76ers vs. Jazz Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
Two teams that have been hurting in a big way over the past two weeks meet in Utah when the Philadelphia 76ers visit the Jazz. While Philly’s issues have been mostly injury-related, Utah has completely lost its identity on both ends of the floor and fallen to subpar teams like the Orlando Magic and Indiana Pacers.
Will these two teams continue playing the same kind of basketball, bringing us a close encounter? Let’s take a look at the numbers behind this matchup.
Injuries and Schedule Testing 76ers Mettle
The Sixers will once again be playing this game without Joel Embiid, who is out under the league’s health and safety protocols, and will not have Matisse Thybulle (protocols) or Danny Green (hamstring) either.
Without Embiid, the Sixers have gone 0-4 straight up and against the spread. It’s hard to knock them, though. They had to play the Knicks, Bucks, Raptors and Pacers in that span of games — who could all easily wind up in the play-in picture by seasons end — and now they’ll have to take down one of the best teams in basketball.
The Sixers still sit atop the league in offensive efficiency and have scored a respectable 111.5 points per 100 possessions in their four games without Embiid. Their biggest issue is defense; Philadelphia has been the third-worst team in the NBA on that end in the sample we’re dealing with.
The Sixers have actually taken fewer 3s without Embiid in the lineup and have seen a 4.6% jump in their shots taken inside 10 feet from their season average. This is likely due to the high Usage Rate that Tobias Harris has seen as the go-to guy without the big man, and it also could have something to do with Andre Drummond’s one-dimensional offensive attack.
Jazz Defense Not Playing to Expectations
Out of nowhere, the Jazz have run into tough sledding. They’ve gone 1-4 straight up and against the spread, owning just one blowout win over the Hawks and losing three times as favorites of 8.5 points or more. In those five games, the Jazz have allowed an un Jazz-like 114.5 points per 100 possessions which ranks fifth-worst in the league, just a couple spots ahead of the Sixers.
While they’ve lacked any sort of rhythm in those games, there have still been some solid offensive quarters like the fourth against Miami, where they came back from a large deficit. Because of that, their numbers in the scoring department don’t look all that bad.
One thing that was evident in both games against Miami, and the loss to Indiana, was that the Jazz were just getting bodied down low and losing the war of physicality. They have collected a poor 49.3% of available rebounds over their run and allowed 70.6% shooting in the restricted area.
If Embiid were active on the other side, this would be a massive dilemma, but Drummond is a huge body who, while lacking the finesse and scoring prowess of Embiid, has at least proven capable of scrapping.
The Jazz can talk all they want about their loss three days ago being a wake-up call, but the numbers don’t lie. After the loss to the Pacers and entering a game with a Heat team that was short-handed, you would have expected the Jazz would come to play. They didn’t. If Utah continues to play the way it has been playing, it will be in some trouble here.
Philly has leaned on Harris to get points inside off the post-up and the cut and has been able to get a decent lift from Drummond without Embiid on the high-percentage looks. The big man has also continued to pile up rebounds and should be more than up to the task of exploiting Utah’s frontcourt that is hurting at the moment.
The Sixers have looked close lately and their schedule has done them no favors. The Jazz have lost some games they had no business losing and have some real issues. I think the Sixers should be able to score on this struggling defense and keep this close.
Pick: Sixers +9.5