The Eastern Conference Semifinals move from Philly to Atlanta for Games 3 and 4. Tied at 1, Friday night is a key game for the Sixers and Hawks, as Nate McMillan’s tenure as interim coach has seen his team win a lot at the Phillips Center.
As was the case at the Wells Fargo Center, the Sixers are favorites. However, the lines are shorter than in the first two games. The Sixers raced out early and pushed back when the Hawks made runs and won 118-102 behind 40 points from Joel Embiid and 14 from Shake Milton down the stretch.
76ers Hawks Betting Odds – Game 3
Here are the prices for Friday’s night game airing on ESPN at 7:30 PM ET Prices not listed are -110:
|PHI -2 (-108/-113)
|PHI -1.5 (-112/-108)
|PHI -2 (EV/-118)
These are the closest spreads so far in this series, following the Sixers’ victory. In that game, the Hawks overcame a 17-point deficit in the first quarter to close to two at halftime and even led 80-79 in the third. Following that lone lead, Philly closed out the game 39-22, continuing their second-half dominance. After halftime, the Sixers have outscored Atlanta 131-101.
For Game 2, the books pushed up the spread and total. For the first time since starting the postseason, the under hit in a Philly game (the really slow start for the Hawks probably doomed it). The shorter spread seems logical, given the Hawks have been very good at home and won both games at the Phillips Center against the Knicks. However, the Sixers are a much better road team than last season.
Bettors on DraftKings have largely backed Philly, with 86 percent of the handle and 82 percent of bets on the spread. Fans are also wagering the over and ML at a 2-1 pace.
76ers Hawks Betting Odds – NBA Futures
Despite a slight meniscus tear that kept him out of the clinching game of the quarterfinal round against Washington, Joel Embiid has shown no signs of weakness. He followed up a career-high of 39 points in Game 1’s loss with 40 on Tuesday night, hitting shots down the stretch and making foul shots.
It’s interesting to speculate if the incident with Danilo Gallinari that produced double technicals woke the big man’s ire, as he’s adjusted to different defensive looks. After finishing second in MVP voting, Embiid dominated the second half and helped turn a close must-win game into a runaway. The books have his game total at 32.5 points, expecting him to benefit from the extra rest.
Could a return home revive Trae Young’s scoring touch? After a dominant first half in Game 1, the Hawks’ superstar guard has been largely quieted. He went 6-16 in Game 2 and missed six of seven threes for just 21 points, thanks to eight of nine from the free throw line.
The Sixers adjusted their defensive scheme, putting Ben Simmons and all that length on Young, mixing in athletic youngster Matisse Thybulle. The switch not only limits shotmaking but also puts increased pressure on other Hawks’ shooters. While the bench played well, starters shot a combined 16-37 from the field. Young has a scoring prop of 27.5 and 9.5 total assists.
A win puts the Sixers back on home-court advantage with a chance to take a 3-1 lead on Monday. More importantly, it would keep their fans more relaxed and able to enjoy the weekend.