Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction: Will the Nets Continue to Impress?

The Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers are finally whole, but that doesn't mean this is an even matchup. Plus, Steph Curry & Co. looks to bounce back versus the Denver Nuggets. NBA expert Jonathan Macri is here with his predictions and picks for Thursday night.
Jonathan Macri |
Thu, December 30, 11:10 AM EST | 7 min read
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Brooklyn Nets vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction: Will the Nets Continue to Impress?

When: Thursday, December 30, 7:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: NBA TV

Spread: Nets -5

Total: 221.5

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Amidst the havoc being wrought by the Omicron variant, leaving teams having to field rosters filled mostly with players the average fan has never heard of, we finally get a battle between two good teams that should be representative of the real thing.

Nearing the halfway point of a season in which the stars from both teams have missed some or, in the case of Ben Simmons and Kyrie Irving, all of the games, the Nets and Sixers are mostly whole. Those two headliners are still out, but aside from Joe Harris for Brooklyn and Danny Green and possibly Shake Milton for Philly, these conference heavyweights are in peak condition.

That doesn’t mean they’re on equal ground. Even without Kevin Durant for either leg of a two-game LA swing against the Lakers and Clippers, the Nets won by seven and 16 points respectively behind herculean efforts by James Harden. Durant is now back and expected to play here.

Also returning is LaMarcus Aldridge. With him, KD, Harden, and Sixth Man of the Year candidate Patty Mills all on the court at the same time, Brooklyn has outscored opponents by 15.3 points per 100 possessions in 180 minutes. That’s a frightening thought for the rest of the league, as those four figure to finally get some ample run time from here on in.

As for Philly, things haven’t been going quite as well. Despite Joel Embiid being back for a month now, the Sixers are just 8-6 in games he’s played. They are still positive with him on the court, but only by an average of 2.0 points per contest, which is a far cry from the usual dominance they exert whenever the big guy is out there.

This malaise has taken its toll on their betting record as well. Philly has covered consecutive games just once since November 6, and that streak stopped at two in a row. They are 5-9 with Embiid back in the lineup despite giving double-digit points only once. On the bright side, they’re 4-1 ATS as a dog in that stretch, but the competition in those games is not the caliber of what they’ll face tonight. Give the points and take the home team in Brooklyn.

Nets vs. 76ers Pick

Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors Prediction

When: 9:30 pm ET

Where to Watch: NBA TV

Click Here For Nuggets vs Warriors Odds

The surest bet in sports is suddenly anything but.

After spending the first month of the season atop the standings against the spread, the Golden State Warriors are just 6-9 ATS in their last 15 games. They’ve also fallen out of the top spot in the net ratings rankings for the first time all season, and at 27-7, are tied with the Suns atop the Western Conference.

Not that things are that bad, but for a squad that ran roughshod over the league for the better part of six weeks, it’s a little bit of a fall from grace, especially on the offensive end of the floor. Over those last 15 games, Golden State is scoring just 109.5 points per 100 possessions, which ranks 21st in the league over that time. Their defense is still sturdy, but there are times that doesn’t make enough of a difference, like when they managed just 36 points in the first half against the Nuggets on Tuesday night.

They’ll get another shot against Denver tonight, and after outscoring Nikola Jokic & Co. by 21 points in the second half en route to a narrow 3-point defeat. The Nuggets have been wildly inconsistent in their own right, and like the Sixers, have consecutive covers just once in the last six weeks, when they won two in a row ATS against the Spurs and Wizards earlier this month.

The Warriors, meanwhile, for all their difficulties, still have not lost consecutive games this season. They were also showing signs of turning it around before Tuesday’s loss, with three consecutive wins outright and ATS in the games leading up to it. Give the points on the road and trust Steph to have a bounceback performance tonight fresh off nailing his 3000th career 3-pointer.

Nuggets vs. Warriors Pick

  • Warriors -4.5 (-105)

Jonathan Macri
@JCMacriNBA

Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.

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