Things are getting tense. The Philadelphia Sixers had firm control of Game 4 and the entire series in their hands. The 76ers led the Atlanta Hawks by as many as 18 points in the first half. The Hawks were on the ropes. Sixers bettors who got them anywhere between a 3-point to 4-point favorite were feeling confident.
Sixers center Joel Embiid, who is playing through torn cartilage in an injured knee, went to the locker room between the first and second quarters. The clearly ailing Embiid had a historically awful second half. The Hawks, led by Trae Young’s 25 points and 18 assists, stormed back to win 103-100, tying the series 2-2.
Hawks vs. Sixers Game 5 betting preview
Now, things are pretty tense as the teams prepare for Game 5 at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Philadelphia. Sixers fans are certainly on edge, with the status of Embiid and his knee stealing some excitement from the team’s playoff hopes. Embiid went 0-12 in the second half which included a missing layup with less than nine seconds left. His second half 0-for-12 shooting was the most attempts without a make in an NBA playoff game in 25 years according to ESPN Stats & Information. After the game, Embiid admitted his knee was bothering him. What are the chances he remains ice cold in Game 5?
Pennsylvania online sportsbooks are confident the Sixers and Embiid can bounce back at home. DraftKings Sportsbook opened with the Sixers as 6.5-point favorites (they are now 6-point favorites) in Wednesday’s game, with a moneyline price of -240. Atlanta is +195. The game’s over/under is set at 224.
Alternate spreads and totals are available as well. Live betting lines will also be posted after tip-off on Wednesday.
PA online sportsbooks lean toward Sixers in six
FanDuel also has odds available on the correct score of the series, with Philadelphia winning 4-2 currently carrying the lowest odds at +130. The Sixers winning 4-3 is next at +170. Despite Embiid’s injury, oddsmakers still seem fairly confident in the 76ers, even if the team’s fans’ stomachs are in knots.
Series betting is also available on the other Eastern Conference semifinal. The Milwaukee Bucks and the Brooklyn Nets are also tied 2-2 heading into Tuesday night’s game in Brooklyn. For Game 5, the Bucks are -184 on the series moneyline, the Nets are priced at +154).
In NBA Championship futures, the Sixers are +700 at FanDuel, which has them sixth among the remaining teams. The Nets are the favorites at +260.
But those odds are likely to change soon, with both Milwaukee and Philadelphia looking to take a series lead.
Harris, Rivers are looking forward to Game 5
For the Sixers, their outlook will rely heavily on the health of Embiid. And although things may seem tense right now, some players – including Philadelphia forward Tobias Harris – are still feeling plenty confident.
“I mean, he’s the most dominant player in the game, (whether he’s) making shots or not making shots,” Harris said of Embiid in the ESPN article. “We know what he brings to this team, and I know he’ll bounce back next game.”
In the NBA playoffs, you can’t worry about injuries or past outcomes.
All that matters is what’s next.
“That (Game 4) was a blown opportunity. But it happened,” said Sixers coach Doc Rivers to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin. “Can’t change it. Got to move on to Game 5.”
Lead image via Dreamstime.