sole advantage Philadelphia has is their home crowd, but that will not erase this talent gap, especially with Brooklyn extremely motivated to back Simmons and quiet the crowd. Nets -7 is one of my favorite plays this season because it’s actually exceptionally difficult to envision the 76ers covering outside of them shooting a flukey 60% from three on volume.
- Nets are 6-2-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall
- Under is 8-3 in Nets last 11 overall
- 76ers are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games overall
- Under is 5-2 in 76ers last 7 overall
- Nets are 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings
Which team will win the positional matchups? Check out below for these vital battles.
Kevin Durant vs. Tobias Harris
Durant and Harris are their respective team’s primary scorers here, and both players face experienced defenders. PJ Tucker is a physical defender who will make Durant work every step, while O’Neale can blanket Harris. For the 76ers to cover, it’s necessary for Tucker to limit Durant and Harris to score 25+ points. Otherwise, Philadelphia simply won’t have the offense to keep pace.
Ben Simmons vs. Philadelphia Crowd
After passing up a vital dunk in a playoff game during his 76ers tenure, Simmons stepped away from basketball citing mental health and a back issue. He is notorious for losing confidence in himself, and the Philadelphia crowd is about as ruthless as they come. If Simmons can block out the noise, let the game develop naturally, and play to his strengths, then he will be a valuable piece for Brooklyn. He is improving every game, and his defense has the potential to lock down Harris, Melton, and Milton.
.@BenSimmons25 set the tone 😤
22 PTS | 8 REB | 5 AST pic.twitter.com/hBWq5QS6F0
— Brooklyn Nets (@BrooklynNets) November 21, 2022
Brooklyn Nets Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineups
Brooklyn Nets Injuries: TJ Warren (O)
Philadelphia 76ers Injuries: Joel Embiid (O), James Harden (O), Tyrese Maxey (O), Tobias Harris (P), Furkan Korkmaz (P), Jaden Springer (O)