sports betting

2020 NBA restart: Looking at Sixers' odds ahead of seeding games

2020 NBA restart: Looking at Sixers' odds ahead of seeding games

We're a day away from the Sixers starting their eight seeding games at Disney World. Outside of a couple of players' craving for chicken wings, life in the bubble seems to be going smoothly. Even though Joel Embiid didn’t play the last two exhibition games because of right calf tightness, that’s not scaring off the public as the Sixers head into Saturday’s opener against the Pacers. All signs point to the Sixers big man playing when the games start counting for real.

Back on June 27, FanDuel Sportsbook had the Sixers open as 3.5-point favorites. Now the line has increased to 5.5 points. Part of the reason that number is climbing is Indiana guard Victor Oladipo’s status. He originally wasn’t going to play in Orlando after right knee surgery but ended up seeing time in all three of the Pacers' scrimmages. Another significant development is that All-Star Domantas Sabonis is out with plantar fasciitis.

So, how will the Sixers make out in their eight games before the playoffs get underway?

The Sixers have the second-easiest strength of schedule in the restart. I’ve heard a lot of analysts, including NBC Sports Philadelphia's Noah Levick, say they’ll finish with a record of 5-3 or 6-2. Those numbers stack right up with the oddsmakers at FOX Bet, who have posted an over/under for the Sixers at 5.5 wins. The under is listed at minus-182 ($182 winning bet pays $100), while the over is plus-130 ($100 winning bet pays $130).

The Sixers' odds to win the title have dropped over the last month both on FanDuel and DraftKings Sportsbook. Both sites have the Sixers down to 20-1 odds to win the championship ($100 winning bet pays $2,000). Last month, those numbers were at 27-1 on FanDuel and 30-1 on DraftKings. When the 2020 title odds were released last summer, the Sixers opened with odds of 12-1.

March Madness was taken away from us. There was no “One Shining Moment.” But as long as the Orlando bubble doesn’t burst, this has all the makings of “One Crazy Summer” (and fall).

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2020 NBA championship odds: Updated look as NBA releases schedule for seeding games

2020 NBA championship odds: Updated look as NBA releases schedule for seeding games

The NBA schedule is set. Each team's eight remaining regular-season games are mapped out before the postseason begins. However, that doesn’t mean it’s too early to think about the NBA Finals, especially from a sports betting perspective. 

For the sake of this conversation, let’s assume the Sixers are firing on all cylinders and rip through the Eastern Conference playoffs en route to a berth in the Finals. If that happens, hopefully you locked in on the 28-1 odds ($100 wager pays $2,800) DraftKings is offering on Brett Brown and company to take home the title. 

Now, what about opponents from the West? Well, the last four times the Sixers made it to the big stage, they just happened to face star-studded Lakers squads (1980, 1982, 1983 and 2001). There’s no doubt star power would dominate the storylines once again in 2020 — LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons would be just a few of the big names in that series. One who thinks this matchup can happen should jump on DraftKings and FanDuel and grab 25-1 odds ($100 wager pays $2,500) on Sixers vs. Lakers. 

Then there is that other team in the City of Angels ... the Clippers. There’s plenty of elite talent on that roster too, starting with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. A Sixers vs. Clippers championship has odds of 27-1 on DraftKings and 28-1 on FanDuel. To put this in perspective, a Lakers vs. Bucks matchup is listed at 3-1 on FanDuel. Needless to say, the oddsmakers think the Sixers have a lot to prove just to make it to the Finals. 

The basketball fan in me would just love to see the Sixers meet the Rockets in the Finals. Embiid vs. Russell Westbrook would be pure entertainment. With no fans in attendance, wouldn’t it be great to hear the trash talking between the two rivals? I’m wondering how James Harden will play under these quieter conditions. The Beard could be even more dangerous in a streetball style game. which makes Sixers vs. Rockets at 80-1 odds on DraftKings ($100 wager pays $8,000) a little interesting. 

Want to really test the waters? BetMGM has odds on selecting the exact outcome of the Finals. The Sixers knocking off the Lakers is listed at 50-1, followed by the Sixers toppling the Clippers at 70-1 and Sixers over Rockets at 200-1 ($100 wager pays $20,000). On the flip side, the Lakers defeating the Sixers has odds of 35-1. That’s followed by Clippers over Sixers at 40-1 and the Rockets beating the Sixers at 125-1. 

The playoff run should be fast and furious, like a ride on Space Mountain giving bettors butterflies in their stomachs with every twist and turn of this unprecedented postseason. Let’s hope for the best and that everyone stays healthy so we can see how this season plays out. 

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Insane four-sport championship bet could pay out $165K if Sixers reach NBA title

Insane four-sport championship bet could pay out $165K if Sixers reach NBA title

With pro sports set to return in July, the U.S.'s burgeoning sports betting industry can only hope fans return to placing bets as often as they did in early 2020.

If one very bold fan is any indication, the industry is still going to see the kind of devil-may-care attitudes that make sports betting fun for so many. 

Nick Swart, a sports fan with a dream, decided to bet on not just one, but all four (!) major North American sports leagues' championships, placing a truly eye-watering gamble on FanDuel that hinges on the 76ers, of all teams, reaching the title.

It's a long (long, long, long) shot... and yet I kind of like the picks.

Here's a look at the monumental wager:

That's a lot of money, and the outcomes don't seem too crazy.

Let's go one by one real quick.

MLB: Yankees

It's hard to fault this bet. In a shortened season, teams with obvious talent will probably dominate the 2020 Major League Baseball season, which means the Yankees - loaded with guys like Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Gerrit Cole - should make plenty of noise when baseball resumes.

NFL: Ravens

The Ravens were the best team in the league in 2019 until they stumbled in the playoffs against a stubborn Titans team. Lamar Jackson was the league MVP, and while it's possible Baltimore takes a step back as the NFL catches up, it's just as possible that the Ravens continue to excel - and that, this time, they don't choke.

NBA: 76ers

Hey, those guys! This is probably the boldest of the four picks, though they just need to reach the Finals in this scenario, not win. The Sixers were an abject mess before the NBA paused its 2019-20 regular season, a team loaded with talent that simply refused to mesh. It's possible they'll emerge from the break with a newfound focus. I'd love to see it.

NHL: Capitals

The Caps are just one season removed from Alexander Ovechkin's first Stanley Cup, and before the NHL hit pause they led the Metropolitan Division - and had for some time. Sporting the fifth-best record in the league, the Caps feel like a good bet in a league that is known for its postseason unpredictability.

Good luck, Nick. Here's hoping you win all that money.

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Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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