The Brooklyn Nets (+50,000 to win the NBA title) are no longer among the whipping boys in the Eastern Conference, as they are now – believe it or not – a playoff team again. They will be up against the Philadelphia 76ers (+3,000) in the first round. It’s an intriguing matchup, with both teams led by a young core. Will the Nets draw first blood in the series? Or will the 76ers throw their weight around and beat Brooklyn?
Betting Preview for the Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers NBA Playoff Round 1 Game on April 13, 2019
Where: Barclays Center, Brooklyn
When: Saturday, April 13, 2019, 2:30 PM ET
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Betting on the Brooklyn Nets (42-40)
The Nets’ backcourt are a big problem for the 76ers. With All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell and rising star Spencer Dinwiddie powering them, the Nets have managed to split the four-game series with Philly in the regular season. Russell averaged 21.0 points in those games, whole Dinwiddie was even better with 23.8. Caris LeVert and Joe Harris were also especially effective in those matchups, so expect those four to share most of the offensive load in Game 1. Defensively, the Nets might need to use zone defense more frequently than they used to against the Sixers this season. Brooklyn likes to play that kind of defensive setup, but mostly departed that idea when up against Philly, causing headaches for the Nets, especially in their 123-110 road loss last March, when the Sixers six points in 12 possessions. The Nets finished the regular season third in the league in rebounding with 56.2 per game.
Brooklyn is 6-1 against the spread (ATS) in its last seven road games.
Betting on the Philadelphia 76ers (51-31)
The biggest question for the Sixers right now circles around the health of Joel Embiid. Philadelphia’s center has missed the final two games of the regular season due to a knee issue, and while Sixers general manager Elton Brand had expressed his optimism on Embiid’s availability in Game 1 against the Nets, it’s worth monitoring the Cameroonian’s status heading into the contest. The 76ers have enough talent to survive a game minus Embiid, as they still have the likes of Jimmy Butler, Tobias Harris, Ben Simmons, and J.J. Redick, but it’s just not the same without Embiid. In games wherein they missed the services of Embiid, the Sixers went 8-10 SU in the regular season. Their defense greatly suffered, allowing 112.5 points per 100 possessions with Embiid out. They limited opponents to only 107.9 per 100 possessions in games that he played. Embiid averaged 30.0 points and 14.3 rebounds per game against the Nets in the regular season, while Butler had 21.5 in two contests.
The over is 5-0 in Philly’s last five home games.
Philadelphia wins, 121-118.
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