Sixers Championship Odds Plummet to +2500 Following Joel Embiid’s Shoulder Sprain; Loss to Cavaliers

Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid's MRI to diagnose his shoulder sprain is looming large over the rest of the Sixers season. Photo from @HoopsRumors (Twitter)
  • Ben Simmons is already sidelined with a back injury and Joel Embiid is due for an MRI on his shoulder after suffering a sprain in Wednesday’s loss to the Cavs
  • The Sixers are just 36-23 on the season and are well below .500 on the road
  • Philly’s Championship odds have the Sixers now at +2500; are their dreams of a title over?

The Philadelphia 76ers entered the season as one of the favorites in the NBA Championship odds. With the playoffs a matter of weeks away, Philadelphia has slipped to +2500 to win the title.

Joel Embiid suffered a shoulder injury in Wednesday’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers – the Cameroonian center is heading for an MRI on Thursday. Ben Simmons is already out for the Sixers, and the All-Star point guard isn’t due to be evaluated for another fortnight.

An already disappointing season has taken a drastic turn for Philadelphia over the last week. Their championship odds reflect that, as do their Atlantic Division odds – they are out at +1400 to win the division following Embiid’s injury.

2020 NBA Championship Odds

Team Odds at BetOnline
Milwaukee Bucks +225
Los Angeles Lakers +275
Los Angeles Clippers +350
Boston Celtics +1000
Houston Rockets +1200
Toronto Raptors +1600
Denver Nuggets +2000
Miami Heat +2500
Philadelphia 76ers +2500

Odds taken Feb. 27th

Embiid Chaos

As reported by Adrian Wojnarowski, the Embiid injury situation was a mess. The All-NBA center left the game and headed to the locker room after injuring his shoulder, only to return to the bench. He then left for the locker room once again and was ruled out of the game.

The Sixers do not have the best track record when it comes to injury management. As recently as this season, they appeared to rush Embiid back from a broken finger and he was subpar in first few games once he returned. Simmons sat out against the Nets with a back issue. He started the game two days later against the Milwaukee Bucks but managed less than five minutes.

Searching for Rhythm

The Sixers have been battling an imperfect fit all season. Moving Al Horford to the bench seemed to have helped, and it led to a brilliant win over the Los Angeles Clippers with Embiid and Simmons co-existing. Any hope of building on that has been ruined by these injuries.

The ceiling has remained high because of the talent on the roster. They have had games where they look like a genuine title challenger, but Brett Brown and his key players had a lot to work out over the rest of the season. They couldn’t afford to lose time.

Horford, Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson, the Sixers’ three other starters, were poor against the Cavaliers (one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA). The trio combined for just 31 points on 12-for-35 from the field.

The division is well out of reach if both Embiid and Simmons are absent for multiple games. Having one of them injured, let alone both, makes it very hard to see how the Sixers can get themselves into a position to be competitive in the playoffs. Brown needed this time with all his starters available – losing Embiid and Simmons for a prolonged period is a nightmare.

Avoid Philly With All Wagers

The upside of this Sixers team has been tempting all season long. Their odds have lengthened since the first game of the campaign, and it’s been easy to get swept up in the potential of them, particularly on the defensive end.

The lure of an elite defense, partnered with Embiid battering people in the post and Simmons blowing teams away in transition, remains. The injuries are such a huge concern, though. It’s possible Embiid and Simmons are out for a long period.

Even if they both returned for the playoffs, they are not going to have many games to develop any sort of rhythm. Brown already faced a stern task to go on a deep post-season run; that’s just got a whole lot tougher.

Their season cannot be declared over until we know more about the respective injuries. For now, though, they don’t represent value in the division or championship odds. That could, of course, change if their price lengthens further, which it may well do if Embiid is unavailable for a couple of weeks.

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