The Sixers head to New York to take on the Brooklyn Nets in another crucial Atlantic Division matchup. It is crucial for the Sixers who are nowhere near where they want to be right now.
The Nets meanwhile have been playing well even though it’s clear they haven’t hit their ceiling yet. After the last few games, the Nets seem to have found their groove. Let’s break down some NBA odds for tonight!
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Brooklyn Nets
Thursday, December 30, 2021 – 07:00 PM EST at Barclays Center
Nets Looking Good Right Now
If you've watched the BMR NBA Show (weekdays at 12:30 PM EST on the BMR YouTube Channel) you'll have heard me call two stars' fat this season. One is Luka Doncic of the Mavs and James Harden of the Nets.
Harden hasn't been terrible but he hasn't been good either if we're judging him by the standards that he's set over the last decade. Ever since Kevin Durant has been unavailable due to health and safety protocols, Harden has really stepped up.
It's clear that his role for the Nets is different and he has become their de facto point guard. He has played the role really well but with Kyrie Irving unavailable for reasons we don't need to get into and Durant out recently, it's been on Harden to lead the way and he's done that and then some.
Now the Nets will be getting their players back as Kevin Durant and others have clear health and safety protocols according to recent reports. The Nets are -5 point favorites tonight with some books already starting to move to -5.5 depending on where you shop.
This line is very sharp although, under normal circumstances, I'd say it was a little bit short. The truth is, when you have a bunch of guys coming back after missing time, it can mess up the chemistry the team had going.
The Nets have gone 4-1 without Kevin Durant and there's no telling how his return might impact the lineup. I personally think it will be fine but I am advising anyone looking to wager on this one to at least take it into consideration.
The reason I think the Nets will cover this full game spread is that Durant isn't a selfish player. He'll recognize the fact that his team has been playing well without him and do what is necessary to fit in.
Sixers Need This Win Badly
I hate to make too much of any regular-season game but the Sixers really need a win here. Motivation is always a factor in NBA regular-season games so, in that respect, I would give that edge to the Sixers.
It isn't enough to win them the game but it's a game against a division rival that has already beaten you twice. The fact that Brooklyn is nowhere near their best yet still comfortably ahead of the Sixers has to be very concerning for this team's long-term outlook.
Anything less than a conference finals appearance will be considered a disaster for this group and the reality is, as of today, they're barely a playoff team. So a win tonight will do wonders for not only their standing in the eastern conference but for their confidence going forward.
They need wins against everyone right now but especially against other teams with championship aspirations. As for tonight's game, I'm laying the points with the Nets -5 (-110) with Bovada (visit our Bovada Review) because Philly doesn't play enough defense to keep up.
That's also something that the Nets are doing at a much higher level than last season. The Sixers' lack of defense this season is the reason they find themselves 6th in the east and 5-5 in their last 10 games. I think Harden, Durant and company win comfortably and send another message to their Atlantic division rivals.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.