Sportsbooks have seen increased action on the NBA since players reported to the bubble earlier this month and one bet that’s always a hot ticket is the winner of the NBA Championship.
No team has had more NBA championship bets on them over the past week than the Sixers, according to Oddschecker. Philly is garnering 18% of wagers with the Lakers (16%) and Raptors (10%) behind them. The Clippers (6%) and Nuggets (5%) round out the top-5.
The best odds for Philadelphia comes in at +2600, down from +2800 last week due to the increased action.
Several teams are perceived as more likely to win the championship than Philadelphia. The Lakers, Clippers, Rockets, Bucks, Celtics, and Raptors all have shorter odds to win the 2020 NBA Finals.
The Sixers arguably benefit the most from the NBA’s hiatus. Ben Simmons was out with a lower back injury and Joel Embiid was nursing a bevy of injuries. Now, both are fully-healthy coming into the restart.
Sixers Still Figuring Things Out
Coach Brett Brown is no longer trying to make the Embiid-Al Horford pairing work. He permanently replaced the defensive big in the starting lineup with guard Shake Milton and moved Simmons to power forward, a position he will play “exclusively,” Brown told the media earlier this month.
Simmons will run the second unit as well, as the team hopes he can recapture some of that chemistry he had with Horford while Embiid was out. Still, this Sixers squad hasn’t had much experience playing together and there are many uncertainties surrounding the team.
Ultimately, Simmons’ play will unlock the ceiling of this team. Brown also said the former LSU Tiger has been looking good with his long-range game.
“He’s coming down here with just a tremendous spirit. His three-point shot is looking good,” Brown said (via NBC Sports). “He’s shot more threes in practice the last few days than he might’ve for almost half a season. And he looks good, he feels good, and I know he’s getting tremendous encouragement from his teammates.”
Sixers Full Restart Roster
Last season, the franchise made a pair of major mid-year trades, bringing in Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris in separate deals. This year, Philadelphia didn’t make near as big of a splash.
The Sixers traded for Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III prior to the deadline. Burks saw action in 11 games with Philly before the suspended season; Robinson suited up in 12. Burks’ scoring ability may be on display in the NBA bubble.
“Alec needs to be put in a situation where he can score,” Brown said back in February. “I’m looking at him is sort of instant offense type off the bench he can be given the ball can be put in pick-and-rolls. I like him more probably in the middle of the floor with the pick and roll than the sideline with the pick-and-roll I think that he can be a primary ball carrier for a while.”
Here’s Philadelphia’s full restart roster:
- Alec Burks
- Joel Embiid
- Tobias Harris
- Al Horford
- Furkan Korkmaz
- Shake Milton
- Raul Neto
- Kyle O’Quinn
- Norvel Pelle
- Josh Richardson
- Glenn Robinson III
- Mike Scott
- Marial Shayok
- Ben Simmons
- Matisse Thybulle
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