Sixers’ Betting Odds Fading Fast With Embiid’s Return Still Uncertain

76ers Betting Odds Eastern Conference

  • The Philadelphia 76ers went from +1200 to win the East before Game 2 to +2000 after losing the game.
  • Philadelphia is a +4 point underdog in Game 3 on Friday with Joel Embiid’s status still uncertain as of Thursday night.
  • The Sixers are also now a heavy +750 underdog to beat the Miami Heat in their current series.

The Philadelphia 76ers’ odds are fading fast.

After losing their second straight game to the Miami Heat, the Sixers are now down 0-2 in their best-of-seven conference semifinals series. With that, the Sixers’ odds to win the Eastern Conference have sunk to +2000 after being listed at +1200 before the game.

That’s far off from the odds that the betmakers gave them after trading for James Harden last February. Back then, the best NBA sites had the Sixers with the second-best odds to win the East at +240 with only the Brooklyn Nets ahead of them at +210.

At that point in the season, the Sixers also moved up fifth in the NBA championship odds boards at +675, trailing only Brooklyn (+400), Golden State (+450), Phoenix (+500), and Milwaukee (+650). As of Thursday night, the Sixers have the longest odds among the remaining 8 teams at +5000 via BetOnine, +5500 via Bet365 USA, +6000 via PointsBet USA, and at an even longer +8000 odds via Caesars Sportsbook.

Embiid is Still Listed as Out for Game 3

When the Sixers traded for Harden, they hoped that he would be the star that would push them over the hump. Since Ben Simmons arrived in Philly, the Sixers have made five consecutive playoff appearances. However, they have never been able to get past the second round of the playoffs. With Simmons traded for Harden, the expectation was that Philly would seriously challenge for at least the East title.

But Harden has not been the dominant player he used to be. Although he still continues to put up impressive numbers, his play wasn’t good enough to lift the Sixers in the standings. Philly finished with the 4th best record in the East and they defeated the Toronto Raptors in their first-round series. Unfortunately, Embiid got hurt in the final game of that series and he was unable to play in the first two games in Miami.

Embiid is still listed as out for Game 3 and the Heat have opened as -4 point road favorites to win Game 3 in Philadelphia on Friday night. Unless the James Harden of old resurfaces, it’s hard seeing the Sixers beating the Heat. Bam Adebayo has averaged 23.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game without Embiid and the Sixers have averaged just 97.5 points per game in the two games without their top scorer.

Not the Harden Sixers Were Expecting

No question, James Harden has physically shown up to play for the Sixers. But despite playing more minutes with Philly than he did with Brooklyn, Harden is averaging fewer points, rebounds, steals, blocks, and field goal attempts. Sure, his numbers were expected to dip a bit with Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey being very capable scorers. However, with Embiid out, Harden has averaged only 18 points per game on less than 40% field goal shooting.

Reportedly, Embiid wants to play badly. But that’s not his call. And you can’t blame the Sixers for being too cautious. Harden meanwhile, needs to play hard badly. That is his call and there is no one to blame except him if he is playing too cautious. Sure, Maxey and Harris are there, but Harden the former MVP must take charge. Otherwise, it’s going to be an easy 3-0 lead for Miami.

The Sixers opened as slight +135 betting underdogs in the series, despite facing the East’s top-seeded team. However, their odds plummeted to +325 after losing Game 1. Those odds further dropped to +450 after Game 2. With Embiid’s status for Game 3 still uncertain, the Sixers’ series odds is now at their longest at +750 via the BetOnline App. If the Heat win Game 3, then the Sixers will be in a position where no other team has come back from to win the series.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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