Nets vs. 76ers prediction: how we’re betting this Atlantic Division matchup

Nets brace for hostile environment in trip to Philadelphia

NBA, Nets, 76ers, prediction, odds
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in New York. The Associated Press

We have a Nets vs. 76ers prediction as Philadelphia returns home after a successful five-game sweep on the road.

As for the Nets, they’ll hope to extend their winning streak to three games after road victories over Utah and Golden State.

This should be an exciting matchup, given the bad blood between these teams following Ben Simmons’ tumultuous departure and James Harden requesting a trade away from Brooklyn.

But with Kevin Durant sidelined, the Nets enter this Atlantic Division clash short-handed.

However, the combination of Simmons and Kyrie Irving should be enough to keep Brooklyn competitive. The real question is whether they’ll be up for the challenge.

In this preview, I’ll share why I’m bypassing a side altogether and instead focusing on Brooklyn’s team total.

Nets vs. 76ers odds

Odds provided by BetMGM

Spread: BKYN +5.5 (-115) vs. PHI -5.5 (-105)

Moneyline: BKYN (+165) vs. PHI (-200)

Total: Over 225.5 (-110) | Under 225.5 (-110)

Nets vs. 76ers pick

Nets ALT team total under 111.5 points (-130)

Nets vs. 76ers analysis

One thing I found fascinating about this matchup is the over/under trends. I don’t think I could ever trust this Nets team without Durant being on the court.

Irving and Simmons don’t strike me as natural-born leaders, given that both players can sometimes pull off a disappearing act during games.

Following Durant’s injury, the Nets immediately lost four straight games. And while they’ve looked a bit better of late, I’m not ready to hitch my wagon to them just yet.

Per TeamRankings, Brooklyn ranks in the bottom third of the league (23rd) in pace, and the total is 27-18-1 to the under in its games.

As for Philadelphia, it’s 21st in pace with a total that’s 27-19 to the over in its games. Moreover, the 76ers have outperformed the league’s closing total average of roughly 228 points.

It’ll be interesting to see if bookmakers start over-adjusting the total in 76ers games. That perhaps would create inherent value on the under moving forward.

It’s worth noting that Brooklyn and Philadelphia are two of three teams that rank in the top 10 in both offensive and defensive efficiency.

The 76ers do a tremendous defending the perimeter as they’re tied for second in opponent 3-point field goals (11.2 per game).

Points in the paint also won’t be easy for either side with rim protectors such as Joel Embiid and Nic Claxton on the court.

Both teams should be well-rested for this contest after having at least three days between games.

But for the Nets to have a chance, they’ll need to be on their A-game defensively because I expect their offense to struggle without Durant.

Take the Nets to finish under their team total of 111.5 points.

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