- Go to BetOnline or Bovada for the latest odds on the Nuggets vs 76ers matchup
- Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic face off for the second time this season
- The game tips off from Ball Arena at 9:30pm ET on Monday, March 27th
Two NBA MVP frontrunners go head-to-head on Monday night in Denver. Riding a three-game winning streak, Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets defeated Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks on Saturday while Philadelphia has lost two-straight road games with James Harden on the shelf.
Can Joel Embiid get the best of Jokic for the second time this season? Before we break down this matchup, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 NBA Finals and our tips for betting on the NBA.
Nuggets vs 76ers
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Philadelphia 76ers||+5.0 (-108)||+180||TBD|
|Denver Nuggets||-5.0 (-112)||-215||TBD|
Embiid or Jokic for MVP?
Just when it looked like Jokic was falling out of the race, his Western Conference-leading Nuggets have rallied to win three-consecutive games. The Serbian center registered 31 points, 11 assists and six rebounds in a 129-106 victory over Milwaukee on Saturday. After outplaying fellow MVP contender Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jokic faces another in Joel Embiid on Monday night. Embiid got the better of Jokic in their last meeting, outscoring him 47 to 24 in a 126-119 win back in January.
Currently a -135 favorite to win the 2023 NBA MVP award, Embiid is averaging 33.3 points, 10.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.7 blocks. Meanwhile, Jokic (+175) is just shy of averaging a triple-double this year with 24.9 points, 11.8 rebounds and 9.9 assists per contest.
Respect between 🇷🇸 Nikola Jokic & 🇬🇷 Giannis Antetokounmpo 🙏
— BasketNews (@BasketNews_com) March 26, 2023
Harden out again?
This will be the Sixers’ 11th road game in the past 14 contests. They’re coming off a 125-105 defeat to Phoenix on Saturday, after falling 120-112 in Golden State on Friday. Philadelphia was without James Harden for both losses. Leading the NBA in assists per game, Harden has missed four of the past five contests with Achilles soreness.
With The Beard likely to miss another game, life will be much harder on the Cameroonian pivot. Harden-to-Embiid is the No. 1 assist combination in the league by far. And at 31-6 in Ball Arena, Denver is the second-best home team in the entire NBA.
Denver vs Philadelphia
Denver is a 5-point home favorite on Monday night. Only Golden State (69.4%) is covering a higher-percentage of their home games than the Nuggets at 63.9%. Michael Malone’s club is outscoring opponents by 4.1 points per game at Ball Arena. Meanwhile, Philadelphia was riding a seven-game road win streak before dropping their past two to the Warriors and Suns. The 76ers are 20-17 (54.1%) against the spread away from the City of Brotherly Love.
Doc Rivers’ squad is first in the league in offensive efficiency since Dec. 1, with 56.8% of their road games going OVER. However, Harden’s expected absence will make it more difficult to convert easy buckets. Denver home games skew UNDER at a rate of 54.1%.
“You know why I played like that tonight? You said Joker was the hardest person to guard in the league. I took that personal.’”
– Joel Embiid’s message to Draymond Green
(h/t @anthonyVslater ) pic.twitter.com/6ToqXwDWpQ
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) March 25, 2023
While it’s only one night in a long 82-game season, Monday’s matchup could go a long way in determining the winner of the 2023 NBA MVP. Joel Embiid put up 46 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists against the Warriors on Saturday just because Draymond Green said “Joker was the hardest person to guard in the league.”
Embiid will deliver another herculean effort for his road-weary team, but it won’t be enough to topple Jokic and the Nuggets.
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