The Philadelphia 76ers got a taste of what life was like without Ben Simmons on Wednesday in Utah. NBA betting odds predict another loss on Philadelphia’s road trip without their starting point guard.
Varying reports have Simmons missing anywhere from one to three games because of his sore right shoulder. The consensus is that X-rays showed no damage to the joint, and Simmons should return to action soon.
For Friday’s game, however, that isn’t much consolation.
76ers vs. Nuggets odds: Denver favored by NJ sportsbooks
The Nuggets are a slight favorite at most sportsbooks. The lines swung drastically after the news broke that Simmons would likely miss the game.
Denver expects to have its full roster, although Gary Harris is battling an ankle sprain, too.
The lines at three of the most popular New Jersey online sportsbooks listed below were accurate as of 10 a.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 8.
|DraftKings||PHI +5.5 (-110)|
DEN -5.5 (-110)
|O 210 (-112)|
U 210 (-109)
|PointsBet||PHI +5 (-105)|
DEN -5 (-105)
|O 210.5 (-110)|
U 210.5 (-110)
|SugarHouse||PHI +5 (-109)|
DEN -5 (-110)
|O 210.5 (-112)|
U 210.5 (-109)
This should be a temporary setback for Simmons this season, but for the 76ers in Denver on Friday it’s a devastating loss. New Jersey’s oddsmakers expect that to translate into a loss on the scoreboard as well.
NBA betting guide to Ben Simmons’ injury and Friday’s game
Simmons has been very successful at staying healthy since the 2016-17 season that he missed completely, so there isn’t much data to look at regarding how Philadelphia fares without him.
Simmons has only missed three games due to injury over the past two seasons.
What’s apparent is that the 76ers will have a lot of offense to replace. Simmons finished Wednesday’s game averaging more than 13 points and nearly seven assists per game.
Bettors should expect Raul Neto to get the bulk of the minutes at the point for Philadelphia. Josh Richardson will likely spell him for Philadelphia.
Neither is a real replacement for Simmons in terms of dexterity in running the offense, however.
76ers vs. Nuggets: History of the series and team stats
Philadelphia has split its last 10 games in Denver going back to the 2008-09 season but has won four of the last six road contests against the Nuggets.
The 2019-20 76ers should be well-accustomed to traveling already, as five of their seven games so far are of that variety.
This is the fourth home game of the season for Denver, which has won two of the three previous engagements. Especially without Simmons to help fuel the offense, Philadelphia should build on its defensive success to drop the Nuggets down to .500 at home.
Through games played on Wednesday, Nov. 6, the 76ers lead the league in steals per game with 11. Denver currently ranks 24th out of 30 teams in points scored per game, although the Nuggets have a lower turnover average per game than all but seven other teams in the league.
The main culprit for Denver’s relatively-poor offensive output is their shooting. The Nuggets are shooting just 43.3% from the field, good for 25th in the NBA.
If Philadelphia can force Denver into a few more turnovers than the Nuggets usually commit and exploit the Nuggets’ pedestrian interior defense, they should get win number six.
New Jersey sportsbooks don’t expect the 76ers to do so, however.