We’re not yet a fortnight into the NBA season, but the Philadelphia 76ers are already making waves in the championship market.
The Philadelphia 76ers are for real and are receiving plenty of attention in the NBA Championship market.
After opening the season at $12, the Sixers have shortened to $8 on the back of an impressive 4-0 start leading to one punter putting down $5,000 on them to lift the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
— Palmerbet (@PalmerbetAU) October 31, 2019
Joel Embiid is doing Joel Embiid things already to start the season. He’s dominating on and off the floor. His numbers speak on the court and his online skirmish with Karl-Anthony Towns has left everybody looking at the schedule for when the two next meet (March 23).
It’s Philadelphia’s position in the NBA that allows Embiid to fly off the handle and talk a big game.
The 76ers are championship contenders.
Hot Form To Start
The 76ers are 4-0
While their 104.2 offensive rating ranks 23rd in the NBA, it will rise as the season progresses. Regardless, we know defence wins championships and the Sixers currently rank second with a 93.9 defensive rating. Their +10.3 net rating sits behind only the Lakers.
They’re young, deep, immensely talented, and they’re hungry. There will be no issues with motivation or poor patches this season. Consistency will be their best regular-season attribute and put them in a position to capture the number one seed in the East.
We’ve touched on Embiid. His 23.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game are all solid early-season numbers sure to improve as he finds his legs.
Simmons’ numbers don’t always jump off the page. NBA box score readers will value him a lot different to those watching the games. He’s the general of this team now. There’s no power struggle or uncertainty over who is running the show.
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) October 31, 2019
Meanwhile, Al Horford is having a massive impact on the team. Another who doesn’t fill the box score, Horford does the little things other players avoid.
Tobias Harris has taken on the challenge of picking up some of what Jimmy Butler left behind with his 18.8 points per game while shooting 35% from beyond the arc. If it’s not Harris filling the gap, it’s Josh Richardson and his 13.3 points, four rebounds and three assists per game.
The 76ers are well-rounded and deep enough to navigate any injuries that will inevitably arise.
NBA Championship Market
While some consider those towards the top of the Western Conference better teams and more likely to win the championship, it’s Philadelphia’s road to the Finals that makes them an interesting option in the market.
Unlike say, the $X favourite Clippers who will need to get through the likes of the Jazz, Lakers, Rockets and Nuggets to reach the Finals, the Bucks are the only team in the East on the 76ers’ level. Sure, the Celtics, Raptors and Pacers might complicate things and are a chance at an upset. The 76ers will be significant favourites through to the Eastern Conference Finals, though.
It’s early days and a lot can happen in the 78 games the 76ers still have to play in the NBA regular season. However, they’re unlikely to come at a more appealing price than their current $8.