76ers Joel Embiid OUT Monday In NBA MVP Battle vs. Jokic, Nuggets

Written By Josh Lander on March 27, 2023
joel embiid

NBA fans will have to wait a little longer for a rematch between the top-two MVP candidates this season. Hours before the Nuggets and 76ers game in Denver Monday night, Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid was ruled out of what would have been an exciting matchup between opposing center Nikola Jokic and him. The 76ers are underdogs in the game, with a total set at . Tipoff is slated for 9:30 p.m. EDT / 7:30 p.m. MDT on NBA TV.

With both Embiid and guard James Harden listed as questionable on the team’s initial injury report, Philadelphia opened as +5.5 underdogs. That spread quickly shot up to +7.5 after it was made public that Embiid would not play. Harden has missed Philly’s last four games, but his player props are now available on most sportsbooks, indicating he’s likely to return to the lineup against Denver.

Here are Harden’s core points, rebounds and assists props for the game against the Nuggets:

  • Points: Over/Under /
  • Rebounds: Over/Under /
  • Assists: Over/Under /

Harden’s backcourt mate, Tyrese Maxey will also suit up in Denver and should be expected to increase his stats without Embiid. Since last season, Maxey has played in 14 games while Embiid was sidelined. In those games, the third-year guard averages nearly 24 points a game, 33% more than when he plays alongside his starting center.

Here are Maxey’s core points, rebounds and assists props for the game against the Nuggets:

  • Points: Over/Under /
  • Rebounds: Over/Under /
  • Assists: Over/Under /

Find NBA odds here and use our player props search tool to find the best odds on your favorite players.

Joel Embiid Losing NBA MVP Favorite Status?

Both the Nuggets and 76ers have secured a playoff spot already. Philly has an outside chance at overtaking the Celtics for the 2-seed, but looks destined for the 3-seed. The Nuggets have been atop the Western Conference all season and should wrap up the 1-seed within the next few games.

The aspect of this game that most of us wanted to watch was the individual battle between Embiid and Jokic, one of whom is taking home the league MVP award this season. Had they squared off on Monday night, one was likely going to leave with an edge to take home the trophy.

Embiid is still slightly favored to win at , while a bet on Joker to win nets you on your money. Embiid was an even bigger favorite just last week.

Giannis Antetokounmpo finds himself on the outside looking in at this point, with to win his third MVP. It’s difficult to see him making a comeback and overtaking either of the two big men in front of him. Over the last two weeks, Giannis’s Bucks have lost to both the 76ers and Nuggets in games that Embiid and Jokic each played exceptionally well.

Depending on how Monday night’s game turns out, Jokic will likely be able to shorten his odds to take home a third-straight MVP award. Especially if the Nuggets win comfortably.

It doesn’t seem completely fair to punish Joel Embiid for missing one game, but his lack of availability the previous two seasons is the main reason he hasn’t won the award yet. Last season, Embiid led the league in points per game and had an unbelievably efficient season, but only played in 61 of a possible 82 games.

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