76ers vs Spurs – NBA Pick for January 26th

by Kevin Roberts
on January 26, 2018
All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from Intertops at 8:12 am CT on 1/26/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

The Washington Wizards and Oklahoma City Thunder continued their stranglehold on the NBA betting scene. That was the case for me, at least, as the Wiz lost by 9 and failed to deliver on a palatable +5.5 spread.

Washington simply hasn’t done me any favors this year. OKC hasn’t either, so in what seemed to be the best game of the night, I took the points with the Wiz (who were previously 12-4 against the spread as road dogs).

It didn’t work out and the loss dropped me to 43-29-2 on the year.

Luckily there are plenty of options on the basketball betting circuit on Friday, as 10 games hit the schedule. Bettors have the luxury of going in a number of directions, too, with every single game opening with a -8 spread or tighter.

That doesn’t mean every game will go as planned or even be competitive, but it does offer optimism after Thursday’s four-game betting slate was a little lacking.

There are many routes to consider taking tonight, but my eyes fall on a matchup in Texas, where the San Antonio Spurs host the Philadelphia 76ers. The Spurs are still without star forward Kawhi Leonard, but they’ve been winning without him all year and boast an elite 20-3 home record.

Philly does come in rather ablaze, as they’ve won 8 of their last 10 games and have snuck back into the Eastern Conference playoff race. Most betting sites are giving them a shot here (light +3.5 underdog at 5Dimes), but I’m digging the value attached to the Spurs (-160 at Intertops) as a straight-up bet.

Which side should you take as a bettor? Let’s break this matchup down further to find out:

Philadelphia 76ers (+3.5)
San Antonio Spurs (-3.5)
Total: 203.5

There is something brewing in San Antonio with all the Kawhi Leonard rumors swirling, but for now, I’m going to go ahead and ignore it. The Spurs are a classy organization and are incredibly well run. While there could be some merit to Leonard’s angst, I doubt it becomes too big of a distraction.

It hasn’t really bled into the standings yet. The Spurs are 5-5 over their last 10 games and have won two in a row. They have been dominant at home all year, too, while the visiting Sixers (11-11) have been mediocre away from home.

That’s been the story for Philadelphia all year, really. They’re loaded with talent and have plenty of upside with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons leading the way, but they have not been overly consistent.

Bettors should pay mind to Philly’s hot run of late, but they also can’t ignore a tough road environment against a veteran team that excels on their home floor. In addition, while the Spurs have to get by without their best player, the Sixers are arguably impacted more by injury at the moment.

J.J. Redick, Markelle Fultz, Jerryd Bayless and T.J. McConnell have all been missing games lately and could sit out again tonight, as well. In fact, with the Sixers playing again in two days against the Thunder, it wouldn’t be that crazy to see star center Joel Embiid rested.

This isn’t an amazing matchup on paper for Embiid, anyways. LaMarcus Aldridge remains a solid defender, while San Antonio’s team defense (2nd) and pace (29th) slow the game down and keep things under control.

The tempo of this game should be San Antonio’s to dictate, while the Spurs also have the perimeter defense to contain Philly’s shooters on the outside.

Ultimately, I can’t bypass the value here. The Sixers are the hotter team, but winning in San Antonio hasn’t come easy this year. The Spurs have been able to rest their key players lately, so they should be refreshed and ready to defend their turf.

The Spurs offer nice value as an SU pick, so I’ll take the -160 line and run.

Pick: San Antonio Spurs (-160)
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