Philadelphia 76ers vs. Denver Nuggets Picks, Predictions, Odds
Regular season NBA action resumes on Monday night with a heavyweight non-conference showdown between the Philadelphia 76ers and Denver Nuggets. Coverage begins from Ball Arena in Denver at 9:30 p.m. ET.
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS vs. DENVER NUGGETS BETTING PREDICTION
For the most part, NBA awards voters already know who they are voting for at this point of the season. However, with just a handful of games left to play, and the MVP race between Joel Embiid (-150) and Nikola Jokic (+175) being so very close, this matchup seems to carry far more weight than your average heavyweight clash.
Jokic is the two-time reigning MVP, and Embiid has finished 2nd in the MVP voting in two straight seasons, and while it’s tough to overlook the Joker’s impressive statistical outputs, there’s certainly an argument to be made as to which player provides more overall value for their respective squad.
Embiid and Jokic have posted similar numbers across the board over the last three seasons, with the only factors truly separating the two superstars being the Joker’s passing ability and his team’s unfortunate injury circumstances, as opposed to Embiid owning a major leg-up at the defensive end.
Take nothing away from Jokic, he’s one of the most versatilely dominant players the league has ever seen, and I also would’ve casted my hypothetical MVP vote to him at the end of the 2020-21 season; but make no mistake about it, Jokic winning MVP should’ve been a fool me once, shame on me scenario.
Just after the halfway point of Jokic’s first MVP campaign, Jamal Murray went down with an ACL injury, and Denver really cranked up the heat on the heels of the Joker’s dominance, successfully driving home the narrative of which player was the most valuable their team in that particular case; and not to mention, he participated in 21 more games than Embiid.
The last two years, though, the narrative has been far more muddled, and the statistical difference between these two guys has continued to narrow. So, who’s truly been the most valuable player of the season? The answer is Joel Embiid, and it really shouldn’t be much of a debate, unless you want to advocate for Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Oftentimes, people seem to forget that offense is only 50% of the game. Sure, Jokic also fills up the statsheet in the passing department, but the Sixers and Bucks both have elite ball distributors capable of carrying the assist load. So, why fault them for a deficiency in an area that their team already has under control?
As a team, the Nuggets rank just 15th in defensive rating (114.3 DRtg), which is an enormous issue for this squad moving forward, and it primarily stems from Jokic’s inability to protect the rim against elite centers.
While on the other hand, Embiid successfully anchors the Sixers at both ends of the floor, currently ranked 4th in offensive rating and 7th in defensive rating (117.7 ORtg, 112.8 DRtg), which is a type of balance that Denver can only dream of with Jokic steering the ship, having ranked outside of the Top 10 in defensive rating in three straight seasons, about to be a fourth.
It doesn’t always show up on the statsheet, but the void left behind by Jokic’s lackluster defensive play is far more crippling than Embiid’s inability to keep pace in the assist department, who’s actually a very good passer for a big man. You can’t just look at numbers in a vacuum. There’s two sides of a coin in basketball, offense and defense, and in this case, we have two players neck-and-neck in offense, but one guy owns a huge advantage on defense. The decision should be easy.
James Harden is sidelined for Philly, but either way, Embiid and the Sixers will have a chip on their shoulder in this matchup, wanting to leave no doubt in the minds of the voters as to who this year’s MVP should ultimately be. A big road win on the mighty shoulders of Embiid could put the final nail in the coffin here, and Embiid is well aware of that. Grab the points with Philly in this one.
Score Prediction: Sixers 116, Nuggets 110
Best Bet: Sixers +5.5 (-110)
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS vs. DENVER NUGGETS BETTING ODDS
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS vs. DENVER NUGGETS BETTING RESOURCES
Date: Monday, March 27, 2023
Venue: Ball Arena
Location: Denver, Colorado
TV-Time: NBA League Pass, 9:30 p.m. ET
NBA Finals Betting Odds
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS vs. DENVER NUGGETS BETTING STATS
Straight Up (SU), Against the Spread (ATS), Over-Under (O/U)
Points Per Game (PPG), Opponents Points Per Game (OPPG)
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS vs. DENVER NUGGETS BETTING TRENDS
- The total has gone UNDER in four of Philadelphia's last six games.
- The Sixers are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games.
- The Nuggets are 4-1 ATS in their last five games.
- The total has gone UNDER in five straight Nuggets' games.
- The Nuggets are 4-1 SU in their last five games.
- The Nuggets are 17-3 SU in their last 20 home games.
- The Sixers are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games against Denver.
- The Sixers are 7-2 SU in their last nine road games.
- The Sixers are 11-2 ATS in their last 13 road games against Denver.