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Nuggets Ready for Defensive Struggle With 76ers

Nikola Jokic takes on Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers

Two of the top big men in the NBA square off Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center as Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers host Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. The 76ers have shaken off a slow start in emphatic fashion with 10 wins over their past 12 games, and will look to take advantage of a Nuggets team that comes in having dropped four of five.

Denver Nuggets vs Philadelphia 76ers
  • Date/Time: December 10, 8 p.m. ET
  • Arena: Wells Fargo Center
  • TV Coverage: NBC Sports, TNT
  • Opening Odds: Philadelphia -4.5 | O/U 205.5
  • Nuggets vs 76ers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

The 76ers are only modest favorites despite having home-court advantage and a stronger recent resume. The total opened at 207.5 but has dipped at most books.

Denver News & Notes

The Nuggets have a well-deserved reputation as one of the most defensively responsible teams in the league through the first quarter of the season – but their offense is in serious trouble as they continue their current trek through the Eastern Conference. The Nuggets have scored 102 or fewer points in four of their past five games, losing all four of those contests.

And while it’s great that Jokic is one of the best passing bigs in the NBA – he’s averaging a team-best 6.1 assists – the Nuggets actually fare a lot better when he isn’t their top distributor. Denver is just 6-4 SU and 2-7-1 ATS in 10 games this season when Jokic leads the team in dimes – and one of those two covers came by a single point (a 116-104 win over Phoenix at -11).

Philadelphia News & Notes

Twelve teams have ventured into Wells Fargo Center this season, and all 12 of them have left with an L. And the past two wins might have been the most impressive, as Philadelphia walloped Cleveland 141-94 before edging the defending champion Toronto Raptors 110-104 in the second game of a back-to-back. Embiid had 10 points in that one after being held scoreless in the previous meeting with the Dinos.

Elite ball distribution has been one of the team’s early-season trademarks. Philadelphia ranks third in the NBA at 27.0 assists per game with Ben Simmons leading the way with 8.6 helpers per game and getting help from Al Horford (4.0) and Josh Richardson (3.6), among others. Embiid, meanwhile, paces the team in scoring (21.9) and rebounding (12.5).

Betting Pick: UNDER 205.5

Philadelphia’s home-court defense has been sublime, while the Nuggets have defended well just about everywhere. With possessions expected to be at a premium here, we favor the UNDER.

Shark Bites
  • Denver is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games vs Philadelphia.
  • Philadelphia is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games.
  • The UNDER is 5-1 in Denver’s last 6 games.