Can the Philadelphia 76ers Keep Rolling vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Dec 20, 2022 12:00 AM
The Philadelphia 76ers have suddenly re-emerged as title contenders.

Remember when it looked like the Philadelphia 76ers would go down as one of the biggest disappointments of the 2022-23 NBA season? It was when James Harden, Joel Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey were all injured and when the defense couldn't get a stop in transition to save its life. Many openly wondered whether the Sixers were too shallow—and cooked.

Oh, how things have changed.

The 76ers enter their matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday, January 12, at 7:10 p.m. EST, with some of the strongest odds to make the NBA playoffs in the entire league. Not only that, but the defense has climbed all the way inside the top seven points allowed per possession (outside of garbage time), according to Cleaning the Glass. Some of the best online basketball betting sites have even started giving Philadelphia top-five odds to win the 2023 NBA Finals.

Is all this optimism warranted? We'll get into that. But first, let's have a look at the latest Philadelphia 76ers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder betting odds, courtesy of the folks over Bovada:

FavoriteBovadaBovadaUnderdog
Philadelphia 76ers-500+385Oklahoma City Thunder

Please remember to double-check these online NBA betting odds until you actually submit your 76ers vs. Thunder picks. Our betting odds for the Thunder vs. 76ers game are accurate entering the morning of Thursday, January 12. While single-game lines don't tend to move much in the NBA, oddsmakers have until the opening tip-off to make adjustments.

Here's the good news: Anyone who signs up with the right odds provider doesn't have to worry about missing out on last-minute changes. And that's why we've put together reviews of the top online sportsbooks—to help everyone easily spot the best online NBA betting sites around.

Without further delay, though, let's get to our 76ers vs. Thunder predictions!

Could the Oklahoma City Thunder Matchup be a Trap Game for the Philadelphia 76ers?

The short answer to this question is "yes."

Oklahoma City has snuck up on a lot of teams this season. They play hard, they force turnovers, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is a legitimate tent-pole star who can carry an entire offense into a crunch. 

Even so, the Thunder continue to lack experience and discipline. That doesn't bode well for them when going up against two of the NBA's premier offensive tacticians in, Joel Embiid and James Harden. Oklahoma City can throw Lu Dort on Harden and hope for the best, but they don't have anyone who can effectively grapple with Embiid. That, in turn, should culminate with them throwing a lot of double- and triple-teams his way, and Embiid has shown he can keep the ball moving in those situations.

OSB Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers (-500)

Philadelphia 76ers To beat the Oklahoma City Thunder
-500
Bovada

Do Not Underestimate the Thunder's Ability to Cover the Point Spread

Here are the latest NBA point spread betting odds for the 76ers vs. Thunder game on Thursday night:

  • Philadelphia 76ers, -10 (-110)
  • Charlotte Hornets, +10 (-110)

Do we believe the 76ers will beat the Thunder? Absolutely. Do we believe they'll pick up the victory by double digits? Not so much.

Indeed, Philly has been on a relative tear in recent weeks and has far more proven offensive firepower on their roster. But the Thunder have covered more than 60 percent of their games this year, a share that holds up even when on the road. Heck, we just witnessed them almost upset the Miami Heat on their own turf this past Tuesday.

This prediction will go off the rails if Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey aren't able to generate enough half-court offense. However, given how competitive the Thunder have been on defense this season, including against elite offenses, we're inclined to believe they'll keep this matchup relatively close.

OSB Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder, +10 (-110)

Oklahoma City Thunder To cover the point spread vs the Philadelphia 76ers
-110
Bovada

Expect the 76ers and Thunder to Score More Than Most People Think

Below you can see the latest NBA over/under betting odds for the Thunder vs 76ers game on Thursday night:

  • Over 231 (-110)
  • Under 231 (-110)

On the surface, this looks like a game that could fail to ever even sniff the "over." The Sixers like to play slow and milk time off the clock by running isolation actions through Joel Embiid and James Harden. The Thunder, meanwhile, are no strangers to extensive offensive droughts. For as good as Gilgeous-Alexander has been this season, he too often doesn't have enough room to operate. Oklahoma City could stand to add a couple of knockdown shooters to their rotation.

At the same time, both teams have cleared the "over" in more than half of their games this season.

Philly has gotten there on the back of hyper-efficiency. They don't need to play faster when Harden and Embiid are spitting fire late into the shot clock. The Sixers have also benefited from increasing the speed with which they play when Maxey takes the floor with only one—or none—of the team's two stars.

On the flip side, Oklahoma City likes to run all the time. They are third in average offensive possession time, according to Unpredictable. That hectic pace doesn't always portend enviable efficiency, but it does ensure the Thunder will get plenty of bites at the scoring apple.

OSB Prediction: Over 231 (-110)

76ers and Thunder To score over 231 points combined
-110
Bovada

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Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan first began writing about sports back in 2011. At the time, his expertise lied in the NBA and NFL. More than one decade, that remains the case. But he's also expanded his catalog to include extensive knowledge and analysis on the NHL, MLB, tennis, NASCAR, college ba...

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