Philadelphia (39-26) vs Indiana (39-26)
When: Saturday, August 1st, 2020
Where: Visa Athletic Center,
Time: 7:00 ET | TV: FS Indiana
Opening Odds: Philadelphia -4/211
The Philadelphia 76ers were a remarkable 29-2 at home this season, while going almost the complete opposite on the road – 10-24. With the rest of the NBA regular and postseason being played on a neutral court, there’s no telling how this team will react. We will get our first look at the Sixers on Saturday night when they take on the Indiana Pacers at Visa Athletic Center in Kissimmee, Florida. Both teams have identical 39-26 records and are trying to chase down the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. The teams have played each other three times already with the home team winning each time (Pacers 2-1) and Indiana covering the spread three times. The Pacers went into the shutdown winning six of eight, while Philly was 2-3 in their last five.
The Sixers are looking for their first NBA Championship since 1983 and are led by big man Joel Embiid and guard Ben Simmons. Veteran Al Horford has been a big help backing up Embiid with 12.0 points and 6.9 rebounds per game, while playing in 60 games. Horford has been dealing dealing with a lower-body injury but should be ready to go Saturday. Embiid scored 32 points and grabbed 11 rebounds during the Sixers’ 119-116 home win against the Pacers on Nov. 30. Simmons’ shooting percentage is going up each of his three seasons and is averaging 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists per contest, while shooting 58.5 percent. The Sixers are 6-4 against the spread in their last 10 games.
Philly has the advantage in the paint with Indiana’s Domantas Sabonis out indefinitely with a foot injury. Backup center Myles Turner has been playing well in his absence and is averaging 11.8 points and 6.5 rebounds. Also, the Pacers will have Victor Oladipo playing after it was originally thought he would sit the rest of the season to avoid any issues with his repaired knee. Together with Malcolm Brogdon, the Pacers have a formidable backcourt duo to compete with anyone. Brogdon had 21 points, seven rebounds, and nine assists, when the Pacers took down Philly at home, 101-95 last January.
Until the Sixers prove they can win away from Philadelphia, I can’t lay this many points against a Pacers team that is sneaky good.
Check out who Bobby Babowski has on his Free NBA Picks page for today. He is 73-59-3 on the season.
Pick: Pacers +5.5