It’s the Tuesday night TNT double header and this time your Philadelphia 76ers are on the docket. The problem is that none of James Harden, Tyrese Maxey or Joel Embid are available. Don’t worry, if you bought a ticket to this game, there will still be tons of juice in the arena, as Ben Simmons is coming to town, and he’s liable to win you some nuggets by bricking a pair at the free throw stripe.
Sixers-Nets (Nets -7.5 point favorites, Money Line -315)
If you’re into symbolism, according to our buds at VISN, it looks like 76 percent of bets came in on the Brooklyn Nets’ money line. Bettors don’t love the Sixers skeleton crew here. P.J Tucker hasn’t scored a point in his last three outings. And he hasn’t scored more than 5 points since around Halloween. So where will the buckets come from for Doc Rivers?
Sixer fans, using some characteristically subtle “damning by faint praise,” have noted how Doc Rivers’ teams appear to exceed expectations when they’re severely shorthanded. Fans cite the 2018 Clippers who traded away Tobias Harris and were expected to tank but didn’t. There’s also last season’s Ben Simmons-less Sixers, who won more games than most of us thought. When Doc has all his talent, they underachieve, but when they don’t? Look out! That’s the running gag at least.
So maybe they’ll actually surprise us? I don’t love the odds here. I’m not super confident the Nets (who’ve had their own struggles) win by eight. But the odds that they do sure seem better than paying -315 for the money line.
Meh, not big enough for me. I’m going to flip on a single-game parlay and try my luck at the bigger bucks instead.
Let’s make this a Ben Simmons night, shall we? I think he gets eleven points, so I’ll tick on his points, 10.5 over at -160. The Sixers will be playing lots of small ball, and there won’t be too much rim protection. Paul Reed vs. Ben Simmons isn’t exactly the headliner everyone dreamed of, but here we are.
For a big-bodied forward like Ben, if he’s healthy, (and he looked that way last game, following having some fluid drained from his wheel) he should get us four field goals. And then I figure the Sixers might send him to the line a handful of times — heck, they may even hack-a-Ben to see how that works if they’re clever.
DraftKings are tempting us into taking Simmons over six dimes here. And If they’re right and he can’t get there, I’m going to be the sucker. I think Ben 10 drops seven dimes against his former team. If we add that to his points, we’re at 11 points, over 6.5 dimes (+135), and now I need him to snag as many boards, adding 6.5 boards, at -180.
This puts us at +245, so our $10 dollar bet wins us $34.50. And if I add the Nets winning the game outright on to it, we’re up to +310.
So if you’re a Sixer fan reading this blog, you flip on the game and start booing Ben. Heck, maybe you’re going to the game to boo him. And make no mistake, we’re expecting chicken, oh yes, we think there will be chicken. He just has to miss a pair of consecutive free throws in the second half and then anyone with the app in the Delaware Valley gets nuggets at Chick-Fil-A. Too bad we can’t bet on that happening. C’mon DK!
So can Ben get 11-7-7 in a win? Probably, right? This is kind of like an exhibition game, with no Sixers stars. Isn’t that when he often plays his best basketball? He can think of it as a test run for the playoffs, but without the stiff competition.
This way, if he hits his line, you get paid. If he doesn’t, you can make fun of him for failing to do work vs. your all-reserves lineup.
DraftKings doesn’t seem sure which other Sixers will do work, so you actually have to pay a pretty penny if you thought, for example, this was Shake Milton night or Tobias Harris night. If you have a strong sense for which Sixers “others” as Shaq (or a character from “Lost”) would say, you can boost this parlay for sure.
For example, if you like P.J. Tucker to “break out” and drop five or more points, that pays +115 on top. I could definitely fox with that. If so you’d need the Nets to win, Simmons to drop 11-7-7 or better in points, dimes, and boards, Tucker to score 5 or more. That doesn’t feel entirely farfetched does it? And your ten-dollar wager pays $140. Let’s try it.
Lakers-Suns (Suns-10, Money Line -435)
Per VISN, 84 percent of our bets came in on the Suns to cover the ten points, showing you exactly how much respect people have for a LeBron-less Lakers group. Maybe the Suns will put us all to bed by the half here.
Give me Anthony Davis going under 25.5 (+100), maybe they decide not to push him in a game Phoenix dominates in their sleep. Gimme DeAndre Ayton eating inside with over 14.5 (-150), and I’ll tack on Lonnie Walker getting hot and nailing three triples (+170). Who else is there to turn to?
And with that, I’ll wish you all luck and let’s go get some money.
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