NBA Betting Preview: Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers

NBA Betting Preview:  Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers

We admit that we still don’t have a clue about how good–or how bad–this Philadelphia 76ers team really is. They’ve definitely come back to earth after a very surprising start to the 2013-2014 season. They entered the campaign as an almost unanimous pick by NBA pundits to be the worst team in the league–a sentiment shared by Las Vegas bookmakers, who set the Sixers’ Over/Under win total at 16.5. The Sixers didn’t get the memo at least initially–they started the season with three straight wins but are 1-4 since then. Still, that leaves them at 4-4 which means they’re well ahead of their ‘win quota’ for the season. They’ve got another tough challenge on Wednesday as they welcome Western Conference contender Houston to town.

Philadelphia obviously isn’t as good as their 3-0 start suggested but they may be better than the ensuing 1-4 run. On one level, the preseason pundits had it right–this Sixers’ team doesn’t have a lot of talent on paper. Rookie Michael Carter Williams out of Syracuse has been a monster thus far and he may have been underrated coming into the season. That being said, the Sixers are demonstrating a well known concept–a team can get far in the NBA regular season simply by showing up and working hard every night. Eventually, the other teams will start taking the regular season seriously and things will change dramatically.

Houston got plenty of hype before the season started due almost exclusively to their signing of center Dwight Howard. Howard has proven to be more ‘sizzle than steak’ in the recent years of his career and currently the Rockets are clinging to 8th place in the West with a 5-3 record (3-4 against the spread). This game has ‘lookahead spot’ written all over it as the Rockets have a much bigger game tomorrow night–a nationally televised contest against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. The Sixers play hard and Houston has shown a tendency to play ‘down’ to the level of substandard opponents in the past year or so and especially on the road. Sixers keep this one close and could surprise with the outright upset.