NBA odds: How Joel Embiid's injury impacted 76ers' series and title odds -

NBA odds: How Joel Embiid’s injury impacted 76ers’ series and title odds

There’s never a good time for a superstar athlete to sustain an injury. But when an NBA All-Star like Joel Embiid goes down during the playoffs, bettors must brace themselves for the impact that injury has on the odds.

During Philadelphia’s Game 6 win over the Toronto Raptors in the first round of the playoffs, Embiid suffered an orbital fracture and a mild concussion. As a result, the 7-foot center missed the team’s first game against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. He’s expected to miss at least one more game of this series.

To add insult to literally another injury, Embiid was already playing with a torn ligament in his right thumb.

After getting torched 106-92 in South Beach by Miami in the first game of the second round, Philly fans are justifiably concerned about their team’s chances in the series. 

But from a gambling perspective, is it time to ring the alarm for 76ers backers?

According to FOX Bet sports trader Dylan Brossman, Philly’s first-game odds against Miami would’ve been the same even if Embiid had been in the lineup.

“If Embiid was not hit with (Pascal) Siakam’s elbow and only had to play through his thumb injury, the Sixers would still have been underdogs in Game 1,” the oddsmaker explained.

But would they have been 7.5-point underdogs?

“Without Embiid’s eye fracture, I would have expected the line to move about three points, so down to Philly +4.5,” Brossman continued. “And if he was 100% healthy and had no thumb damage, perhaps another point to make it Sixers +3.5. 

“The Heat are the 1-seed for a reason. They were 29-12 at home during the regular season. They did not lose to the Hawks at home in their first round series.”

Before the season, Philadelphia’s odds to win it all were +1600 at FOX Bet. Now those odds have lengthened to +2800 — the longest of all remaining playoff teams. And when it comes to the Heat-Philadelphia series, the 76ers’ odds are also sitting at plus-money.

“We had the series odds at Heat -333 and Sixers +260 before Game 1. With that matchup in the books, they’re now at Heat -588, Sixers +425,” Brossman said.

“Again, if Embiid had played that first game, our odds would have still favored the Heat. It would’ve just been much closer — Heat -190, Sixers +150.”

From a gambling perspective, it’s wise to keep an eye out for how many games the five-time All-Star will miss in this best-of-seven series. 

According to FOX Sports Research, when Embiid was absent from the lineup during the 2021 regular season, his team went 6-8 against the spread (ATS) and 6-8 straight up (SU). In fact, since he has been a 76ers starter, the team has gone 71-74 ATS and 61-84 in the regular season when Embiid is sidelined.

So if the reigning scoring champion isn’t on the court, fading Philly looks like the best bet.

Does Philly get back to familiar winning form in its series against the Heat? Or will Miami be too hot to handle for Embiid’s squad? Head over to FOX Bet to get in on the action now!

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