Suns vs. 76ers Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via <!–FanDuel–>FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Phoenix Suns will travel to the City of Brotherly Love to face off against the Philadelphia 76ers in a matchup of NBA Finals hopefuls.
However, only one of these teams actually looks like a team that can compete for a title. Phoenix enters this matchup with a 7-2 record and in first place in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is just 4-6 and is in 11th in the Eastern Conference.
It has been quite the bumpy start for the 76ers and things will only get more difficult as they deal with the absence of some key players. Will we see Philadelphia overcome those absences and defy the odds, or will the Suns continue their dominance and further assert themselves as one of the best teams in the Association?
The Phoenix Suns have taken care of business quite often to begin the 2022-23 season, establishing themselves as one of the best all-around teams in the NBA.
Entering this matchup, the Suns rank third in the NBA in Offensive Rating at 116.4. Their incredible depth on the offensive end of the floor has led to an average of 115.1 points per game.
According to TeamRankings, Phoenix ranks eighth in the NBA in shooting percentage, shooting 47.6% from the floor. The Suns haven’t established much of an identity from behind the arc as they are attempting the 11th fewest three pointers per game, but Phoenix is making 36.3% of those three-point attempts, proving that the Suns still have the ability to spread the floor.
However, Phoenix has suffered some injuries that may impact its ability to score.
Cam Johnson recently tore his meniscus and is out indefinitely. Johnson was one of the premier scorers for this team, averaging 13.0 points per game and shooting 43.1% from three. Cameron Payne, who averages 8.9 points per game and is shooting 39% from behind the arc, has missed the past two games and is also questionable for this matchup.
Those two absences will likely have a tremendous impact on Phoenix’s overall offensive output. The Suns will likely have to rely heavily on their defense. Luckily, the Suns rank third in the NBA in Defensive rating at 105.1, so they will likely still be able to hold their ground on that end of the floor.
Philadelphia’s biggest issue over the past few seasons has been its depth. However, the 76ers made some great additions in the offseason with the signings of PJ Tucker, Danuel House and Montrezl Harrell. They also traded for De’Anthony Melton on draft night.
On paper, those additions appear to have patched up any holes this team had, which would elevate them to the top of the Eastern Conference. But in reality, that has yet to be the case.
Philadelphia enters this matchup averaging just 109.8 points per game, which ranks 23rd in the NBA and is the same amount of points they averaged last season. The 76ers are scoring with tremendous efficiency, shooting 47.5% from the floor and 39.4% from three, but it hasn’t translated to many points in the grand scheme of things.
The offense needs to find a spark, but that will be a tall task against a very stout Suns defense. In addition, James Harden is out for the next month or so and Joel Embiid is questionable for this matchup with an illness. There is a chance we continue to see this offense stall.
In Embiid’s absence the 76ers have actually improved their scoring average, increasing their points per game to 111.0.
However, in the lone game Harden and Embiid were both sidelined, we saw the 76ers score just 104 points and post an Offensive Rating of 101.0 in a loss.
Philadelphia’s offensive production simply hasn’t been up the standard we are used to, but it has made up for that with strong defensive play. The 76ers are holding their opponents to just 32.8% from three and are only surrendering an average of 45.8 points per game in the paint (10th fewest in NBA). They have been solid defensively without Embiid and we should see that continue against a Suns team that’ll be without Johnson and potentially Payne.
The Suns will likely hold their ground on defense as well and have held opponents to shooting just 44.3% from the floor.
All in all, I think the absence of so many impact players on the offensive end of the floor, combined with two defenses that have defended well for most of the season, will cause this total to stay under 217. Both Philadelphia and Phoenix rank in the bottom five of the NBA in Pace, with both teams generating less than 98 offensive possessions per game.
Back the under in this spot.
Pick: Under 217 (-110)