Rockets vs 76ers Picks and Predictions for February 17

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Updated: February 17, 2021

While the Houston Rockets have remained respectable on defense, it’s tough to envision them having an answer on either end of the floor for 76ers superstar Joel Embiid.

Photo By – USA TODAY Sports

The dust has long since settled from James Harden’s exit and the new look Houston Rockets are reeling, while continuing to appear unreliable for NBA betting. 

The Rockets have gone 3-7 SU in their last 10 games, a stretch that has seen them fall to 14th in the Western Conference, and it’s unlikely to get any better for Houston in the short-term.

The Rockets will head to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers, who continue to be nearly unbeatable at home, sitting 11-2 at the Wells Fargo Center. Find out if Houston has a chance at the upset with our Rockets vs. 76ers picks and predictions for Wednesday, February 17.

Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers betting preview

Injuries

Rockets: Victor Oladipo SG (Doubtful), P.J. Tucker SF (Questionable), Eric Gordon SG (Questionable), Christian Wood PF (Out).
76ers: Joel Embiid C (Probable), Shake Milton PG (Questionable).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Rockets are 0-6 ATS in their last six games overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Rockets vs. 76ers.

The line opened at Philadelphia -11.5, with early action seeing most book holding firm on the spread. Early Under money has moved the starting total of 225.5 down to 224.5. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

Check out the full line movement for this game

Against the spread (ATS) pick

Houston began the season by dealing away one of the best scorers in NBA history and a transcendent offensive player in Harden. Unsurprisingly, their offense has taken a massive hit as a result, with the Rockets 26th in offensive efficiency and 23rd in points per game this season. Making matters worse is the absence of Christian Wood, who is a superb offensive player in his own right, capable of spotting up, rolling to the rim, or popping out behind the arc. 

An already offensively-challenged Houston team will be even more short-handed in a brutal road environment. Worse still is who will be waiting on the other side of the floor. 

Though Joel Embiid has been fully optimized on offense this year, dominating in a potential MVP campaign, he has sacrificed little on the defensive end. Philadelphia’s big man remains an elite rim defender and simply a deterrent to anyone trying to attack the rim. However, it’s Ben Simmons who has rightfully received a large portion of praise for the 6ers’ work on defense this season. Simmons is putting together a Defensive Player of the Year-caliber season, consistently defending the opposition’s best player, almost regardless of their position, for a Philadelphia team sitting seventh in defensive rating.

Despite the big number, take the 76ers to cover in a brutally lopsided matchup.

PREDICTION: 76ers -11.5 (-110)

Covers NBA betting analysis

Over/Under pick

Both the Rockets and 76ers have been a difficult O/U pick in recent weeks, with Houston 5-5 O/U over their last 10 games and Philadelphia 6-4 over the same stretch. With Houston’s struggles on offense well documented and help unlikely to be on the way, as Wood and Oladipo are missing, it will be on the 76ers if this game is to hit the Over.

Despite Embiid’s sizzling play and Philadelphia finally surrounding their two cornerstones with capable shooters, the 76ers’ offense is not among the league’s elite — a respectable ninth in points per game, 12th in offensive efficiency and 13th in offensive rating. The Rockets, for all their struggles in 2021, have not yet collapsed on the defensive end. In fact, they are fourth in defensive rating and defensive efficiency while giving up the ninth-most points per game. Though both teams are in the Top-10 in possessions per game, we are leaning Under here. 

PREDICTION: Under 224.5 (-110)

Player prop pick

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: the opposition doesn’t have an answer for Embiid. 

This season has finally seen Embiid become the Tour de Force he was expected to become, and the results have been ugly for opposing teams. The MVP contender is averaging a career-high 29.6 points per game through 22 contests and over the last month he has topped 30 points on nine occasions (compared to two games below 30). 

While it’s now clear nobody has an answer for Embiid, Houston is an especially favorable matchup for the 76ers. In his prime, DeMarcus Cousins was a passenger on defense. In 2021, he does not stand a chance of slowing down Embiid. P.J. Tucker and Jae’Sean Tate, two other players who have seen minutes at center this year, are undersized at forward, never mind at the five. 

Embiid is probable for this one after sitting out Monday with a back injury. Assuming he plays, we can expect another explosive performance for one of the NBA’s most dominant players against a team absent of answers for him. 

PREDICTION: Joel Embiid Over 29.5 Points (-120)

Rockets vs 76ers betting card

  • 76ers -11 (-110)
  • Under 224.5 (-110)
  • Joel Embiid Over 29.5 Points (-120)

NBA parlays

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