The Sixers visit the Bulls on Wednesday as Joel Embiid and company look for revenge after losing to them in Philly in double-overtime on Monday. James Harden is listed as questionable for this one with an Achilles injury, while the Bulls come in generally healthy after Monday’s big win.
Embiid went nuts in Philly on Monday when he had 37 points, 16 rebounds, a steal and three blocks in a tough, double-OT home loss to these same Bulls. Embiid’s over for points & rebounds is set at 45.5 and he’s easily hit it in three of his last four games. And while he’s not likely to get the extra two overtimes in this one, he is averaging 36.2 points and 9.5 boards in March, good for 45.7 combined a night. And those numbers jump to 35.5 points and 13.5 rebounds (49) over his last four and he’ll be looking to make an MVP-race statement on Wednesday night, along with getting some revenge on the Bulls.
Harden is iffy with a sore Achilles, so Embiid may be forced to carry even more of the load than usual and De’Anthony Melton will become a bigger factor if Harden is out. Harden had just five points on Monday, but also had seven rebounds, 12 assists and five turnovers while hitting just 2-of-14 shots. Maybe he could use a night off.
Melton played well in that game, scoring 19 points with six rebounds, four steals, a block and five 3-pointers and could really go off tonight if Harden is out. Tyrese Maxey came through with 22 points, five rebounds and six dimes in that one, hitting two 3-pointers as well.
The Bulls got 26 points, seven assists and three steals from Zach LaVine on Monday, DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points with eight rebounds, and Nikola Vucevic added 21 points and 12 rebounds with four steals and a 3-pointer on 8-of-12 shooting in a nice performance against Embiid. Those are the three Bulls you’ll want to focus on tonight.
LaVine has scored at least 25 points in eight of his nine March games and his points over/under is set at 24.5 points tonight. The Sixers struggle against shooting guards, giving up 24.34 points per game, eighth-worst in the league. DeRozan’s over/under is 22.5 and he’s hit that in seven of his last eight games. Vuc’s scoring over/under is set at just 16.5 and he’s hit that in five of his last six games and is coming off a nice performance against Embiid and company. The Sixers aren’t good against opposing power forwards, but Patrick Williams only scored six against them on Monday and has been completely unreliable this season.
The Sixers are the No. 3 seed in the East, trailing the Celtics by a game and holding a 3.5 game advantage on the No. 4 Cavaliers. They’re 22-12 on the road for one of the better road records in the league.
The No. 10 Bulls are clinging on for their playoff lives but have a 2.5-game lead on the Pacers, and trail the Raptors by just a ½ game. They would love to get a home win here and put some distance on the Pacers.
The Sixers are 4-1 against the spread in their last five games and the Bulls are 3-1-1 ATS in their last five. This should be a fun game to watch, but it will only be available on League Pass.
The Sixers will have revenge on their mind tonight after Monday’s brutal loss and they play very well on the road. The Bulls stole one in Philly on Monday and you have to think Embiid will be trying to dominate tonight and make a statement in his race against Nikola Jokic to win the MVP Award. Top Oddscrowd bettor Mattsteam likes the Sixers minus the points and the Oddscrowd algorithm gives the Sixers a 4.5% +EV Edge on the Moneyline tonight. And we’re going with them. The Sixers are the better team and it’s simply hard to see them losing two straight to the Bulls.
Pick: Sixers -3
Same Game +635 Parlay
Leg 1: Joel Embiid to score 30+ points
Leg 2: Joel Embiid to record 12+ rebounds
Leg 3: DeMar DeRozan to score 20+ points
Leg 4: Zach LaVine to score 25+ points