The Sixers will look to avenge their loss to the Blazers a week ago. It’s the only time Philly has lost a game in the seven contests. There’s a pretty clean injury report on both sides with nothing new popping up right now. Shake Milton is doubtful to play for the Sixers and that’s about the only notable injury right now. The Sixers should have an easier time dealing with the Blazers this time around considering Ben Simmons was sidelined a week ago. He’ll be in the lineup on Thursday night in primetime. Let’s take a look at the lines and make some picks.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. ET, TNT
Pick ATS: Sixers -5.5
I feel like the result from last game is sort of baked into this line. The Sixers with Ben Simmons are a completely different team. In the five wins surrounding that loss to Portland, the Sixers covered a 5.5 point spread in every game — all wins. Four of those games were on the road, so I’m not too concerned about home court. The Sixers were also just in Sacramento, so travel shouldn’t be an issue. The Blazers didn’t have Dame last week but still shot a high percentage from outside, which should be a different story on Thursday.
In that meeting last week, the Sixers sort of just played a half. The Blazers still have major issues on the interior and Joel Embiid should be a problem all night. Last week, Embiid had over 30 points at halftime and only finished with 37 in the game, so his second half was lackluster. With Simmons healthy, the Blazers should have a tougher time scoring on the perimeter and interior. If Philly can get out to an early lead, I think this is an easy cover.
Player Prop: Ben Simmons O8.5 rebounds (-110)
The Blazers don’t have Jusuf Nurkic or Zach Collins. Aside from Enes Kanter, Portland generally runs a pretty small lineup. Robert Covington, Carmelo Anthony and Derrick Jones Jr. make up the rest of the frontcourt and none of them are particularly strong on the glass. The Blazers should be chucking tonight, particularly if the Sixers get ahead. If the game is close, we can expect plenty of minutes out of Simmons, so both scripts are plus for this prop. Simmons is +600 to get a triple-double, just saying.
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