Sixers' NBA Finals odds surging following Joel Embiid's return

The Philadelphia 76ers are now the No. 8 team in the odds to win the NBA Finals this season after winning five games in a row.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid. / Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Are the Philadelphia 76ers… title contenders? 

Oddsmakers sure thinks so, as Philly has won five straight games and now is moving up the ladder in the latest odds to win the NBA Finals entering the final week of the regular season. 

Joel Embiid’s return from a knee injury has changed the outlook on the Sixers’ season, and the team has jumped ahead of the Miami Heat for the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers could realistically get as high as the No. 5 seed, sitting just two games back of the Cleveland Cavaliers with three games to play. 

Should Sixers fans and bettors consider a wager on Philly to win the Finals? Now may be the time to jump in on this team for several reasons:   

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Philadelphia 76ers odds to win the NBA Finals

FanDuel Sportsbook now has the Sixers in eighth in the odds to win the NBA Finals, which is a major jump since the team isn’t even guaranteed a playoff spot right now since it would have to compete in the play-in tournament as the No. 7 seed if the season ended today.

Philly is ahead of the Minnesota Timberwolves (the No. 1 seed in the West), Cleveland Cavaliers (the No. 5 seed in the East), New York Knicks (the No. 4 seed in the East), Indiana Pacers (the No. 6 seed in the East) and the Orlando Magic (the No. 3 seed in the East) in the latest odds.

The addition of Embiid is huge, but the fact that oddsmakers think Philly is one of the top-eight teams to win it all this season signals that oddsmakers expect it to at least earn the No. 7 spot in the East.

Here’s why: 

Why Sixers could be a smart bet to win the NBA Finals

Oddsmakers wouldn’t have Philly’s odds this high if they thought the team would have to face Boston – the clear favorite to win the title – in the first round.

Sunday’s loss by the Miami Heat now puts Philly in the driver’s seat for at least the No. 7 seed, where it would end up on the opposite side of the bracket as Boston in the East. The Sixers could also do that by getting the No. 6 seed (they are currently one game back of Indiana). 

Philly has won five straight games, and the team has simply been dominant when Embiid plays. 

The Sixers are a shocking 29-8 when Embiid suits up, but they struggled when he was sidelined with his knee injury, posting a 15-27 record in the 42 games he’s missed.

Clearly, oddsmakers think the reigning MVP could be the difference this season. If Embiid stays healthy, Philly is a team that nobody in the East should want to face.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.