Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Odds, Picks and Preview -- 10/22/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Where to watch: ESPN

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Nets -1; O/U 230
BetMGM: NL
Caesars: NL

Season record
Nets: 0-1
76ers: 1-0

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Nets - 76ers preview and analysis


Recent form
Nets: lost 127-104 at Bucks on Tuesday
76ers: won 117-97 at Pelicans on Wednesday

Ben Simmons who?

At least for one game, that’s a good thing for the Philadelphia 76ers. Whatever happens beyond that is a crapshoot up for debate.

The Sixers got off to a strong start in what’s bound to be an uncertain season with a 20-point win against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. But now they’ll be tested a bigger deal in their home opener when the Brooklyn Nets come to town.

For as much star talent in this matchup, the bulk of the attention is who won’t be playing.

Simmons has made his intentions clear about wanting out of Philadelphia. It might have been easier for him to not be anywhere near the facility at this rate. Between showing up for practice in his sweatpants with his cell phone in his pocket, to being suspended for the season opener, to now the possibility that he’s faking mental health and back issues in order to not take part in practice -- it has become the biggest possible mess involving the All-Star forward.

Philly didn’t look to miss a beat on Wednesday, albeit against a Zion Williamson-less Pelicans team. Joel Embiid pitched in with 22 points and five assists, and he didn’t even need to lead his team in rebounds. Someone explain to me why Andre Drummond is over here getting 17 rebounds in 19 minutes.

Furkan Korkmaz also chipped in with 22 points of his own, while Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris had 20 points in the starting lineup.

"We've been practicing hard," Embiid said. "It was good to kind of get off to a good start, get a win and kind of forget about the off-the-court stuff."

The Nets are coming off a 23-point loss on opening night to the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, but at least the Nets aren’t in a state of dysfunction. Just one-third of their big three not wanting to get vaccinated. And one has to wonder if Kyrie Irving was participating in what he’s being paid to do, maybe the Nets would’ve been more competitive on Tuesday.

Instead, the Nets have to go through Kevin Durant and James Harden, which isn’t a bad thing, but when you lose a ball-handler to the ability to break down defenses. But Irving does not cure the 127 points given up on the defensive end.

"We weren't very good," Brooklyn coach Steve Nash said. "If you're not playing at a high level against the champs, you're not going to win."

Irving will not be able to play until he becomes vaccinated, which means it’s all Durant and Harden for the time being. Durant had 32 points and 11 rebounds on 13 of 25 shooting, which is another typical day for him at the office. Harden was 6 of 16 for 20 points as he began his first full season with the Nets.

Prediction


The bench of the Nets is going to have to step up in order to make this a game. LaMarcus Aldridge is one name to watch as he continues to ease his way back into game shape. It’s October so there’s plenty of time, but the Sixers are playing on emotion right now and a home crowd cheering for those who actually care to play will make a world of difference. 76ers by 7

Betting trends


Brooklyn is 20-19 ATS in the last three seasons off a road loss.

The over is 12-4 following a Brooklyn loss by 10 points or more.

The Sixers are 7-0 ATS the last three seasons as a home dog.

Philly is 62-12 straight up at home the last three years.

Projected starting lineup


Nets:
PG: James Harden
SG: Joe Harris
SF:
Kevin Durant
PF:
Blake Griffin
C:
Nic Claxton

76ers:
PG: Tyrese Maxey
SG: Seth Curry
SF:
Danny Green
PF:
Tobias Harris
C:
Joel Embiid

Statistical leaders


Nets:
Points: Kevin Durant -- 32.0
Rebounds: Kevin Durant -- 11.0
Assists: James Harden -- 8.0
Blocks: Kevin Durant -- 2.0
Steals: Blake Griffin -- 1.0

76ers:
Points: Joel Embiid -- 22.0
Rebounds: Andre Drummond -- 17.0
Assists: Joel Embiid -- 5.0
Blocks: Andre Drummond -- 2.0
Steals: Matisse Thybulle -- 4.0

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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