The daily preview it to the rim with NBA tips for an Eastern Conference showdown between Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
11:00 (AEDT), Sat 5th Mar @ Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia
History: Played 222: 76ers 114 V Cavaliers 108
Last meeting: February 12, 2022: 76ers 103 d Cavaliers 93 at Wells Fargo Center
Final Thoughts: Philadelphia 76ers chase their fifth straight win as they host a Cleveland Cavaliers outfit whose surprise-packet campaign has hit a rough spot.
The Sixers won the teams’ only clash so far this season, getting off to a fast start in a 103-93 home victory last month. Joel Embiid was unstoppable, producing a 40-point triple-double. Darius Garland (27 pts) top-scored for the Cavs.
The 38-23 76ers have risen to second in the East, winning six of their last seven – including all three since superstar James Harden’s team debut. The ex-Net has averaged 27.3 points, 9 rebounds and 12.3 assists in big wins over the Timberwolves (133-102), and consecutive games against the Knicks away (125-109) and at home (123-108).
Embiid, the hot $1.83 MVP favourite, continues to dominate on a nightly basis. He averages 29.8 points, 11.1 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game this season and his pick-and-roll combination with Harden will only get better. Tyrese Maxey’s breakout campaign adds another edge to a team that is emerging as a genuine title threat.
The 36-26 Cavaliers are sixth and looking to avoid slipping into the East’s play-in tournament. But they’ve lost five of the last six, including defeats to the Timberwolves (127-122) and Hornets (119-98) this week.
Evan Mobley is just $1.14 to be crowned Rookie of the Year but was quiet against Charlotte (9 pts, 5 reb). Garland dropped 33 points, while big man Jarrett Allen (18 pts, 11 reb, 2 blk) was solid in a losing effort.
The 76ers are a relatively modest 17-13 at home – and just 18-12 ATS – but have won seven of their last 10 in Philly. The Cavs are 17-15 on the road (17-13-2 ATS) but have lost their last three away games.
Few teams are playing as formidably as the Sixers right now – on both sides of the ball – and the addition of Harden has turned them into a truly fearsome proposition. The Cavs are on the slide and will struggle to get close here.
Best Bet: Handicap – 76ers -6.5 @ $1.85
Same Game Multi: Handicap – 76ers -6.5; Total – Over 214.5; Joel Embiid Points – Over 30.5; Jarrett Allen – Over 14.5 @ $8.54