Sixers vs Pistons: Game preview, Betting info, & predictions

Philadelphia 76ers’ Montrezl Harrell reacts after a basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Sixers are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference and are coming off a 123-111 victory on Sunday over the same Pistons. There’s no reason to start Embiid tonight, giving him some extra time to get his foot feeling better and the same can be said for Tucker. Can the Sixers find a way past a struggling Detroit team without having to use their stars?

Sixers vs Pistons game info

Who: Detroit Pistons (11-32) @ Philadelphia 76ers (24-15)

When: 7:00 pm EST

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia

Sixers vs Pistons betting odds

Spread: Sixers -13.5 | Pistons +13.5
Moneyline: Sixers -950 | Pistons +650
Total: Over/Under 222

Eye on the Sixers:

All-Star center, Joel Embiid, has been upgraded to questionable ahead of the Pistons game in Philadelphia. Embiid has missed the past three games with left foot soreness. Also, forward PJ Tucker, has been upgraded to probable.

Guard Tyrese Maxey, with 23 points on Sunday, looks to be getting back into the swing of things since returning from injury. After just 19 minutes in his initial return, Maxey has averaged 33.5 minutes per game over the past four.

James Harden played just 28 minutes against the pistons but didn’t really need any more. Harden finished 20/11/11 in those minutes, shot 50% from the field and 60% on his three-point attempts. Hopefully, this is a sign of things to come for Harden as he’s battled through this season.

What the Sixers have seen in the past few games is that Montrezl Harrell can be a valuable piece of their puzzle if he can continue to play as he has in Embiids absence. Harrell has averaged 18.7 points and 5 rebounds over the past three games, shooting 72.7% from the floor. He’s been efficient and excelled when the team has needed him most. This should make it easier for head coach Doc Rivers to use Harrell in the reserve spot and give Embiid more rest during the games. Hopefully.

Eye on the Pistons:

Not much has gone right for the Pistons this season as they’re currently in last place in the Eastern Conference. They have a lot of good young talent with players like Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, Marvin Baggley III, and Saddiq Bey on the roster but their leading scorer is 33-year-old Bojan Bogdonavic and that should tell you all that you need to know about the team.

Cunningham, Ivey, and center Isaiah Stewart are all 21 and under, while Bey and Baggley are both 23, so they have a very good young core of players for the future, but it’s not helping them in the present. There’s not really a good veteran core to help guide the younger players with Bogdonavic and Alec Burks the only real veterans to speak of on the team.

This season the Pistons are in the middle of their own “process” it seems and they may not be getting out of it any time soon. You have to feel bad for reserve Nerlens Noel, who in 13 minutes on Sunday put up 6 points and 4 rebounds, but is on another team that’s rebuilding after stops in Philly, Oklahoma City, Dallas, and the Knicks. While still efficient, at 28 years old, Noel isn’t getting much time or having the ability to showcase any real growth. (His skill set and limited minutes would fit in perfectly with the Sixers.)

What to look for:

Tonight, the Sixers should focus on getting Maxey involved and shooting the ball in order to get him back on track for the second half of the season. If tonight is anything like Sunday, Sixers fans may be disappointed in only seeing Harden for a small portion of the game but another quick triple-double is not out of the question.

It may not be a long night for the starters with the exception of Maxey who figures to see around 35-37 minutes and it shouldn’t be a very difficult victory for the Sixers as they hope to climb up the Eastern Conference rankings and overtake the Cavaliers (26-15) and the Bucks (26-14) and eventually settle in the third place standing.

Sixers vs Pistons betting promos

Prediction: Sixers 119 – Pistons 102

AP Photo/Matt Slocum