Clippers vs. 76ers Free NBA Picks and Predictions

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Joel Embiid #21 and Tobias Harris #12 of the Philadelphia 76ers celebrate. Michael Reaves/Getty Images/AFP

The surging Philadelphia 76ers host a western conference opponent when the Los Angeles Clippers come to town. After a terrible start to the season, the Sixers have been able to turn things around lately and have put themselves back in the race for top spot out east.

As for the Clippers, their season has been ravaged by injury but still bring a high level of defensive intensity regardless. So let’s take a look at the NBA odds for tonight.

L.A. Clippers vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Friday, January 21, 2022 – 7:00 PM EST at Wells Fargo Center

Sixers Have Turned Things Around

There's still a lot of season left but for now, the Sixers look like they are back. They've won 8 of their last ten games and 11 of their last 14. Before this run, they were 9th in the Eastern Conference but now find themselves in 5th place.

More importantly, they are only 2.5 games from first place in the conference which is their ultimate goal. The slow start to the season combined with noise from the outside has caused some people to forget that this is a championship or bust team.

In my opinion, they have no shot at winning the title unless they make a trade but the expectations will be there nonetheless. It's hard to imagine Doc Rivers keeping his job if this team does not make it to at least the conference finals.

That might seem a bit unfair considering Milwaukee, Brooklyn and even Chicago at this point are probably better. Tonight they are -8 point favorite against the struggling Clippers which is a very sharp line.

If I were picking a side, I'd probably take the points with the Clippers. As well as Philly is playing right now, for me, -8 is a spread reserved for the elite teams in the league which the Sixers are not. Remember, the largest margin of victory in the league belongs to the Suns who win by an average of 7.9 points per game.

Look at any historical NBA season and you will see that usually only one team has an average margin of victory over 7 which is why I say that a spread like -8 is reserved for the elites. For our NBA picks, my official play is on the total but if I had to take a side, I'd take the 8 points with the Clippers even though I think the Sixers win tonight straight up.

Clippers Defense Gives 'Under' Value

The total for this game opened at 213 and has been steamed up slightly to 214 which is perfect for me because I was going to take the 'under' at the original opening line anyway. The Clippers are the 6th best defense in the league and this Sixers offense is quite basic in terms of the scheme.

I say that with all respect due to Joel Embiid who is easily one of the most unstoppable offensive players in the game. His skillset for a man his size is simply amazing. That said, if you actually watch the sets that the Sixers run, they are very much predicated on everything going through Embiid in the high/mid-post.

In my opinion, the Clippers are one of the few teams that are somewhat equipped to slow that down. Between Ivica Zubac and Serge Ibaka, you've got two big men who can at least put up some resistance.

We know Ibaka's pedigree as a former Defensive Player of the Year and even though he's in a different phase of his career right now, the 20 minutes a game that he plays will help Zubac handle Embiid's offensive repertoire.

Add to this the Sixers defense which has been the primary reason for their resurgence during this 14 game stretch. They've been the 4th best defense in the league during that span which has seen them vault all the way to 12th overall.

The Clippers' offense is terrible on a good day and I think tonight, they will struggle to get to 100 points which is why my official play on this game is under 213 (-115).

NBA Pick: Under 213 (-115) with Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Under 213 (-115)
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*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.