Philadelphia 76ers vs Denver Nuggets. Shape of the Teams

The Philadelphia 76ers face off against the Denver Nuggets in what should be one of the better games of the new year so far. Nikola Jokić and Joel Embiid have both been averaging some monstrous numbers yet again this year, so it’ll be interesting to see who comes out on top.

Currently, we’ve got to give a slight edge to the 76ers, as the Nuggets are absolutely plagued with injuries, but it really could go either way. With Jokić again averaging a near triple-double, he can always put the game on his shoulders.

However, Embiid has been averaging a mind-boggling 36.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists in his last five games, which could be a bit much for the offensive-oriented big man from Serbia. Just last game, he dropped 41 points and 10 rebounds on 57.1% shooting from the field. The man is completely unstoppable right now.

This NBA game is really going to be a question of whether or not the Denver Nuggets are able to slow down Joel Embiid because if not, the 76ers may extend their winning streak to three.

Odds via Tonybet

Philadelphia 76ers vs Denver NuggetsJanuary 15, 8:30 p.m ET
76ers odds-152
Denver odds+136
Denver spread +4.5 -122
76ers spread -4.5 -104

Unfortunately for Nuggets fans, as we said, your team has been decimated by injuries as of late. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr., Jamal Murray, and even Jokić remain questionable for the 76ers matchup. That’s the entire starting five on a normal night.

If the worst case were to happen and all five of those players remain on the bench, the Denver Nuggets have absolutely no shot against a healthy Philadelphia roster. They would have no size to compete with Embiid, and the offence would be stagnant, to say the least.

But again, that’s the worst-case scenario, and at the end of the day, there’s a good chance that at least one or two players on the injury list will make it to Philly for Tuesday. Denver fans should just cross their fingers and hope Jokić and Murray both play.

If Jokić laces up and faces off against Embiid, it’s likely going to be a real slugfest, with both players going back and forth, but without him, it’ll be more like a one-sided beatdown.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Denver Nuggets Odds, Prediction

Without Nikola Jokić on the floor, the Denver Nuggets look like fish out of water. The big man facilitates nearly all of the team’s offence, and even without the ball, he commands enough attention to create good looks for other guys on the court.

Don’t get us wrong, the 76ers aren’t the same without Embiid either – it’s just that one player is healthy coming into the match, and the other is still “questionable.”

Speaking of Embiid, without another 7-footer to stop him down low, he’s going to bully the smaller defenders and take it to the rack every single time. With silky smooth post moves, strong shooting from beyond the arch, and the ability to euro-step almost as well as Giannis Antetokounmpo, it’s no wonder he is averaging 34.9 ppg in 2024 so far. 

Tyrese Maxey has also emerged as a force to be reckoned with, averaging 26.1 points per game on 38.4% from three and 45.1% overall.

Without Jokić, Denver will be forced to rely on DeAndre Jordan, who may have been an all-star some years ago, but he’s nowhere near a player like Embiid in 2024. As Shaq always says, it’s going to be some barbecue chicken down low in the paint.

On the flip side, if Jokić and Porter Jr. suit up for Denver, they could potentially slow down Embiid, especially if they play strong help-side defence. He would still likely score around 25 points, but that decreased output could potentially be enough to sway the game in Denver’s favour.

But in reality, there’s a good chance Philadelphia takes an early lead by halfway into the first quarter and really never lets go throughout the rest of the game.

Again, the outcome of this match completely depends on who managed to play in Philadelphia, but as things sit now, we have to give an edge to the 76ers.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Denver Nuggets Player Pick and Betting Tip

At just 23 years old, Tyrese Maxey has emerged as one of the best young players in the NBA and has been a big part of the 76er’s success so far this season. 

His fantastic outside shot pairs perfectly with Embiid’s game, as teams have to pick their poison between a 38.4% three-point shooter or the reigning MVP barreling toward the basket.

There’s also a good chance Maxey exceeds his season averages in scoring, again due to the injuries on Denver’s side. Without Jamal Murray or Aaron Gordon to lock up Maxey, he’s going to have tons of room to shoot, and if you close out too hard, he’ll just rip to the hoop.

On top of everything else, 25.5 points isn’t even Maxey’s season average – he usually scores more than that, even against the league’s top defenders. So, while Embiid draws the team’s attention with his thunderous drives and overwhelming presence, Maxey will likely stuff the score sheet.

Without their main players, Denver is really in a lose-lose situation with both Maxey and Embiid.

Disclaimer: Odds are accurate at the time of posting and subject to change. Please verify the latest odds on our platform before betting.

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