Philadelphia 76ers vs Golden State Warriors

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Tonight’s game between the Philadelphia 76ers (30-13) and Golden State Warriors (22-21) could be Curry-less, as neither Steph nor his brother Seth is expected to play due to injuries. The Warriors are dealing with a ton of absences between injuries and COVID and will be extremely shorthanded against the Eastern Conference’s best team.

The Philadelphia 76ers finished off a three-game season series sweep of the New York Knicks with a 101-100 overtime victory on Saturday. Tobias Harris hit two free throws with 5.3 seconds left to give Philadelphia the win. Harris finished with 20 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Ben Simmons scored 16 points and added eight rebounds and four assists.

Golden State split their two games with Memphis, winning the first before dropping the second game 111-103. Jordan Poole led the Warriors with 26 points, and Andrew Wiggins followed up his 40 point performance with another 20 against the Grizzlies. But, the game was more about who didn’t suit up for the Warriors.

Steph Curry sat out his second straight game with a tailbone contusion against Memphis and has already been ruled out for tonight’s game against the 76ers. Joining Curry is James Wiseman, Eric Paschall, and Kevon Looney, all of whom have entered health and safety protocols due to COVID exposure. For Philadelphia, Seth Curry is day-to-day with an ankle injury, and Joel Embiid is out for the next few weeks with a knee injury. This is the first meeting between the two teams this season.

76ers Not Missing A Beat Without Embiid

The loss of Joel Embiid to injury has changed the complexion of the 76ers, but the end results have been the same. Philadelphia continues to roll on despite the injury. Tony Bradley and Dwight Howard have picked up the slack in Embiid’s absence, while Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons carry the team offensively.

Harris has averaged 20.7 ppg, 7.5 rpg, and 3.6 apg while hitting 41.2% from beyond the arc to lead the offensive attack. Ben Simmons has averaged 15.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg, and 7.7 apg, but is a turnover machine. Be sure to watch out for Shake Milton, who has averaged 13.9 ppg, 2.1 rpg, and 3.0 apg off the bench.

Offensively, the 76ers are 13th in the NBA in effective field goal percentage (54.2%), 26th in turnover percentage (13.4%), sixth in offensive rebounding percentage (24.2%), and third in free throws per field goal attempts (.229). Defensively, Philadelphia is third in opponent’s effective field goal percentage (51.8%), 10th in opponent turnover percentage (13.2%), 11th in defensive rebounding percentage (78.6%), and 12th in opponent’s free throws per field goal attempts (.193).

Warriors Dealing With Injury, COVID Woes

The Warriors will play the Eastern Conference’s best team without several of their main weapons tonight. Steph Curry, Eric Paschall, James Wiseman, and Kevon Looney are all out because of injuries or health and safety protocols. That puts the burden on Andrew Wiggins, who has been excellent this season, and Jordan Poole, who is a rising young star in the league.

Andrew Wiggins has upped his average to 17.8 ppg and 4.7 rpg, and has hit 37.9% from beyond the arc. Kelly Oubre has averaged 14.9 ppg and 5.8 rpg, while Poole has averaged 10.4 ppg while shooting 39.6% on his three-point attempts.

Offensively, the Warriors are 13th in the NBA in effective field goal percentage (53.9%), 23rd in turnover percentage (13.1%), 30th in offensive rebounding percentage (17.2%), and 13th in free throws per field goal attempts (.193). Defensively, Golden State is fourth in opponent’s effective field goal percentage (51.8%), eighth in opponent turnover percentage (13.5%), 27th in defensive rebounding percentage (76.2%), and 29th in opponent’s free throws per field goal attempts (.229).

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

Without the spread, it’s hard to make this pick. However, I like Philadelphia to get the win in this one, although it could be very close. The 76ers still have their two main weapons, while Golden State will be a patchwork of parts as several key pieces are sidelined with injuries or in health and safety protocols. Trends support this pick as well, but pay attention to the spread. I like Philadelphia 5.5 or less.

Philadelphia -4

Want another opinion on this pick?


Full-Game Total Pick

This game is going to be about who is not playing as much as it is about who is playing. Without Embiid, the Currys, and a host of other Warriors, both teams may be a little less efficient offensively. The trends support the UNDER for both teams, so that’s the direction I’m heading with this pick.