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Kings vs. 76ers Prediction: Embiid Out Again on Friday

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published January 12, 2024
10 min read

The Philadelphia 76ers (23-13) will host the traveling Sacramento Kings (23-14) in the first part of a three-game home stand on Friday evening.

The Sixers will be without reigning MVP Joel Embiid, who also missed the last game due to a swollen knee. The Kings will be at full strength if Kevin Huerter (questionable) can go as they look to earn their seventh win in their last nine games.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite picks for the Kings vs. 76ers matchup on Friday.

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Kings vs 76ers Predictions

Kings vs. 76ers Betting Odds for Friday, Jan. 12

The Kings are 1.5-point underdogs even with Embiid set to miss the action. They're 7-2 against the Eastern Conference and 10-7 on the road, while Philly is 6-3 against the Western Conference and 13-6 at home.

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Sacramento Kings +1.5 (-115) +105 Over 242.5 (-105)
Philadelphia 76ers -1.5 (-105) -115 Under 242.5 (-115)

Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook. Use our FanDuel promo code for a $150 bonus.

The secret to the Kings’ success comes mostly from their offensive system, which is nearly impossible to defend against. 

The playmaking of Domantas Sabonis at and around the nail combined with the constant off-ball movement of Huerter and Keegan Murray and the downhill speed of De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk creates mismatches and throws opponents’ timings off so greatly that they seem to always end up with open shots (eighth in points per halfcourt possession).

Sacramento also does a nice job taking advantage of their opportunities. Despite being a bottom-half offensive rebounding team, they’re 12th in second-chance points.

While the Kings can get hot shooting the ball (third in made threes per game, 11th in three-point percentage), they’re the worst free-throw shooting team in the league (73%). That’s troubling from a broader perspective but also hasn’t hurt them in big moments, as they rank 10th in clutch net rating and are 10-5 in clutch games.

Sacramento’s defense has room for improvement. They’re 17th in def. rating but also second in clutch def. Rating, which shows they can lock down opponents, and their issues could be more due to their effort and concentration during the first three quarters.

Keep an eye on the Kings’ ball movement. They’re fifth in assist percentage, and Fox averages 7.0 assists during wins compared to just 3.8 in losses.

Philly’s season numbers are essentially meaningless without Embiid, who is at the center of everything they do and averaged 34.6 points, 11.8 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 2.0 blocks.

Without the reigning MVP in the lineup, the Sixers are just 2-7 this season. Six of those nine games were against teams .500 or better, but the average scoring differential (118.1 to 113.4, or -4.7) would rank 24th if applied to the season as a whole.

Philly also enters the matchup riding a four-game losing streak. Their last outing, a 132-139 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, saw Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris combine for 67 points, but they allowed six players to score 15+ points and gave up 42 free-throw attempts.

The complexion of both the offense and defense are much different without Embiid. Not only do they have their usual takeover scorer, but they become more of a perimeter-based team that relies on Maxey’s drives to free up space for three-point shooters. They also can’t funnel opposing players to the basket knowing that Embiid will be waiting to swat their shots once they arrive in the restricted area.

Maxey has been hit or miss without Embiid. He averaged 25.8 points and 5.9 assists without his all-league teammate but had as many games with 20 or fewer points as he did with 33+ (three).

The key for the Sixers will be playing with pace to keep the Kings honest and ensure they don’t control the tempo with their halfcourt offense. They’ll also need to continue to guard the three-point line well (34.2% allowed - fifth) and end defensive possessions after one shot.

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Kings vs. 76ers Prediction and Betting Pick

Despite the oddsmakers favoring the Sixers, we like the Kings to grab a win here.

Philly still plays pretty well without Embiid but also isn’t even close to a powerhouse when he’s off the floor. They also need Tobias Harris to give them at least 25 points, but he’s only done that twice in eight games without Embiid this season. 

The Kings are getting hot and are 12-6 over their last 18 games. We expect to see a big night from Domantas Sabonis as Sacramento adds another road win to its resume.

How to Watch Kings vs. 76ers on 1/12/23

  • When: Friday, Jan. 12 @ 7:30 p.m. ET

  • Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

  • TV: ESPN

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AUTHOR

Grant Mitchell

397 Articles

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.

In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.

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