76ers vs. Pelicans NBA Ben Simmons, Zion Williamson Both Out Of Season Opener

76ers vs. Pelicans NBA Betting Odds | Ben Simmons, Zion Williamson Out of Season Opener

The Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans open their NBA season against one another on Wednesday night from the Big Easy, but one All-Star on each side, Ben Simmons and Zion Williamson, will not play. The Sixers are favored on the NBA odds.

How to Bet Philadelphia at New Orleans NBA Odds & TV Info

  • When: Wednesday, 8 PM ET
  • Where: Smoothie King Center
  • TV: NBA League Pass
  • Stream: NBA.com, NBA TV app
  • Radio: Tunein.com
  • NBA Odds: Pelicans -3.5 (total 226)

Last Season

The teams split, each winning at home. The one in New Orleans ended up 101-94 in favor of the Pelicans. Zion Williamson scored 14 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter. Williamson scored the first six points of the fourth quarter and eight of the Pelicans’ first 10, extending an eight-point lead to 86-71. He scored three more times after the 76ers pulled to 94-87 with 4:03 left. Sixers start Joel Embiid had just 14 points on 5-of-16 shooting. Tobias Harris led the 76ers with 23 points, but no one other than him or Embiid had more than four field goals.

Why Bet on Philadelphia

For what it’s worth, the Sixers were 2-2 in the preseason. They led the NBA in averaging 15.0 steals per exhibition game.

All-Star Ben Simmons has been suspended by the Sixers for this game for conduct detrimental to the team. Simmons had been thrown out of practice by Coach Doc Rivers on Tuesday. Rivers asked Simmons to join a defensive drill, and Simmons refused. Rivers then told Simmons that he should go home, and Simmons obliged.

“I thought he was a distraction today,” Rivers said of Simmons. “I didn’t think he wanted to do what everyone else was doing. At the end of the day, as a coach, I had to protect the team. The team [comes] first, and then we get to the other part. So today, I thought it was more important to focus on the team.”

Rivers said that if the Sixers practice on Thursday, he expects Simmons to be back on the court with his teammates. Of course, Simmons requested a trade from the team over the offseason, and said that he wouldn’t ever play for the Sixers again but recently reported. The 76ers have fined Simmons $1.4 million for his absence from four preseason games ($360,000 each) and levied numerous team fines for missed practices, on-court workouts and meetings.

Star Joel Embiid says he has yet to speak to Simmons since he did rejoin the team: “We don’t get paid to come out here and try to babysit somebody. That’s not our job. At this point, I don’t care about that man, honestly. He does whatever he wants.”

Simmons’s frustration with the team’s decision to build around Embiid comes as the duo ranked No. 4 in net rating of pairs who had played at least 1,100 minutes together.

Guard Shake Milton will not play Wednesday due to a right ankle sprain. Milton, 25, averaged a career-high 13.0 points per game last season. Seth Curry, Tyrese Maxey and Isaiah Joe will be expected to step up in Milton’s absence. Tobias Harris (right knee soreness) and Matisse Thybulle (right shoulder soreness) are not listed on the injury report ahead of Wednesday’s game.

Why Bet on New Orleans?

Pelicans superstar Zion Williamson is recovering from surgery on a fractured foot and will not play at least for the first week and probably longer. Williamson, the team said, fractured his right foot during the offseason prior to Summer League, which was in August.

Injuries have been a constant in his young but stellar career. During the preseason before his rookie year, he tore the lateral meniscus in his right knee. He would miss about three months. Last season, Williamson appeared in 61 of 72 games. Williamson is still being limited to 1-on-0 work. Last season, he averaged 27.0 points on .611 shooting from the floor, becoming the first player in NBA history to average 27 points on .600 shooting for an entire season. Naji Marshall should have an increased role while Zion is out.

Brandon Ingram (right knee soreness) missed three preseason games, while starting center Jonas Valanciunas (right thumb strain) was unavailable for one game. Backup center Jaxson Hayes didn’t play at all. All three should play Wednesday. Devonte’ Graham and Garrett Temple were the only constants in the starting lineup.

Ingram comes off his best season. He was one of just five players in the NBA that av raged at least 23.8 points per game while shooting at least .465 from the field, .375 from three-point range, and .875 from the free throw line, joining Stephen Curry, Kyrie Irving, Kawhi Leonard, and Kevin Durant.

Graham was an offseason pickup from Charlotte. Last season, he averaged 14.8 points, 5.4 assists and 2.7 rebounds per game, while shooting .377 from the floor and .375 from behind the arc. Graham ranked 14th in total three-pointers and 11th in threes (3.3) per game. Valanciunas was acquired from Memphis. He averaged 12.5 rebounds per game, a year ago, third in the NBA.

This will be the Pelicans head coaching debut of Willie Green.

Game Trends

  • 76ers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 Wednesday games.
  • 76ers are 12-5-1 ATS in their last 18 games as a road favorite.
  • Pelicans are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games.
  • 76ers are 0-4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
  • Under is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.

Expert Prediction

  • 76ers 116, Pelicans 113


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