The Philadelphia 76ers (34-21) play host to the Brooklyn Nets (25-28) on Thursday evening in an important Eastern Conference matchup. Joel Embiid and company will begin their post-break journey in this matchup, with the Nets entering the game without their centerpiece in Kyrie Irving, who remains out with a shoulder injury. Ben Simmons (back) is listed as questionable for Philadelphia.

Tip-off is at 8 p.m. ET at Wells Fargo Center. Sportsbooks list the 76ers as seven-point home favorites, down 1.5 points from the opening line, while the over-under, or total number of points Vegas thinks will be scored, is 214.5 in the latest Nets vs. Sixers odds. Before you make any 76ers vs. Nets picks or NBA predictions, see what SportsLine's advanced computer model has to say.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and last season it returned a whopping $4,280 on its top-rated spread and money line picks. It's already returned over $3,000 in profit on all top-rated NBA picks during the 2019-20 season and entered Week 18 on a blistering 35-19 run on all top-rated spread picks. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on 76ers vs. Nets. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are the NBA odds and trends for Nets vs. Sixers:

  • Sixers vs. Nets spread: 76ers -7
  • Sixers vs. Nets over-under: 214.5 points
  • Sixers vs. Nets money line: 76ers -303, Nets +250
  • BRK: The Nets have covered the spread in five consecutive games
  • PHL: The 76ers are 2-6 against the spread in the last eight games

Why the Nets can cover

The model knows that the absence of Irving is significant but, at the same time, the Nets are actually better from a win-loss standpoint without their lead guard this season. Brooklyn is 17-16 without Irving and much of that can be traced to strong play from Spencer Dinwiddie, with the veteran guard averaging 21.0 points and 6.6 assists per game in 2019-20. 

He provides Brooklyn with a plausible No. 1 option and the Nets are also a strong offensive rebounding team. The Nets have also been carried by an intriguingly effective defense, with a top-10 overall mark that includes elite stats in shooting efficiency allowed. Brooklyn also does a good job at keeping opponents away from the free-throw line, which is key against Philadelphia.

Why the Sixers can cover

Even so, Brooklyn isn't a lock to cover the Sixers vs. Nets spread. The model also realizes that Philadelphia has been the best team in the NBA at home this season. The 76ers have endured well-documented struggles on the road but, at Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia is a sparkling 25-2 on the season. The 76ers also have the edge in star power against the Irving-less Nets, with Joel Embiid leading the way.

Embiid is the center of everything, averaging 22.9 points and 11.9 rebounds with elite defensive impact, and Simmons, if he's able to go, adds a well-rounded game with 16.9 points, 8.3 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game. Philadelphia is much stronger on the defensive end than on offense, using its length and athleticism to forge a top-10 group, but the 76ers could also find success in attacking the rim against Brooklyn's front court on the other end.

How to make Sixers vs. Nets picks

SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, with Dinwiddie and Tobias Harris projected to fall short of their scoring averages. The model also says one side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations.

So who wins Nets vs. 76ers and which side of the spread hits in almost 70 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Sixers vs. Nets spread you need to jump on Thursday, all from the model that has crushed its NBA picks, and find out.