We’ve been waiting for the Brooklyn Nets to face the Philadelphia 76ers since the trade deadline, and it’s finally here. It’s James Harden’s first game against his latest breakup, and it’s also the long-awaited return of Ben Simmons to Philadelphia, even if he’ll only be watching from the bench.
We don’t entirely know which version of the Nets will show up since that team is still taking shape, but Harden’s five games with the 76ers have been pretty magical. Philadelphia is 5-0 with Harden in the lineup with a blazing 145 Offensive Rating when Harden is on the court.
It turns out Harden’s presence literally changes everything for the Sixers — especially for those “other” three starters. And that brings us to tonight’s props, where we’re going all in on the new quickly-evolving roles for Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, and Matisse Thybulle.
Below, I have laid out three players’ prop bets that I’m playing, courtesy of the Action Labs Player Prop tool. At the bottom, you’ll also find a few ways you can put some of these picks together into a Same Game Parlay if you like, especially since they are very much correlated with one another.
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NBA Player Props & Picks
Tyrese Maxey Over 17.5 Points (-120) | Over 1.5 3-Pointers (-145)
|Nets vs. 76ers||76ers -4.5|
|Time | TV||7:30 p.m. ET | TNT|
Philadelphia traded a heap of assets for a second star to pair with Joel Embiid, but it’s starting to look like the Sixers might have gotten a third star in the deal too, and his name is Tyrese Maxey.
Maxey has already been a breakout player for Philly this season in Simmons’s absence, putting up 17.6 points and 4.5 assists a game in a much larger than expected role, often as the lead initiator of the offense. But now that Maxey gets to play off the ball as a secondary initiator with spacing, he’s exploded.
Maxey has always been tough to stop getting downhill, but he’s been downright terrifying in these five Harden games. There’s more space than he’s ever seen in the NBA or at Kentucky, and his ability to attack space and get to the rim is wreaking havoc on poor defenses, especially now that Maxey is often getting the ball with a space advantage, typically with the opponent’s best defenders on Harden and Embiid.
Maxey has scored 28, 21, 25, 33, and 17 points in five games with Harden. He’s averaging a robust 24.8 PPG in those games with at least 17 points in all of them, and we only have to go over 17.5 to hit this one. And in case you forgot, the Nets don’t exactly play a ton of defense.
The over for this game has been hammered, up more than 10 points since opening, and the Sixers have been matching Maxey’s speed even with Harden, so this could be a wide-open fast-paced high-scoring game. The Nets are also particularly bad defending off-ball guards, ranking sixth worst in the league.
If you want to get more aggressive, you can play Maxey to score 20-plus at +138 on FanDuel, or you can go for 25-plus at +430. That’s not enough juice to grab my attention at 20-plus, but the 25-plus alternate over looks juicy.
Maxey has scored at least 25 in three of his five Harden games, hitting that prop 60% of the time versus an implied 19% hit rate. We’re dealing with a pretty small sample here, but boy is that sample good.
There’s one other reason Maxey’s scoring is up: 3s. He’s averaging 5.0 3-point attempts per game with Harden and making 3.2 of them, a blistering 64% from behind the arc.
That obviously won’t keep up forever, but Maxey was one of the top shooting prospects in the nation out of high school and he’s never had this clean of looks. He was already at 39% before Harden arrived, and his volume is up from 3.6 attempts per game on what are now cleaner, better looks.
Maxey has at least two 3s in all five Harden games. He’s -145 to hit at least two tonight, so that’s another solid play, even if he slows down from that 64%. If you’re only playing one Maxey prop, I like the traditional points over best. I’ll play the over 17.5 to -135.
Tobias Harris Under 15.5 Points (-115) | Under 5.5 Rebounds (+120)
The unfortunate truth is that Philadelphia was already supposed to have a third star in Tobias Harris, but that has not worked out as well as hoped. Harris’s scoring is down to 17.9 PPG this year, his lowest since 2018, despite the Sixers playing the entire season shorthanded. Add in the massive contract Philadelphia is on the hook for, and Harris has been quite a disappointment.
And he’s been even more disappointing since Harden’s arrived, not that anyone particularly cares the way Philly is cruising right now.
Harris has scored 6, 12, 14, 15, and 8 in his five games with Harden, and this isn’t just cold shooting. He’s taking only 10.8 shots per game, way down from the 15.0 FGA he averaged before Harden suited up in Philly. That’s nearly a 50% drop-off and it makes sense. Harden takes up a ton of usage and shots, Embiid is still gonna get his, and with Maxey’s usage going up too, there’s just not much left for Tobias.
Harris averages 18.7 PPG without Harden this season. He’s averaged 21.6 PPG without Embiid. This is a guy who can elevate his scoring when there are extra shots to go around. But in these five Philly games with both of those two, Harris is averaging only 11.0 PPG. He’s just not getting the volume.
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And it feels like that’s taken Harris a bit out of the game overall, because it’s not just his scoring that’s down. Harris averaged 7.4 RPG before Harden’s arrival, but he’s down to just 4.4 RPG in these five games with the Beard.
Harris is morphing into more of a defense-first guy with his new role and so much scoring around him, and give him credit for doing the dirty work, but that’s also taking him off the glass some.
