NBA Futures Betting: Should We Fade The Sixers Championship Odds With Ben Simmons Suspended?

The latest NBA futures odds suggest even though we don't know the fate of Ben Simmons, the 76ers will still contend. Should you bet on the Sixers' odds?
Brian Good |
Wed, October 20, 11:47 AM EDT | 4 min read
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NBA Futures Betting: Should We Fade The Sixers Championship Odds With Ben Simmons Suspended?

The news around Ben Simmons and the Philadelphia 76ers gets weirder and weirder by the day. It all started at the end of last season when Simmons alleged that co-star Joel Embiid and head coach Doc Rivers didn’t have his back in their post-game interviews following the team’s Game 7 loss to the Hawks.

Forget the fact that the team had been behind him for four years while his game stayed stagnant, or regressed depending who you asked, and he was coming off one of the worst playoff performances by a max-contract player in NBA history.

Simmons then made his intentions of being traded known to the front office. It was the right move for both sides. The fans had grown tired of seeing Simmons pass up wide-open shots and Simmons had reached his breaking point with the criticism he was receiving.

But, for one reason or another, Simmons wasn’t moved this offseason. When it came time to report to training camp, Simmons made his intentions to sit out publically known. Last week, after being fined multiple millions of dollars for missing mandatory team activities, Simmons reported to the team, only to be thrown out of practice and suspended for the opening game of this season yesterday.

All this is not to re-hash any of what happened. But, rather to ask the question: How do you possibly bet on NBA futures that involve the Philadelphia 76ers.

Complete NBA Championship odds

Philadelphia 76ers odds

If you want a look at how you should bet on the 76ers win total, or the win total for any of the 30 NBA teams this season, NBA insider Keith Smith gave us his picks for them all earlier this week.

Since Keith covered their win total, let’s start by taking a look at the Sixers’ odds to make the NBA Playoffs.

NBA Playoffs Odds – Philadelphia 76ers

Odds to Make Playoffs: Yes @ -1600; No @ +1500

76ers Playoffs odds

In case you forgot just how easy it is to make the NBA Playoffs, here is your reminder. Over half the teams in the league make the postseason and the Philadelphia 76ers still have one of the 10 best players in the world in Joel Embiid.

Add Tobias Harris, Danny Green, Seth Curry and Matisse Thybulle to the mix and the odds that the Sixers make the playoffs, even if Simmons rots on the bench all season, are extremely short. One player I think we will see take a huge step this season is Tyrese Maxey.

The former Kentucky PG was awesome in limited action last season. Don’t be surprised if the Sixers look even better on offense with him taking the lead ball-handler roll.

Atlantic Division Odds – Philadelphia 76ers

Odds to Win Division: +375

Atlantic Division odds

The Nets are, understandably, the favorites to win the Atlantic division. And, even if Ben Simmons was playing and there was no drama, they would still be the favorite. But, it’s a closer odds battle than I may have suspected.

Part of that is obviously that the Nets are missing their own star in Kyrie Irving. But another part of that is the fact that missing Simmons is definitely a negative on the defensive end, but who knows what it will look like offensively.

It’s possible that Maxey gives them more space, allowing Joel Embiid to dominate the low post and preventing teams from double-teaming the big man.

Eastern Conference Champion Odds – Philadelphia 76ers

Odds to Win Conference: +900

Eastern Conference Odds

If oddsmakers thought Ben Simmons really meant a lot to the Sixers and their winning ways, we wouldn’t see them as the third favorite to win the Eastern Conference. The only two teams ahead of them are the Nets, who have basically formed an All-Star team, and the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.

Last season, with Simmons, they went into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Eventually, they were bounced in the playoffs in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals thanks in large part to the fact that Simmons didn’t score a single 4th-quarter point in the entire series.

NBA Championship Odds – Philadelphia 76ers

Odds to Win NBA Title: +2000

NBA Championship odds

Are the 76ers going to win an NBA title this series if Ben Simmons sits out the entire year and they never execute a trade to ship him off? No. But, they also weren’t going to win one if he played. The best-case scenario for the 76ers is Simmons begrudgingly plays, performs decently and another team bites.

Still, despite all the unknowns surrounding the 76ers, they’re the 8th favorite to win the NBA title this season.

Complete NBA Championship odds

Verdict: Fade the Philadelphia 76ers

There is no reason to bet on the Philadelphia 76ers to do anything this season. If you want to back Joel Embiid to win MVP, that’s about as far as I’d take it. Without Simmons, the Sixers will still be solid, but their price is still too short to consider pretty much everywhere.

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