Sixers vs. Pistons: How to watch, betting preview & predictions

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, center, goes up for a shot between Detroit Pistons’ Cade Cunningham, left, and Killian Hayes during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Philadelphia 76ers are at home on Tuesday night to take on the Detroit Pistons with playoff seeding at the top of their minds. The Pistons are the worst team in the league with only 13 wins on the season and the Sixers are one of the best in the league, when Joel Embiid is playing.

With Embiid missing two months due to a knee injury, the Sixers have fallen to 7th place in the Eastern Conference. They’ll need some help to jump the Pacers for 6th place and avoid the play-in tournament.

Sixers game information

Who: Detroit Pistons (13-65) at Philadelphia 76ers (44-35)

When: 7:00 pm EST

Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

Watch: NBC Sports Philadelphia, NBA League Pass, Bally Sports Detroit

Sixers vs Pistons betting information

Spread: Sixers -15.5 | Pistons +15.5
Moneyline: Sixers -1350 | Pistons +800
Total: Over/Under 212

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Latest on the Sixers

Philadelphia 76ers guard Tyrese Maxey (0) scores against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

The Sixers return home on a five-game winning streak as they play their last few regular-season games. With the return of Joel Embiid, combined with their schedule, the team could end the regular season on an eight-game streak. With the way Embiid has returned and Tyrese Maxey’s progression through the entire season, the Sixers have to be considered one of the better playoff teams, even if their standing or record doesn’t reflect that.

In the Sixers’ most recent win over the Spurs, Maxey scored 52 points, his third game over 50 points this season. He joins Joel Embiid and Devin Booker as the only players to reach that milestone this year. Much was made of Maxey carrying the team to victory over a Spurs team that, despite their record, has been playing very well of late.

What was overshadowed was Kelly Oubre Jr. giving the team 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 8 assists on 12-22 shooting. Oubre Jr. has stepped up when the team has needed him most over the past month and is a vital part of the team’s success in the playoffs.

Over the last ten games, Oubre Jr. is averaging 18.9 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 44.6% from the floor and 38% on his three-point attempts. He’s giving the team timely scoring and has stepped up his defense as the team nears the playoffs. He’s everything that the Sixers have always wanted Tobias Harris to be. He’s shown heart, energy, hustle, and fearlessness as the team faced uncertainty while missing Embiid. Whereas Harris has fallen off, Oubre Jr. has risen to the challenge.

Latest on the Pistons

Detroit Pistons center James Wiseman (13) and guard Jaden Ivey, left, reacts during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Saturday, April 6, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The Pistons are in Philly, hoping that there’s some way for the team to win. They’re on a four-game losing streak, have only won one out of their last ten games, and have the worst record in the league. The coaches could have the same interaction as in Bull Durham when addressing the team.

“What’s our record?”


“13-65, how did we ever win 13?”

“It’s a miracle.”

The Pistons, in their defense, are one of the youngest teams in the league, and while they have some talent on the roster, they’ve been destroyed by injuries to key players. In addition the some role players, the Pistons are missing Isaiah Stewart and Ausar Thompson for the remainder of the season, they’re missing second leading scorer Simone Fontecchio for tonights game with a foot injury. Leading scorer Cade Cunningham is a game-time decision, and that leaves them with Jaden Ivey and Jalen Duren as the two top players on the floor.

Coming into Philly, the team has to be looking toward the end of the season, the NBA draft, and getting everyone healthy for next season. The team will have one of the largest amounts of cap space to throw money at a veteran or two, so they’re able to pair them with younger players like Ivey and Cunningham, so they can put a better team on the floor next season. They also need to address an extension for Cunningham in the near future. This isn’t the year for the Pistons, but their future is looking better.

What to watch for tonight

The Sixers, while assured a spot in the play-in tournament, would much rather just take the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference and avoid that altogether. So, winning the last three games of the season and hoping that the Pacers lose a couple is what the team needs most. For the final three games, with only the Magic being a playoff team, the Sixers should at least finish 2-1 over those games, but with Embiid back and Maxey seemingly ready for the playoffs, it’s not unexpected for the team to finish the season on an eight-game winning streak.

Embiid rested on Sunday when Maxey went off against the Spurs, so he should be ready to go against the Pistons and their games are spread out to close out the year, giving Embiid rest in between. He should be ramping up some on-court activity, getting his legs back under him, and looking to be close to 100% when the playoffs start.

Even though he had the knee surgery just over two months ago, Embiid hasn’t faced the battering he has in the past as the seasons have wound down. This should be the healthiest that he’s been, entering the playoffs, in his entire career.

With Embiid back, Maxey and Oubre Jr. seem to be on the same page and ready to take on anyone that’s put in front of them. That trio alone can be nightmares on both ends of the floor. When you add Nico Batum and his versatility, Kyle Lowry’s veteran leadership, and fire, along with Buddy Hield, Cam Payne, Paul Reed, and Tobias Harris coming off the bench, the team presents a lot of problems for playoff opponents and won’t be taken lightly moving forward.

(The Sixers have until April 15th to make the smart move and get Ricky Council IV under contract so that he can play in the playoffs. He’s shown that he belongs and can contribute to the team and deserves to be there through this long run.)


Sixers 127 – Pistons 96