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Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid elevates for a dunk. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)
March 29th, 2022
A pair of Eastern Conference heavyweights will duke it out on Tuesday evening when the Philadelphia 76ers host the Milwaukee Bucks at Wells Fargo Center.
In one corner you have the defending champion Bucks, who have relied on internal chemistry and the otherworldly play of Giannis Antetokounmpo to climb to the top of the Central Division. In the other corner you have the scrappy Sixers, who survived internal drama and remade themselves at the trade deadline with the acquisition of former MVP James Harden.
Although these two franchises have taken distinctly different paths this season, they’ve ended up in the exact same spot: deadlocked at 46-28, and just one game out of first place with eight games remaining.
The last time these Goliaths met on Feb. 17, the 76ers sent the Bucks to the mat with a decisive 123-120 win. Joel Embiid delivered a knockout performance that night by dropping 42 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists in just 37 minutes.
Round 3 of Bucks vs. 76ers gets underway at 7 p.m. ET, and we have the three best player prop bets for you below.
Unlike many NBA stars who dominate two statistical categories, James Harden regularly dominates three. On any given night "The Beard" is just as likely to drop 30 points and dish out 12 dimes as he is to score 24 and haul down 15 boards. That’s what makes this particular prop so appealing, especially at relatively short odds.
BIG STEPPER @JHarden13! pic.twitter.com/FVpVDdVs3s— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) March 26, 2022
BIG STEPPER @JHarden13! pic.twitter.com/FVpVDdVs3s
Harden is already averaging a double-double this season with 22.5 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 10.1 assists, and ranks 11th in the league in that category despite the fact he began the season in questionable shape and missed significant time with hamstring issues. He also has a proven track record against the Bucks, and enters tonight’s game averaging 24.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 6.5 assists in 24 games against Milwaukee, including 20 starts.
The question isn’t whether Harden will record another double-double tonight, the question is which statistical boxes will he check?
The Bucks have a bend-but-don’t-break defense. They concede the most 3-point attempts of any team in the league (40.5), but they give up the fourth fewest points in the paint. That’s been especially true since the return of Brook Lopez on March 14, as Milwaukee once again has a bona fide rim protector to park in the paint.
It's so impressive how easy Joel Embiid makes a side-step 3 look at his size. pic.twitter.com/wuy9CMHFvH— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) March 26, 2022
It's so impressive how easy Joel Embiid makes a side-step 3 look at his size. pic.twitter.com/wuy9CMHFvH
Coach Bud’s willingness to give up 3s is a big reason why we’re fans of this prop tonight. Not only is Embiid making a career-high 1.3 treys per game this season, but he also shot 3-for-4 from beyond the arc in his lone game against the Bucks on Feb. 17. "JoJo" is a master at taking what defenses give him, and tonight that will be plenty of open looks 23 feet away from the basket.
Every now and again a prop sticks out like a sore thumb, and that’s precisely what we have with Tobias Harris’ projected rebounding total tonight. The former Buck is averaging 6.9 rebounds per game and has had seven boards or more in three of his last four outings.
Like many players, he also tends to put forth a little extra effort against his former employer. Harris is averaging 6.7 rebounds against Milwaukee in 32 career games, and grabbed eight boards against the Bucks on Feb. 17. Take the Over for an easy win tonight.
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