Sixers get seriously disrespected in latest NBA title odds


Despite the absence of MVP frontrunner Joel Embiid, the Sixers have managed to keep their lead in the Eastern Conference with a combination of impressive and gritty wins. Going back to before the All-Star Game, they've won eight of their last nine and are up to 30-13 on the season, the second-best record in the NBA.

So, uh... why do they have the sixth-best odds in the league to win the title? It's a little curious, so let's explore.

For a little added context, these odds come this week on the heels of wins over the Kings and Knicks, after an OT loss to the healthy Bucks.

Here's a look at the latest favorites, via NBC Sports' official betting partner Points Bet:

  • Nets +350
  • Lakers +380
  • Clippers +600
  • Bucks +850
  • Jazz +900
  • Sixers +1500
  • Nuggets +2600
  • Heat +3100
  • Suns +3100

(For reference, a winning $10 bet on the Nets in this case would win you $35.)

It feels weird that the three best teams in the league by win percentage are ranked fifth, sixth, and ninth in the latest odds.

But, as NBC Sports Philadelphia's Ben Berry discussed on the latest Sixers Talk podcast, there's a rhyme and reason to these odds:

"I figure this is all coming off of what players have done in the past, whether it's KD and Kyrie, even though they weren't on the Nets when they won championships; LeBron, when he won in three different cities; Kawhi Leonard winning one in Toronto and San Antonio. That's what I've taken out of it. Because I don't think those teams are - if you think they're better, the margin isn't that much."

It may feel like a little disrespect, but it's understandable to see bettors and oddsmakers alike leaning on players who've been there and done that. It's so hard to win a title, particularly the first one, that betting on guys in Kevin Durant and LeBron James who already have rings feels like a safer bet than betting on Joel Embiid (who isn't healthy right now) and Ben Simmons to get their first championship.

And, while Sixers fans might be miffed by the odds, this is also a pretty good chance to make some money if you're confident in your team.

"I think on this road trip, depending on how things out and then Joel comes back, those numbers might change a bit for people out there trying to make some wagers," NBC Sports Philadelphia's Danny Pommells pointed out on the Sixers Talk pod - and he's probably right. 

If the Sixers pick up some more wins on this road trip and then Embiid is able to come back with the team either still in first place, or really anywhere in the Top 3, their odds could jump and suddenly a $10 wager on their title chances isn't going nearly as far.

So grumble if you want, but this might actually be the perfect time to place a few bucks on the Sixers to go all the way.

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