The Philadelphia 76ers head to the Footprint Center to take on the Phoenix Suns in NBA action on Saturday night. Both teams will aim to bounce back from defeats last night with the Suns trying to break out of a slump and Joel Embiid looking to build on his MVP resume before the regular season ends.
NBA betting lines opened with the Sixers as 1-point road favorites overnight but flipped to favor the Suns at -2 this morning. Here are my best free 76ers vs Suns NBA picks and predictions for March 25.
76ers vs Suns best odds
76ers vs Suns picks and predictions
The Suns have lost six of their last seven games and have gone just 0-7 against the spread during that span. Kevin Durant (29.5 points per game on 57/39/93 shooting splits) has been sidelined for this slump while Deandre Ayton (18.3 ppg on 58.9 FG%) has missed the last three games — and they'll be out again today.
Although the 76ers might be missing James Harden, they're better suited to replace his production with Tyrese Maxey (20.1 points per game on 47/42/85 shooting) and Tobias Harris (20 points in three of the last four games) more than capable of stepping up.
The Suns still have Devin Booker to fill up the hoop, but Chris Paul doesn't get buckets like he used to, and the center combination of Jock Landale and Bismack Biyombo is a significant dropoff from Ayton.
Expect Landale and Biyombo to get destroyed by Embiid, who torched the Warriors for 46 points last night and leads the league with 33.4 ppg on 55/34/86 shooting splits.
On the other end of the floor, Philly is sixth in the league in defensive rating and should be able to slow down a Suns team that isn't the same on offense without the efficient scoring ability of Durant and Ayton.
The Sixers have played well on the road this season going 23-13 with an NBA-best net rating of +4.7. I like them to pick up another away victory tonight against a struggling Phoenix squad.
My best bet: 76ers moneyline (+110)
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76ers vs Suns spread analysis
The 76ers have lost two of their last three games and are coming off a 120-112 loss to Golden State last night. They still have the third-best record in the NBA at 49-24 and are also third in net rating at +5.1.
Joel Embiid is now the odds-on MVP odds favorite and it seems like the only thing that can slow him down is injuries. Embiid scored 12 points in just 16 minutes against Chicago on Wednesday when he left the game early with a calf injury, but that's the only contest this month where he hasn't scored more than 30 points.
Harden is questionable for Philly after missing three of the last five games with Achilles soreness. In the two contests Harden played in during that span, he scored just 12 points in 78 minutes while shooting 6-29 from the field, so he likely won't be at 100% even if he does suit up.
It's worth mentioning that in 20 games without Harden this season the 76ers have gone 13-7 straight up.
The Suns haven't covered the spread since March 8 and have just one win since then (a 3-point home victory against mediocre Orlando). Needless to say, they've missed Durant and Ayton and are hoping to have both back by next week.
Booker (28.2 ppg) and Paul (13.7 ppg and 9.1 assists per game) will attempt to carry the Suns offense but will need more help from their supporting cast.
76ers vs Suns Over/Under analysis
The Suns play at a below-average tempo and the 76ers are even slower, ranking just 26th in the league in pace. Both teams have also been stingy on defense with Philadelphia third in the league in points per game allowed (110.3) and Phoenix sixth (112.1).
The Sixers also tend to have lower-scoring games when Harden sits out. While they have an offensive rating of 120.4 with him and just 114.3 without him, their play on the other end of the court significantly improves in his absence. Their defensive rating is a modest 112.5 when Harden plays while ticking down to an impressive 108.5 in the 20 games he has missed.
Phoenix will also need to emphasize defense with Durant and Ayton out once again. That will mean plenty of minutes for defensive-minded and offensively-limited players like Biyombo and Torrey Craig.
76ers vs Suns betting trend to know
The Suns are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six home games while the 76ers are 5-1 ATS in their previous six contests on the road. Find more NBA betting trends for 76ers vs. Suns.
76ers vs Suns game info
|Location:||Footprint Center, Phoenix, AZ|
|Date:||Saturday, March 25, 2023|
|Tip-off:||10:00 p.m. ET|