Dec 3, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Seth Curry (31) celebrates after a shot made by center Joel Embiid (21) against the Atlanta Hawks in the second half at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
The Covid-hit Charlotte Hornets host the Sixers at Spectrum Center on Monday night
Philly is coming off a nice win over the Atlanta Hawks and owns a 12-11 record
Read below for the latest odds, betting preview and a pick
The Philadelphia 76ers head to Charlotte to face the Hornets on Monday, December, 6th. Charlotte is on the second night of a back-to-back and is without several key players due to health and safety protocols. Both teams rank around the middle of the pack in a congested Eastern Conference, with the Hornets owning the 18th-best net rating in the NBA ahead of their Sunday night matchup with Atlanta.
Philadelphia is 12-11 on the year after beating those Hawks on Friday. Doc Rivers’ team are favored for this trip to North Carolina despite Ben Simmons’ continued absence from the team.
This is the first of four matchups between these teams this season, with the second contest coming on Wednesday of this week. Philly won all three of its games against Charlotte last season, with 7 points being the smallest margin of victory.
76ers vs Hornets Odds
Odds as of Dec. 5th at FanDuel.
The 76ers are favored by 5.5-points, while the total is currently off the board. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 pm ET at the Spectrum Center, a building where Charlotte has posted a 7-2 record this season.
Terry Rozier, LaMelo Ball, Mason Plumlee and Jalen McDaniels are all in healthy and safety protocols, leaving the Hornets with a makeshift rotation. Cody Martin remains listed as day-to-day as he works his way back from illness, but he’s expected to be available for this game.
Martin’s return will be appreciated by James Borrego, who is without his starting backcourt and must replace McDaniels’ 15 minutes per night.
LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier have entered COVID-19 health and safety protocols and could be unavailable for at least 10 days, per @ShamsCharania. pic.twitter.com/Ft92ZAmjzG
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 4, 2021
After their own Covid issues, Philly is close to full strength heading into this one. There’s no end in sight for the Ben Simmons saga, but the Sixers have shown they can accumulate wins even without the All-Star. Tobias Harris is likely to return after he missed the win over the Hawks with a non-Covid illness.
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Borrego is set to overhaul his rotation without Ball, Plumlee, McDaniels and Rozier. Ish Smith is likely to spend the majority of the game running the point, while James Bouknight could be in for some competitive action after playing just 12 minutes so far this season.
Kelly Oubre Jr. is set for a bigger role, and P.J. Washington is expected to play a lot of five. Plumlee isn’t exactly the ideal guy to guard Joel Embiid, but Charlotte’s front court weakness is once again evident without the former Nugget. Borrego will need to be very aggressive to get the ball out of Embiid’s hands, avoiding one-on-one matchups with the All-Star center.
James Bouknight got REAL BOUNCY last night 🔥 (via @nbagleague)pic.twitter.com/Flm0IkGIxh
— Overtime (@overtime) December 4, 2021
Charlotte is clearly depleted without four rotation players, and a lot will be asked of Miles Bridges and Gordon Hayward as playmakers and scorers. Ball is obviously the biggest loss of the quartet, though, and this is reflected in the team’s numbers for the season. The Hornets have a 106.1 offensive rating in non-LaMelo minutes, which would rank 25th in the NBA.
Easy Sixers Win
Charlotte’s offense is lost without LaMelo. The Sixers defense ranks in the top-10 in the NBA over the last 10 games, and their defensive rating in minutes with Embiid on the floor would place second in the Association. Philly has a 9-4 record in games that the Cameroonian plays in.
Embiid was fired up after the 76ers came back to get the win! 😤 pic.twitter.com/lzcMcT3Sp2
— ESPN (@espn) December 4, 2021
Only the Thunder and Pistons have posted a worse offensive rating than the Sixers over the last five games, but they are in a great position to find their flow on Monday night. Charlotte’s defense is subpar, and they are going to be dealing with fatigue on the second night of a back-to-back.
Philly has won its last 14 against the Hornets, last suffering a loss in 2016. While the two teams share very similar records against the spread this season, a well-rested Sixers roster should be able to run out with a comfortable win on Monday night. Embiid and co are worth backing in this spot.
Pick: Sixers -5.5 (-110)