Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction and Pick: Will the Sixers Cover in James Harden's Debut?

Oklahoma City Thunder at Philadelphia 76ers prediction and pick for Friday's game. Handicapper Jonathan Macri breaks down 76ers vs. Thunder and Jazz vs. Magic, in his favorite picks for Friday's NBA action.
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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction and Pick: Will the Sixers Cover in James Harden's Debut?

When: 7:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: NBA League Pass

Click Here for 76ers vs Thunder Odds

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Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Betting Line Movement

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder Prediction

The NBA never stays static for long.

The league was rocked on Thursday when Daryl Morey finally relented and traded his erstwhile star, waiting until he got exactly what he wanted: the superstar he hitched his wagon to for so many years in Houston.

James Harden, set to make his Sixers debut tonight, is exactly what Philadelphia needs - a supreme playmaker who can balance what Joel Embiid does on the interior with his own unique brand of perimeter brilliance. Remember: a properly motivated Harden is still one of the more unstoppable forces in the game.

Philly has been scuffling a bit lately, dropping three of their last four games against the Wizards, Mavs, and most recently the Suns, but there's little reason for serious concern. It's reasonable to assume that with all the rumors of a potential trade swirling in recent days, players may have been a bit distracted. Now that the deadline is passed and everyone is still here, the focus should go back to making a run at the top seed in the East.

They're certainly facing the right opponent to continue that march. The Thunder continue to cover games like crazy, but they've also dropped 15 of their last 19 games and remain without their best player in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. They're also just 4-6-1 ATS in their last 11, so it's not like they aren't capable of a night getting away from them. For all their fight, this is still a bottom-four team by net rating.

Settle in for a coronation for Philly's new star and an MVP performance from their existing one. Give the points at home.

76ers vs. Thunder Pick

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Utah Jazz vs. Orlando Magic Prediction

When: 9:00 pm ET

Where to Watch: NBA League Pass

Click Here for Jazz vs Magic Odds

Utah Jazz vs. Orlando Magic Betting Line Movement

Utah Jazz vs. Orlando Magic Prediction

Guess who's back?

After weeks away from his Jazz team that has been scuffling a bit in his absence, Rudy Gobert is tagged with a questionable status for tonight's game.

This spread would seem to be on the fence about whether he plays or not, but here's the good news: against Orlando, it won't matter. The Magic are just 2-7 on the road against West teams this season, and those wins have come against the Wolves when they were struggling early and three days ago against what's left of the Blazers. In the seven losses, they're 2-5 against the spread, with the only covers coming against the Clippers and Rockets.

In other words, with or without Gobert, the Jazz are a different caliber of opponent than the Magic have shown themselves capable of hanging with in these situations. Utah, meanwhile, has won four in a row and covered three straight, all of which have been in convincing fashion. Their last game was a 26-point drubbing of the Warriors, and while this season has been filled with inconsistency across the league, we've also seen teams put together extended runs.

The Jazz have notoriously been a second-half team. They're playing that part once again...we just haven't realized it yet. Give the points at home.

Jazz vs. Magic Pick

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insightpicks

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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