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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