The prize for the Washington Wizards after making it out of the play-in tournament? Why, the No. 1 seed in the East, the Philadelphia 76ers. Will the Wizards shock Joel Embiid and company right out of the gate? Or will the Sixers dust off the cobwebs and take down Washington? Check out our preview of this game below.
Betting Preview for the Washington Wizards vs Philadelphia 76ers NBA Playoffs Round 1 Game 1 on May 23, 2021
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
When: Sunday, May 23, 2021, 1:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: TNT
Betting on the Washington Wizards (odds)
Regular Season Record: 34-38
The Wizards had to go through the full route in the play-in tournament in order for them to secure a spot in the playoffs. First, they lost to the Boston Celtics (118-100) on the road in the 7-8 game but rebounded by destroying the Indiana Pacers on Thursday at home, 142-115. The Wizards got 25 points from Bradley Beal, who also shot 4 of 7 from behind the arc. Beal looked a whole lot better in that game than in the loss to Boston. His hamstring appeared to have cooperated well and the hope is that he’ll continue to be just fine when they play the Sixers on Sunday. Russell Westbrook scored 18 points with 15 assists and eight rebounds against Indiana, and while he’s not been shooting rock well of late, the former NBA MVP will be a handful for the Sixers. The key for the Wizards is to get significant contributions from their other guys. Rui Hachimura scoring 18 points and Daniel Gafford coming off the bench and firing 15 points in the Indiana game bode well for the Wizards, who have averaged 121.6 points in their last five games.
The Wizards are 6-3-1 against the spread in their last 10 road games.
Betting on the Philadelphia 76ers (odds)
Regular Season Record: 49-23
After seeing the Wizards advance from the play-in tournament to the playoff proper, Joel Embiid and the Sixers must have cracked smiles, as they know they have always dominated Washington this season. In fact, the Sixers went 3-0 straight up against Washington back in the regular season, though they went just 1-2 against the spread in those games. Nevertheless, the Sixers have all the tools they need to defeat the Wizards from the get-go. Embiid is literally and figuratively the biggest problem for the Wizards, as Washington doesn’t have anyone who can legitimately stop him. Embiid averaged 30 points on 60.4 percent shooting against Washington in the regular season. Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle could contain either Beal or Westbrook with his size and defensive prowess, while guys like Shake Milton, Seth Curry, Danny Green provide scoring support.
The Sixers, who finished the regular season sixth in scoring defense with just 108.1 points allowed per game, are 6-1 against the spread in their last seven home games.
The Sixers win, 124-114.
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