It’s an underdog story in the city of Rocky.
The Philadelphia 76ers have led the Eastern Conference for much of the season. They have talent in bunches, but they are nothing like the super team that Brooklyn has assembled. The Nets have all stars at almost every position and another one like Blake Griffin on the bench.
Not surprisingly, Brooklyn has now overtaken Philly in the Eastern Conference. The Nets are a half game ahead heading into this weekend’s action. And the 76ers – cue the Rocky theme song – are an underdog that’s easy to root for.
In this week’s installment of Penn Sportsbooks Pick Play, we’ll take a look at the Philadelphia 76ers weekend lines and some of the futures bets available at the best PA sportsbooks.
Because everyone loves an underdog. And that’s especially true in the city of Philadelphia.
Joel Embiid faces Zion in a Friday night showdown
On Friday, FanDuel Sportsbook has Philadelphia as a 7.5-point favorite in an 8:15 p.m. game against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. Philadelphia is -320 on the moneyline, while the Pelicans are +260.
FanDuel also has some betting lines available on the winning margin that could boost your returns. Those odds are as follows:
- Philadelphia 1-10: +170
- Philadelphia 11 or more: +140
- New Orleans 1-10: +340
- New Orleans 11 or more: +1300
Additional lines and other wagers will also be available as we move a little closer to game time. Live betting odds will also be active after tipoff.
So if you’re free on a Friday night, the Sixers and Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks can help provide some entertainment. And then a day later, Philadelphia takes the court again, with a 9 p.m. game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday night.
The 76ers are among the favorites in NBA futures betting
If you’re looking into the futures market, the NBA regular season is scheduled to end on May 16, with the playoffs beginning a few days later. FOX Bet has the Sixers boosted to +500 (from +400) to win the Eastern Conference.
Of course, the Brooklyn Nets and their three-headed monster of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving are the favorites at -110. The Bucks are second at +333, slightly ahead of the Sixers. The Heat (+1300) and Celtics (+1800) round out the top five.
In just Atlantic Division futures the Nets are -167 while the Sixers are second at +115.
Can Embiid or Simmons take home a trophy?
In award futures, FOX Bet has boosted Sixers guard Ben Simmons to +250 to win the Defensive Player of the Year. Jazz center Rudy Gobert is the favorite at +200.
And in MVP futures, Nikola Jokic is the favorite for the award at -150. But right behind him is Philadelphia center Joel Embiid at +350.
Much like their own team’s status in futures betting, the Sixers stars will need a late season push to capture the honors.
Late in the NBA season, anything can happen. But it’s pretty clear that the Sixers are the Eastern Conference underdogs.
The superteam Nets and all those big name players stand atop the conference for now. But you can expect Philadelphia to take a few big swings and fight ’til the end.
Because that’s what underdogs do.
Just ask Rocky.
Lead image credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke