Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:54 AM
Clippers at 76ers Preview
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By Tony Mejia
Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS)
Betting Odds Breakdown
The Clippers were installed as a 1-point road favorite. The total opened at 225.
The Clippers remain third among championship choices, staying put at 3-to-1 to deliver the first title in franchise history. Only the Lakers (9-to-4) and Bucks (11-to-4) are more heavily favored. Although Kawhi Leonard and Paul George haven’t gotten in the practice time that Doc Rivers envisioned them sharing by this point, their chemistry is rounding into shape and they’re 4-1 in February. L.A. gave up 142 points in Minnesota to open its current road trip, bouncing back on Sunday with a 133-92 rout of Cleveland. With games against the 76ers and Celtics on tap this week, we’ll get a great idea of where this team is at the All-Star break. I’ve had them as my projected champion all season despite them entering Tuesday’s contest with the sixth-best record in the NBA, a half-game behind Denver for the second-best mark in the Western Conference.
The 76ers dropped from 6-to-1 to its current look at 8-to-1 to win the Eastern Conference after spending the beginning of 2020 at 5-to-1 at Westgate SuperBook after continuing to struggle over the past month-plus. Philly has an 8-12 record since Dec. 27. This rough patch has the Sixers running third in the Atlantic Division and fifth in the Eastern Conference, two games ahead of Indiana. When healthy, Philadelphia remains among the most formidable teams in the East and is still one of the teams most likely to give the Bucks trouble due to its length and athleticism, but concerns about the team’s lack of proficiency shooting it, both from the free-throw line and beyond the arc, remain an issue. They shipped three second-round picks to Golden State for shooter Alec Burks and improving wing Glenn Robinson II at the trade deadline, hoping to improve depth. The Sixers are 2-0 since adding them to the roster, defeating the Grizzlies and Bulls at home to open their current homestand.
The Clippers have suffered multiple double-digit losses over the past few weeks, suffering their six losses since Dec. 28 by an average margin of over 17 points. All but two of the setbacks have come on the road, so this week provides a great opportunity for them to test themselves against elite Eastern Conference competition. Rivers hasn’t had the luxury of having his entire roster at his disposal for most of the season and will see that continue tonight with point guard Patrick Beverley ruled out due to a groin injury. Landry Shamet is likely to start alongside George, Leonard, Marcus Morris and Ivica Zubac. The 133-92 win over Cleveland was the Cavs’ worst home loss in franchise history. The Clips won despite Leonard sitting out due to a sore knee.
The Sixers are looking to put together just their second three-game winning streak of 2020. Philadelphia has a 24-2 home record but has dropped 19 of 28 road games, including five straight and 11 of the last 13. Friday’s win over Memphis was the Sixers’ first over a team with a winning record since 108-91 rout of the Lakers on Jan. 25. They’re just 2-6 in their last eight games against teams that are over .500. With shooting guard Josh Richardson back from a hamstring strain, the 76ers are back at full strength as Joel Embiid continues to play through his nagging hand issue. Fans booed him and head coach Brett Brown prior to the win over Chicago. Furkan Korkmaz has averaged 32.5 points off the bench over the last two games.
These teams last played on Jan. 1 of 2019, so it’s definitely been a while. Embiid finished with 28 points and 19 rebounds in a 119-113 Sixers win that featured a 55-41 rebounding edge and a 7-0 advantage in blocked shots. The Sixers have won four straight in the series, sweeping every meeting over the past two seasons. L.A. last won against Philadelphia on March 11, 2017. They last won in Philadelphia on Feb. 8, 2016.
Inside the Stats (Away/Home)
Points Per Game:
L.A. Clippers 115.8 (114.4)
Philadelphia 108.6 (111.9)
L.A. Clippers 109.7 (111.4)
Philadelphia 106.3 (101.8)
-- L.A. Clippers 15-11 SU, 13-13 ATS
-- Philadelphia 24-2 SU, 14-11-1 ATS
Situational (Interconference Matchup)
The Clippers are 16-4 against Eastern Conference teams. They’ve won eight of their last nine games against East foes, covering in seven of their games.
The 76ers are 11-7 against Western Conference teams. They’ve only lost to Dallas at home among West teams that have arrived at Wells Fargo.
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Betcha Didn’t Know
Korkmaz has made 13 3-pointers over the last two games to provide a reminder that Philadelphia is really tough to take down when it can connect from the perimeter. His 65 points are the most by a 76ers reserve since Ron Anderson scored 62 over a two-game span in November of 1988.
NBA Expert Picks – Tony Mejia
The Sixers have seen Furkan Korkmaz dominate off the bench in their last two wins, but that can’t be counted upon against a Clippers team that is so long along the perimeter. Not having Patrick Beverley against Ben Simmons may prove beneficial since Doc Rivers can throw bigger bodies at the 76ers as they try and post a big road win. Philadelphia has been tremendous at home but looks vulnerable here. Ride Los Angeles.
Best Bet: Clippers
VI Prediction Tool
The VegasInsider.com Prediction resource gives an edge to either team in eight specific categories listed above and there are instances where both clubs receive a positive edge (). Depending on how you weigh the below factors could provide more reason to fade or follow those teams in your wagers.
|VI Edge Predictions|
Total Talk (Over-Under)
L.A. Clippers: 25-27-1 (Away, 12-14 Under)
Philadelphia: 25-28-1 (Home, 14-11-1 Over)
The ‘under’ is 4-2 over L.A.’s last six road games.
The ‘over’ is 3-0 in Philly’s last three home dates.