Kings vs. 76ers odds, props, predictions: Fast-paced offenses could hit OVER even without Embiid

Unless you’re pouring over the NBA standings every day, it would probably surprise most to see that Philadelphia and Sacramento have the same amount of wins and nearly identical records.

The Kings (23-14 SU, 20-17 ATS) have suffered through a few rough patches and no-shows, losing to the lowly Hornets and Trail Blazers over the past few weeks and dropping 10 of their last 12 losses by double-digits.

Despite the inconsistency, they’re still right there with the LA Clippers atop the Pacific Division they won last season and are seeking their fourth win in five tries as they make their third stop on a five-game road trip that has begun with lopsided victories in Detroit and Charlotte.

The 76ers (23-13,  24-12) are looking up at the Celtics in the Atlantic Division and running third in the East, but have lost seven of nine games without reigning MVP Joel Embiid (34.6 ppg, 11.8 rpg). Philadelphia’s All-Star center has played only twice over the past three weeks and will miss his 10th game of the season due to left knee inflammation.

Handicapping Kings vs. 76ers betting odds, props, and predictions simply have to take into account whether Philadelphia can continue its dominance of Sacramento despite Embiid’s absence. The Sixers have defeated the Kings nine straight times dating back to the 2018-19 season, last losing that February.

For context, Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons were still Embiid’s running mates back then, and Buddy Hield led the way for Sacramento with 34 points. The Kings last won in Philly in Dec. 2017 behind the since-retired Zach Randolph. Embiid was a rookie, but didn’t play. 

It now remains to be seen whether the visitors can take advantage of his absence once again. They failed to in the last meeting between these teams, losing 129-127 in Sacramento last Jan. 21, as Tyrese Maxey made up for the absence of Embiid and James Harden with a 32-point night, helping the 76ers rally from a 21-point deficit.

One way or another, some team’s frustration will come to an end in this matchup that will be televised nationally by ESPN at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Kings vs. 76ers odds: Point spread, moneyline, total

Here are the latest NBA betting odds for Sacramento vs. Philadelphia:

Kings betting news: Faster starts a priority for Brown

Although Sacramento has won its past two games by more than 20 points, it dug itself a hole each time. The Hornets raced out to a 12-5 lead inside five minutes on Wednesday, aided in part by Kings shooting guard Kevin Huerter spraining his ankle just after the opening tip.

“Red Velvet” is listed as questionable and would likely be replaced by Chris Duarte in the starting lineup if he can’t go.

In Tuesday’s roadie opener, the Kings surrendered 20 points to the Pistons in the first 5:27 and trailed 47-29 after a quarter before mounting a comeback. On Sunday, New Orleans led 16-7 before the halfway point of the opening quarter and cruised to a 72-47 edge by the break. 

Head coach Mike Brown has called his roster as connected a group as he’s ever had, and he’s coached champions, so how they respond in the opening quarter in Philadelphia will be telling.

Given Embiid’s absence, it’s important for the Kings to try and keep the 76ers from finding a flow early. Philadelphia is a slight favorite in the first quarter, laying a half-point.

76ers betting news: Harris looks to continue feasting in paint

Following Wednesday’s 139-132 overtime loss in Atlanta, the Sixers have dropped four of five games as they begin a three-game homestand that also sees the Rockets and Nuggets come through Wells Fargo Center.

They’re already in the midst of their longest losing streak under new head coach Nick Nurse and are in danger of losing four consecutive games in the same season for the first time since November 2021.

Although Tyrese Maxey scored 35 points and finished with nine assists against the Hawks in nearly producing a much-needed win on Wednesday, but wound up fouling out in the overtime after 43 minutes of action. The 76ers guard has scored at least 20 points in 11 of his last 12 games and has produced nine assists in three straight outings, so Nurse can count on him to set the tone. 

What he can’t count on but needs is Tobias Harris to help replace Embiid’s production by imposing his will in the paint. With Atlanta shot blocker Clint Capela absent due to injury, Harris went to work inside, settling for just two 3-point attempts, and wound up with 32 points, one of his season-high. He tied season-bests with 12 field goals, seven made free throws and 10 rebounds, taking 24 shots, his highest number of attempts since Jan. 31, 2022. 

Sacramento doesn’t have much rim protection, so Harris must remain aggressive in attacking inside in what’s likely to be an up-tempo game. The ‘under’ was on a 4-0 run in 76ers games prior to Wednesday, which included the two games Embiid played in.

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Kings vs. 76ers player prop picks

  • Tobias Harris, OVER points
  • Keegan Murray OVER points

Harris should remain the focal point of Philly’s attack after his productive performance in Atlanta, and his total should be surpassed. Harris has scored 20 or more points in six of his last eight after not reaching that number during a four-game span between Dec. 15-20, but he’s playing with a lot of confidence and should take advantage of the fact Sabonis isn’t a shot blocker.

Speaking of confident players, Kings forward Keegan Murray is in the midst of the best stretch of his sophomore season. Although he scored 47 points against Utah in December and has a 19-point scoring average at home vs. just 12.8 on the road, the light bulb has turned on for Murray, who has averaged 28.5 points thus far on the road trip.

He’s shot 8-for-16 from 3-point range to aid the cause, but is 16-for-19 from inside the arc, better picking his spots on cuts and attacking the rim to leave defenders closing out on him helpless.

Kings vs. 76ers ATS pick

Although the 76ers have had some issues offensively without the NBA’s leading scorer to lean on, Sacramento arrives ready to run. Both of these teams rank in the top 10 in the league in pace and lit it up last time out.

The last meeting produced 256 points despite Embiid being sidelined, and the expectation here is that we’ll be in for another close, high-scoring affair.

Pick: OVER

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