Few teams have undergone more change than the Philadelphia 76ers this season, who under the tutelage of new GM Elton Brand have added two major pieces in Tobias Harris and Jimmy Butler. Only two of the starters from the season-opener are still on the team, and the Sixers now have four legitimate All-Star caliber players in Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Butler, and Harris. The new-look 76ers will host Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. Tipoff for this game is set for 7 p.m. ET from the Wells Fargo Center. Sportsbooks list the 76ers as four-point home favorites, down a half-point from the opener, while the Over-Under, or a total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 229.5 in the latest Nuggets vs. 76ers odds. Before you make any Nuggets vs. Sixers picks, see what SportsLine’s advanced computer model has to say.
This model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, is crushing its NBA picks this season. It entered Week 17 of the 2018-19 NBA season with a sterling 200-146 record on all top-rated picks, returning more than $4,000 to anybody following them. And it has been particularly red-hot on its A-rated NBA picks against the spread, entering Week 17 on a blistering 35-19 run. Anybody following it is way up.
Now it has locked in on Nuggets vs. Sixers. We can tell you it’s leaning over, but it has also locked in a confident against-the-spread pick that hits in well over 50 percent of simulations. You can only see that selection at SportsLine.
The model is well aware of how well-rounded this new Philadelphia team is following the Harris trade. Philly was already one of just two teams to rank in the top 10 in rebounding rate and offensive and defensive efficiency, and adding one of the most efficient players in the league in Harris seems likely to boost that even further.
The Sixers are also uniquely equipped to defend the Nuggets, as they have players capable of guarding Jokic. Combine that with lengthy defenders like Simmons and Butler and Philly has solutions for both Jokic and Jamal Murray. They lost their matchup without Embiid earlier this year but swept the season series last year. With Embiid healthy and Harris added to the rotation, expect a much stronger showing from the Sixers on Thursday.
Just because Philadelphia revamped its roster before this game doesn’t mean it will cover the 76ers vs. Nuggets spread.
The model is also well aware that the Nuggets are finally getting healthy. Will Barton was re-inserted into the rotation over a week ago, while Jamal Murray made his return to the court Wednesday. Paul Millsap is questionable and could return after missing the past two games with ankle soreness.
Mason Plumlee has been terrific while filling in for Millsap, averaging 20 points, nine rebounds and three assists. Denver was on a six-game winning streak before Millsap’s injury, and with the Nuggets finally getting healthy, they could get back to their winning ways.