The NBA season is officially back after what feels like the longest and shortest wait all at the same time. While the current state of the Sixers is still taking an emotional toll on all of us, there is one surefire way to fix that — betting! So, for all of the readers 21 and over, here is a list of some of the best bets to take that could pay off at the end of the year.
All odds are provided by Draftkings Sportsbook
Joel Embiid to win NBA MVP: +800
Long gone are the days of Joel Embiid being looked at as a super value pick in this category. He now has the third-lowest odds in the entire league to take home the MVP at +800. Each year Embiid has taken another step toward being one of the NBA’s elite, regardless of position. This year should be much of the same. He finished second in MVP voting behind Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in what was a very weird year consisting of several injuries to some of the NBA’s best. Before last year, voters haven’t been very kind to centers when voting for MVP. Jokic was the first true center to win the award since Tim Duncan in 2003. While I love the big man from Cameroon, I just don’t see a second center winning MVP in as many years unless Embiid (or Jokic) has a historic season. Embiid has proven doubters wrong in the past though, so it might be worth a bet on The Process, even if the returns aren’t massive.
Matisse Thybulle to win Defensive Player of the Year: +2200
This is one of my favorite Sixers prop bets this year. Matisse Thybulle is an incredible defender who has his fingerprints all over the game even though he is still coming off the bench. With all of the uncertainty surrounding Ben Simmons, the Sixers could use more of Thybulle’s energy this year, potentially even in the starting lineup. Thybulle is already getting praise as one of the top defenders in the league, making the NBA’s All-Defensive Second Team while not even being a starter. This should tell you all you need to know about his ability on the court. This will come down to just how much Doc Rivers trusts Thybulle and if his offensive game has grown enough to keep him on the court. With such high odds, I think it’s worth a dart throw.
Doc Rivers to win Coach of the Year: +2500
Thankfully all of these awards are regular season awards, so Doc Rivers has a chance to compete for Coach of the Year. There’s no denying the Sixers played up to their potential for most of, if not all of the entire regular season. With all of the drama and uncertainty surrounding the team, if Rivers can get another heroic performance from Embiid, Tobias Harris and the rest of the supporting cast and compete for the top spot in the Eastern Conference against some heavy hitters, then Rivers’ name will be in consideration for the award.
Tyrese Maxey to win Most Improved Player: +4000
Another bet I really like with very high odds! Tyrese Maxey is filled to the brim with potential. Even Rivers’ cautious approach to playing rookies wasn't enough to hold him back last year. Heading into this season Maxey is fully entrenched in the rotation and could even be looking at a starting spot should this entire Simmons dilemma continue to drag on. Maxey can score seemingly at will, has shown improvements running the offense and competes on defense. If he is the starting point guard on a team competing for one of the top spots in the Eastern Conference standings, his name will be brought up for this award. Out of all the Sixers prop bets, this is the one I’m most excited for. A $10 bet could net you $400!
Sixers Regular Season Wins Under 50.5: -115
This future bet was a tough one to call because I genuinely think it could go either way. Looking back at last year, the Sixers played what felt like a flawless regular season and ended with 49 wins (albeit playing in 10 less regular-season games due to the COVID-19 condensed schedule). There are a lot more question marks surrounding the team this year that make it easier to take the under on this bet. The Eastern Conference is much improved, Simmons’ availability/Sixers return in a trade involving him also feel like they can affect the amount of wins they end the regular season with.
The Rights to Ricky Sanchez Ben Simmons Special (Ben Simmons to convert his first free throw of the regular season): No +125
Shoutout to the crew over at The Rights to Ricky Sanchez for getting their own bet onto Draftkings Sportsbook! Wherever Ben Simmons is playing when he makes his season debut he will have fans screaming at him over his free throw form. There's not a doubt in my mind he clanks it off the back rim for a miss so this is a way to make a few quick bucks with plus money.
I’ll be back next week with a look at the odds of some of the Sixers’ upcoming games. Until then have fun and remember to bet responsibly!