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76ers’ Joel Embiid (back) downgraded to questionable vs. Pelicans

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76ers Joel Embiid (back) downgraded to questionable vs Pelicans
USA Today Network

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (low back soreness) has been downgraded to questionable for Monday night’s home game against the New Orleans Pelicans. The five-time All-Star is the only player listed for Philly.

Embiid has missed eight games so far this season. Through 27 starts, the seventh-year center is averaging career highs of 33.2 points, 4.6 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.7 blocks per game. Also, he’s shooting a career-best 52.8% from the floor.

According to a few NBA betting sites, the 76ers have the 11th-best odds to win the championship. Check out which sportsbooks are giving the Cleveland Cavaliers and Brooklyn Nets better odds.

On New Year’s Eve, in the 76ers’ 115-96 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, Embiid recorded his first triple-double of the season. He amassed 16 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists, one steal, and four blocks in 29 minutes of action. He finished 6-of-17 (35.3%) shooting from the field.

Furthermore, in the Sixers’ 105-98 win against the Utah Jazz on Nov. 13, the center scored a career-high 59 points in 37 minutes played. Along with logging 11 boards, eight assists, one steal, and seven blocks, he shot 19-of-28 (67.9%) from the floor.

76ers center Joel Embiid (low back soreness) was downgraded to questionable against Pelicans

Embiid became the first player in NBA history to record a 50/10/5/5 stat line in a game since blocks became an official statistic in the 1973-74 season. When healthy, the four-time All-NBA member is Philadelphia’s most valuable player.

Meanwhile, Brandon Ingram (toe) and E.J. Liddell (knee) remain out indefinitely for the Pelicans. Larry Nance Jr. (neck) was also downgraded to out for Monday night’s interconference matchup.

While New Orleans is 5-5 in its last 10 games, the 76ers are 8-2 during the same span. The Pelicans have lost their previous five road matchups against the Sixers. But they’re 4-1 in their past five meetings versus Eastern Conference opponents.

As for the 76ers, they’ve won their last nine home games. Philadelphia is 5-1 ATS in its past six contests against Western Conference teams as well. In the first game of the season series last Friday. the Pelicans won 127-116 at home over the Sixers.

Per ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, the Sixers have a 73.5% chance of defeating New Orleans. Sportsbooks show the 76ers as a 4.5-point favorite at home. Bettors are expecting Philly to win, but the Pelicans will likely cover the spread.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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