Will Philadelphia 76ers Hold Off Cleveland Cavaliers in 2023 Playoff Race?

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Mar 13, 2023 08:00 PM
Will Philadelphia 76ers Hold Off Cleveland Cavaliers in 2023 Playoff Race?

The Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers continue to jockey for third place in the Eastern Conference. A quick look at their odds to make the 2023 NBA playoffs will show that linemakers generally believe the Sixers have the inside track. But Philly also has the hardest remaining schedule in the league. Might that open the door for Cleveland to jump up a spot in the Eastern Conference standings?

This Wednesday night showdown between the 76ers and Cavaliers will go a long way toward determining who lands where. With this in mind, here are the latest NBA online betting odds for this high-stakes matchup:

To WinBovadaBetOnlineBetUS
Cleveland Cavaliers-105-101-102
Philadelphia 76ers-105-105-106

Please remember to double-check these online NBA betting odds right up until you submit your wager. Our 76ers vs. Cavaliers betting odds are accurate as of games played on Monday, March 13. That gives linemakers plenty of time to implement adjustments prior to tip-off on Wednesday, March 15, at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Of course, you will not have to sweat any changes to these NBA betting odds if you sign up with the right linemaker. That's why we have our reviews of the top online sportsbooks. They offer plenty of insight into the best online NBA betting sites in 2023.

Back to business: Many oddsmakers have billed Sixers vs. Cavaliers as a pick 'em affair. That tracks with the vitals of each team. But we actually believe there's a clear-cut favorite between the two. Read on to find out why.

The Philadelphia 76ers Should be Able to Take Advantage of Cleveland Cavaliers on Short Rest

It was legitimately surprising to see the Sixers vs. Cavaliers game open as a pick 'em for many oddsmakers. Yes, these two teams are pretty evenly matched when digging into the details. They both have a top-10 offense and defense as well as two top-tier scorers who can generate their own looks in the tightest of spaces.

Still, the Cavaliers offense has turned in some duds during recent games. Not only that, but they are playing out the second night of a back-to-back. Cleveland will match up with the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday night.

Perhaps linemakers simply don't care. The Hornets aren't a real threat these days. There's a chance the Cavaliers' most important players get to take the fourth quarter off. Cleveland has also been one of the better teams in back-to-back situations this year, posting a 7-4 record and top-eight net rating.

And yet, the Sixers are on a tear right now. They have won five in a row, Joel Embiid is playing like an MVP, James Harden might make another All-NBA team, and they're working off two full days of rest. Playing on the road might hurt them, but they've actually been one of the more reliable away-from-home teams so far. The Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and Denver Nuggets are the only other teams with an above .500 record on the road this season.

Furthermore, Cavaliers All-Star center Jarrett Allen is dealing with an eye injury. It isn't clear whether he'll play on Tuesday or Wednesday. And if the Cavs don't have him in the lineup, that will put the onus of defending Joel Embiid on Evan Mobley, who's simply not strong enough for that assignment.

OSB Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers (-105)

Philadelphia 76ers To beat the Cleveland Cavaliers

Will Sixers vs. Cavaliers Really be Too Close to Call?

Here are the latest NBA point spread betting odds for Sixers vs. Cavaliers on Wednesday night:

  • Philadelphia 76ers, -2 (-102)
  • Cleveland Cavaliers, +2 (-110)

With a spread this small, you might as well pick your winner. That's the Sixers in our case. It only pays out slightly better than their moneyline, but it'll offer enough value. Plus, only 14 of their games this season have been decided by three or fewer points. If they pick up a victory, it'll most likely come by more than two points.

OSB Prediction: Philadelphia 76ers, -2 (-102)

Philadelphia 76ers To cover the point spread against the Cleveland Cavaliers

Should Expect More Scoring from Cleveland and Philadelphia?

Below you can see the latest NBA over/under betting odds for Cavaliers vs. Sixers:

  • Over 222.5 (-110)
  • Under 22.5 (-110)

The total score has been all over the place through the first two meetings between these teams. In the first one, they barely combined to top 200 points. In their second matchup, however, they hit 230 points.

Most of the time, we would be on top of the "under." Both of these teams play slow enough that even the slightest variance in their jump-shot accuracy can pave the way for a lower-scoring affair. However, the Sixers and Cavaliers both maintain top-10 offensive ratings when squaring up against top-10 defenses. That's no doubt thanks to their vast array of tough shot-makers. Embiid and James Harden headline a Philly attack that barrels through opponents in the half-court. Cleveland's Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell are among the most dangerous off-the-dribble jump shooters in the league.

We are also hedging against the potential absence of Jarrett Allen for the Cavaliers. They won't be able to protect the basket nearly as well if Evan Mobley is forced to play center all night long.

Make no mistake, this over/under is a coin toss. But we like this Cavs-Sixers matchup to flirt with 230 points just like it did in their most recent meeting. There is some danger in pouncing on this before Cleveland plays Charlotte, and before we know the status of Allen. We're confident in the pick anyway.

OSB Prediction: Over 222.5  (-110)

Cavaliers and Sixers To score over 222.5 combined points

Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your NBA betting:

Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan Favale leverages over 12 years of sports journalism expertise in his role as New York staff writer. He provides in-depth analysis across the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, tennis, NASCAR, college basketball, and sports betting. Dan co-hosts the popular Hardwood Knocks NBA podc...

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