Harris was over 5.5 rebounds in 37 of 47 games without Harden (79%). He’s under that number instead in four of five with the Beard (80%). The defensive rebounding in particular is down, and it makes sense. Harris is a bit more locked in on actually defending, and Harden is also a far better rebounder than the replaced Seth Curry so that’s vacuuming up some of those boards too.
If you prefer an overall Harris fade, you can play him to go under 22.5 points + rebounds at -110 at BetMGM. He’s averaging 26.1 PR in games without Harden, going over that line in 37 of 47 (79%), but he’s at just 15.4 PR with Harden and under this line in all five.
If you’re playing just one Harris under, I’d play that points + rebounds over since it’s a way to fade both at once. I’ll play that one to -130.
Matisse Thybulle Over 5.5 PTS (-120) | Over 0.5 AST (-200) | Over 2.5 STL + BLK (+120)
And that brings us to Philadelphia’s fifth guy, the pitbull Matisse Thybulle. Thybulle is a master defender, king of thefts and blocks from behind, an absolute artist as a defensive playmaker. He was almost immediately one of the league’s best perimeter defenders the moment he entered the league.
The problem is that Thybulle offers precious little offense. He shooting only 29% from deep on the year and scoring only 5.8 PPG. There are already questions about how much Thybulle will actually be able to play in a big playoff series when one-way players are often played right off the court.
But has there ever been a team more built to take on Thybulle’s lack of offense? Philadelphia has two monster-usage guys in Embiid and Harden plus two other big time scorers, so as long as Thybulle can keep defenses honest with an occasional jumper or by attacking a closeout — TBD, by the way, on that — the Sixers can keep his defense out there.
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You have to believe Thybulle should see significant minutes tonight in a game against Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Thybulle is long and feisty enough to bother both, and he’s already averaging over 24 MPG in these five Harden games. He played almost 40 minutes in Philly’s last game against the Nets — and no matter how little you offer offensively, even the Thybulles of the world produce at least a little with that many minutes.
Let’s set the bar at 25-plus minutes and look at Thybulle’s numbers again. Now his scoring average moves to 7.0 PPG, and he’s gone over 5.5 points in 20 of 27 such games, hitting that over 74% of the time. It’s not a big move, but it’s significant. He’s scored at least eight points in four of five Harden games. Now check the assists. Thybulle has at least one dime in 21 of those 27 games, going over his 0.5-assist line 78% of the time and averaging 1.3 APG, well above the number.
And don’t forget about the reason Thybulle is out there: his defense. He’s averaging 2.2 steals and 1.2 blocks per game in these 25-plus-minute games. We can play Thybulle to go over 1.5 steals at +110 on its own. He’s done that in 64% of the games at this minutes threshold, including three last time against the Nets. He’s -160 to go over 0.5 blocks and has done that in 78% of these games.
Or you can combine steals + blocks for a slightly safer play since defensive stats are tough to come by. Thybulle is at 3.4 stocks per game at this minutes threshold and has gone over 2.5 in 20 of 27 games, hitting that over 74% of the time. Brooklyn also allows the eighth most steals and the eighth most blocks, so Thybulle should make his mark.
If you only want to play one Thybulle prop, I’d stick that that steals + blocks over at any plus number. But it can be tempting to parlay a few of these together too, so let’s look at a few Same Game Parlays you might consider.
Possible Nets-76ers Same Game Parlays
- Matisse Thybulle Over 5.5 PTS, 0.5 AST, 1.5 STL, 0.5 BLK (+700 DraftKings): It’s not asking much for a 6/1/2/1 stat line, and it’ll be a sweat, but Thybulle has hit all four thresholds in 12 of his 27 games with 25-plus minutes. That’s a 44% hit rate, almost a coin flip. If he’s out there long enough to defend, these stats usually find a way to get there. He hasn’t done this in any Harden game yet but did hit it last time against Brooklyn.
- Matisse Thybulle Over 1.5 STL, Over 0.5 BLK (+270 DraftKings): If you just want to play Thybulle’s defense more aggressively than that steals + blocks combo, you can parlay the two together for a much better payout.
- Tyrese Maxey Over 24.5 PTS, Over 1.5 3s (+503 FanDuel): Go all-in on another big Maxey outing with 25 points and two 3s, which he’s done in three of the five Harden games. That’s a 60% hit rate, and we’re getting 5-to-1.
- Maxey Over 17.5 PTS, Tobias Harris Under 15.5 PTS (+210 FanDuel): If Maxey keeps soaking up those extra shots as the third star, Harris’s scoring may stay down. This combo has hit in four of the five Harden games (80%).
- Maxey Over 17.5 PTS, Over 1.5 3s + Harris Under 15.5 PTS, Under 5.5 REB (+675 DraftKings): Go all-in on another good Maxey game and another quiet night from Tobias. This prop has hit in three of five Harden games, missing once by one Maxey point and another time by a pair of Harris rebounds.
- The Whole Shebang (+6500 DraftKings): If you want to go for broke, you can play those four Maxey and Harris props plus all four Thybulle overs from the first bullet point and go for everything at 65-to-1. Let’s get wild.