Sixers basketball is upon us! While that may be understandably scary to hear for some Sixers fans, at least there’s a chance to make some money by watching the team this season. Not only can you bet on them every game on DraftKings Sportsbook, but there are plenty of season-long prop bets you can find there too.
We at Liberty Ballers have picked out five futures for the 2023-24 NBA season that we think have the best chance at earning you some extra cash.
76ers to win at least 50 games (Odds: +100)
Starting off with an easy one, at even odds I think this bet is free money. Every year Joel Embiid has been on the court for the Sixers they have been a 50-win pace team or better. That includes the season that Ben Simmons sat out, and that includes the disastrous Al Horford and Josh Richardson team in 2020 that finished as the sixth seed in the East.
Fifty wins appears to be the floor of what an Embiid-led team can accomplish in the regular season, and there’s no reason to think that will be any different this year.
76ers to finish as the fourth seed (Odds: +500)
Now this one is a bit more spicy. It is not exactly a bold prediction to say that the Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics will snag the top two spots in the conference. Both teams were last year and added All-Star talent to their squads. After those two teams, there’s a sizable drop off in who comes next in the Eastern Conference hierarchy. So here’s why I like the Sixers to snag the fourth spot, exactly.
Boston and Milwaukee will finish one and two in some order barring something horrific happening, and I believe Cleveland is the team that will swipe that third seed. They were a tremendous regular season team last season and are just replacing a lot of three-point opportunities from Lamar Stephens and Isaac Okorro with Max Strus and Georges Niang. Between that and how good their regular season defense is, I think they secure a top-three seed rather easily.
That essentially leaves the Sixers having to beat out two teams for the four seed. The Miami Heat, who notoriously coast through the regular season, and the New York Knicks. While betting on a specific seed would be threading the needle, the East could line up perfectly for it this year.
76ers to Qualify for the In-season tournament (Odds: +310)
There’s less actual basketball reasoning behind this pick, and more “this would be the funniest possible outcome” type of pick. It would just feel fitting if the Sixers, whose reputation is not coming through in meaningful games, won the first year of this new made-up tournament.
To qualify for the tournament, the Sixers will have to have the best record in pool play in their group. That group includes the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and Atlanta Hawks. There’s also a second way to qualify as a wild-card team, but there are a lot of moving parts you can read about here. It’s not the easiest pool, but it is very doable, and you would essentially triple your bet if it hit.
Joel Embiid to lead the league in scoring (Odds: +190)
This is probably the bet I have the least amount of confidence in. After being the scoring champ for the last two years, Embiid is expected to alter his game to get better at passing out of double teams and finding teammates. Add in Nick Nurse’s egalitarian style of offense and the fact that Embiid is the odds-on favorite, the value isn’t great.
With all that being said, Embiid could very well lead the league in scoring again out of necessity. For the second time in the last three years, Embiid is going to start the season with his co-star holding out, and they’ll be even more reliant on the big fella until that situation gets resolved. While it may be best for his game to focus on scoring less, the situation at hand may force him to once again take on that scoring load.
Tyrese Maxey to win Most Improved Player (Odds: +1000)
Similar to why I think Embiid might win the scoring title, Maxey has a good chance to win this award simply because of how much he’ll have the ball in his hands this year. He currently has the second-best odds to win this award, with Mikal Bridges being the favorite.
It’s tough to project this award, especially as most of the players put forward are already really good NBA players. To win this award would require Maxey to take a jump to an All-Star level. That type of jump would likely mean going from a 20 points per game scorer to a 25 points per game scorer. And like Embiid, he will have the opportunity to do this as he should have the ball a lot more without Harden on the floor.
Maxey is someone who has been earmarked by the league to take a jump like that this year. He came in fourth in players most likely to break out in this year’s GM’s survey. It’s always easier to win this award when you’re already on the radar.