76ers look to start 2022 with a win against the Houston Rockets in South Philadelphia
The 76ers carry over a three-game win streak from 2021 capped off by Philly’s biggest win of the season in Brooklyn last Thursday.
In the most Sixers fashion ever, Embiid and company were able to take care of a much healthier Nets team with James Harden and Kevin Durant before the calendars flipped to 2022. The game now known for sports networks and Twitter attempting to create “beef” between Joel Embiid and Kevin Durant despite both men praising the other after the game.
After a short break, the 76ers are back in Wells Fargo Center to face off against the Houston Rockets for the first time this season. Houston is currently 10-27 so far this year and is in the midst of a seven-game skid that has boiled some tensions over in the locker room.
En route to a blowout loss at the hands of the Nuggets, assistant John Lucas got into a heated altercation with Kevin Porter Jr. Porter would reportedly leave the arena at halftime, (shout out Antonio Brown) and is currently listed as day-to-day due to a thigh contusion.
To take things from bad to worse for the Rockets, leading scorer and former Sixer Christian Wood has run into his fair share of disciplinary action from the team. Wood only played eight minutes before sitting the rest of the second half in the loss to Denver.
Head Coach Stephen Silas confirmed the benching was a coach’s decision. Safe to say, the Rockets are in the midst of some serious internal turmoil in response to a very lackluster first half of the season.
The 76ers are once again riding high, this time on the back of Joel Embiid’s utter dominance over the three-game win streak. Embiid has been masterful in every aspect of the game, averaging 35 points and 10 rebounds while shooting a crazy 62 percent from the field.
Like we’ve mentioned so many times at the Liberty Line, when this guy is healthy there is no one in the league that can stop him. What really puts the cherry on top of the last three wins is the fact he’s knocking down half of his threes each game.
This game is certainly a tale of two teams on much different trajectories. The 76ers have had a couple of moments where they played down to competition so there are no guarantees with this one. Despite the Sixers’ inconsistencies, the lines for this one are very much in favor of Philly.
Rockets-76ers Odds from Parx Sportsbook
With all that in mind, here are tonight’s odds brought to you by Parx Sportsbook, the official gambling partner of The Liberty Line.
|Houston Rockets||+600||+13 (-108)||O 220 (-113)|
|Philadelphia 76ers||-1000||-13 (-113)||U 220 (-108)|
Philly will be without Danny Green (right calf strain) and Tyler Johnson (ICYMI: 10-day contract not renewed), outside of that this team is very healthy heading into the first game of the New Year. The Rockets are a team clearly in the midst of a total rebuild, and should not come close to winning this contest in Philly.
While the 76ers have been bipolar this season, ripping off three-game win streaks followed immediately by a three-game skid, I don’t see Embiid letting a Rockets team in turmoil getting their 11th win on his court. If the Sixers want to be the Eastern Conference contender with a dominant Joel Embiid, they cannot lose free games to teams with nearly triple more losses than wins.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Striecher.