76ers vs. Mavericks Betting Predictions March 2: Joel Embiid’s Status Looms Large

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Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers blocks Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies on February 23, 2023. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP

NBA Pick: 76ers +4 (-110) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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76ers +4 (-110)
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Picks Summary:

  • 76ers +4 (-110)
  • Under 228.5 (-108)

Will Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid play on Thursday night in Dallas? That’s the big question for the nationally televised matchup.

Which side of the 4-point spread has the best value at the top-rated online sportsbooks as your top NBA pick? We also have a total play. 

Remember, fans from the City of Brotherly Love who want to wager on this game should check out our top-rated Pennsylvania betting sites.

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Dallas Mavericks 

Thursday, March 2, 2023 – 07:30 PM EST at American Airlines Center 

If everyone plays, there will be four All-Stars on the court Thursday night when Joel Embiid, James Harden, and the Philadelphia 76ers visit Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, and the Dallas Mavericks.

It’s the first game of a TNT doubleheader, followed by Clippers at Warriors – which we also have a play for on for BMR. 

There are about five-plus weeks left in the NBA regular season and yet this is the first meeting of the season between the clubs. Dallas visits the City of Brotherly Love on March 29. They split two relatively low-scoring games last season, each winning at home. Of course, the Mavs didn’t have Irving then.  

The home team has won 10 of the last 13 matchups and 12 of the past 17 in the series overall have been decided by double digits. The Mavericks have won 16 of the past 19 in Dallas and have covered the betting spread against NBA odds in six of the past eight there. 

Sixers Playing Second Of B2B 

The NBA is so weird sometimes. Philadelphia really had no right winning at a very good and healthy Miami team Wednesday when Joel Embiid was scratched with a foot injury, but not only did the Sixers win without the MVP candidate, they blew out the Heat 119-96 in south Florida.

Consider that Monday night in Philly, the Heat beat the Sixers with Embiid. Really makes no logical sense. Embiid finished February averaging 30.8 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 52.4% shooting from the field – his third straight month averaging at least 30/9/50.  

Will Embiid play tonight? We tend to think so as he had been playing through that foot injury for the most part. The 7-footer could dominate against a smallish Mavericks frontcourt.  

Even if not, the team is 9-4 without him.

Small Ball in Embiid’s Absence

Coach Doc Rivers went with a small lineup sans Embiid on Wednesday, inserting guard Tyrese Maxey into the starting lineup. He responded big time with 27 points on 10-for-17 shooting along with seven assists and four rebounds. James Harden was also very good with 23 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Paul Reed saw a huge uptick in minutes off the bench and had 16 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. 

Other than Embiid, there are no injury questions for tonight as of this writing but also consider that teams playing the second of a back-to-back don’t have to release an injury report as early as other clubs.  

Philadelphia is an excellent 6-2 in the second of a B2B this season. The eight B2Bs are among the fewest in the league. Golden State and Utah lead with 13 each.  

  • The 76ers are 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games following a straight-up win of more than 10 points. 
  • The 76ers are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games playing on 0 days rest. 
  • The 76ers are 6-2 ATS in their last 8 road games. 
  • Under is 4-0 in the 76ers’ last 4 overall. 

Mavericks Underachieving Since Trade 

Philadelphia is one of two teams in the league the Mavs have yet to face, with Charlotte as the other. 

If you have been backing the Mavericks all season against the spread, you are WAY underwater as they have an NBA-worst 22-38-3 ATS record. On average, they fail to cover by 1.7 points. At home, the Mavs are just 10-19-3 ATS with only Miami worse in its own gym. 

The dynamic duo of Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic has played just five games together since Irving’s big trade from Brooklyn, and the team is 1-4 in those. The Mavs were 8.5-point home favorites at the top-rated sportsbooks on Tuesday vs. an average-at-best Indiana team and were stunned 124-122 – two days after allowing the biggest comeback in the NBA this season when they blew a 27-point lead in a loss to the Lakers. 

Tuesday was Doncic’s 24th birthday – that he’s only 24 is still shocking – and he had 39 points, eight rebounds and six assists, but no other player had more than 16. Irving had that many but was only 7-for-18 and 0-for-4 from deep. He missed a three-pointer just before the buzzer. 

Doncic and Irving Could Be Great Together

There was one piece of good news Tuesday in that big man Maxi Kleber, a good three-point shooter and defender, played for the first time since Dec. 24 and had nine points, two assists and a block in 24 minutes. His defensive presence is badly needed after the Mavs lost Dorian Finney-Smith in the Irving trade. The only current injured Mavericks player is now Davis Bertans, another three-point shooting big. He hasn’t played since Feb. 2 and is getting closer but won’t go here. 

I probably won’t play a Doncic prop for this game but if you are considering it, he averaged a triple-double of 25.0 points, 12.5 assists and 10.0 rebounds last season against the Sixers and in six career games against them is averaging 22.3 points (second-lowest scoring average against any team), 8.2 assists and 7.3 rebounds.

Doncic leads the NBA in scoring this season at 33.2 ppg, just ahead of Philly’s Embiid (33.0).  

Irving, meanwhile, has played seven games with the Mavs (Doncic missed two injured) and has scored 173 total points in them (24.7 ppg). Those are the most points by a Dallas player through his first seven games with the franchise. Irving did face the Sixers twice earlier this season while with the Nets and averaged 26.5 ppg. 

  • The Mavericks are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 home games. 
  • The Mavericks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall. 
  • Under is 5-0 in the Mavericks’ last 5 vs. a team with a winning record. 

Score Prediction: Mavericks 112 – 76ers 110

NBA Pick: Under 228.5 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Under 228.5 (-108)
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