Hornets vs. 76ers: The best player prop bets for Jan. 12
Tonight’s featured matchup is an Eastern Conference battle between Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers and LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets.
Having won seven straight games, the 23-16 Philadelphia 76ers are looking like contenders again on the back of a monstrous stretch from Embiid. The Hornets, meanwhile, are 22-19, and are coming off their most impressive stretch of the season, having beaten the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks in consecutive games.
Hornets vs. 76ers tips off at 7:00 p.m. ET on League Pass. Our picks for the three best player prop bets are below.
Thu, January 13 2022, 12:00 AM
JOEL EMBIID OVER/UNDER 4.5 ASSISTS
Joel Embiid has recaptured his MVP form as of late. During the Sixers' current seven-game win streak he’s scored 30 or more in every game. He’s looking every bit as dominant as his peak last season, when he had a credible argument on a per-minute basis as having been as good or better than eventual MVP-winner Nikola Jokic.
If there’s anything that’s surprising about Embiid’s run this year, it’s that he’s taken a page right out of Jokic’s book and has made drastic improvements as a playmaker. Prior to this season, Embiid’s highest assist percentage had been 18.4%, which he’s currently blowing out of the water at 24.0%. That means Embiid is setting up one out of every four shots his teammates take, which combined with his own gargantuan usage, means he is reaching James Harden levels of personal influence over the Sixers offense.
If the run-and-gun Hornets have an Achilles heel as a team, it’s their lack of interior defense. There's a good reason they’ve been consistently linked to Myles Turner in trade rumors because Mason Plumlee and PJ Washington don’t provide a particularly formidable last line of defense. Without such a player that can even pretend to play Embiid one-on-one in the post, the Hornets are forced to double either off the catch or the bounce.
Embiid has become better than ever this year of slinging pinpoint passes over the top of doubles to create easy baskets.
LAMELO BALL OVER/UNDER 6.5 REBOUNDS
LaMelo Ball is so dynamic as a passer and a ball-handler that one might not realize that, for his position, his strongest skill is as a rebounder. Ball is the best offensive rebounding point guard in the NBA (100th percentile, per Cleaning the Glass), and isn’t far behind as a defensive rebounder (93rd percentile). Ball just has a nose for, well, the ball. And he leverages his incredible feel and positional size to grab 7.3 rebounds per game in just 31.8 minutes.
If there’s one area the Sixers desperately miss Ben Simmons, it’s his productivity on the glass. The Sixers were top 10 in both offensive and defensive rebounding last year with Simmons in the fold, but this year they have slipped all the way to dead last in offensive rebounding, and are bottom 10 in defensive rebounding.
For a team playing Joel Embiid massive minutes, that’s puzzling, until you realize that the Sixers backcourt is tiny without Simmons. That’s why LaMelo figures to have an easy time hitting this Over tonight.
TOBIAS HARRIS OVER/UNDER 1.5 3-POINTERS MADE
For all the Sixers' recent success, it would be nice if Tobias Harris could contribute more than he has. Optimistic fans hoped he would build on an All-Star caliber year last season, but instead he’s near a career-low in effective field goal percentage (49.1%) and 3-point percentage (29.5%).
In his last eight games, Harris has only hit more than one 3 once, a 3-6 night against the Boston Celtics. In the vast majority of those, he hit none at all, and even more worryingly than that, in two of the eight games, he didn’t even attempt a 3. Given his usage and role on the team, it speaks to a lack of confidence or role clarity that Harris could ever go an entire game without even attempting a 3.
Nothing I’ve seen from Harris recently suggests he’ll drastically up his volume tonight against Charlotte.