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Game 3 between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets got chippy in a hurry when Nets center Nic Claxton stepped over Joel Embiid, and the Sixers star kicked out at him.

After Embiid committed his foul, officials conducted a review to determine whether he should be removed from the game. It was a tense moment for any Sixers fan watching the team’s first road game in its opening-round playoff series. Because his kick was classified as a flagrant 1 foul, rather than a flagrant 2, Embiid was allowed to continue playing and the game proceeded. However, the overall atmosphere had already become more combative than it was in the two preceding games, and emotions were running high.

The Nets had a good hold on the game for its majority, but they never quite staked a large enough lead to fend off the Sixers for long. Late in the third quarter, Philadelphia’s James Harden was ejected due to one of the most questionable calls I’ve seen in a long time. Harden made the smallest of push-offs to open up a shot from 3-point range, and Royce O’Neale went down in a heap, clutching his groin area in pain.

Brooklyn’s Nic Claxton was ejected in the fourth quarter for taunting that led to his second technical foul and left the Nets shorthanded in defending the paint. The Sixers eventually took the lead late and retained it, fending off a couple of desperate Nets attempts to fight their way back into the game.

With a potential series-ending Game 4 on the horizon, let's take a look at some NBA picks and parlays for Saturday afternoon.

76ers vs Nets Odds, Spread, Moneyline, Over/Under – NBA Playoffs Betting Lines 4/22

Moneyline: 76ers (-240), Nets (+195)
Spread: 76ers -5.5 (-115), Nets +5.5 (-106)
Total: Over/Under 208.5 points

76ers vs Nets Injury Report

The Sixers were without Danuel House for Game 3, although the Philadelphia forward had only played a total of five minutes through the first two games. The only name on the Brooklyn Nets’ injury report is Ben Simmons, who has not played since mid-February and was declared out for the season in late March.

76ers vs Nets Prediction

Philly now leads the series 3-0 with a chance to win it and advance relatively unscathed. The Nets will look to win at least win one game at home and return to Philadelphia for a Game 5, where they would again have to survive elimination.

The Sixers have shown their dominance in the series so far but have not been challenged enough by the Nets. It’s difficult to know how well the Sixers might stack up in a series against Boston or Milwaukee until we see them with their backs against the wall. Despite a good home performance by the Nets in Game 3, it still doesn’t feel like the Sixers have really been on the ropes yet.

Philly won the first two home games by double-digit margins and clubbed together on the road to earn a heavy advantage with their 3-0 series lead. Tyrese Maxey had a great Game 3 with 25 points and great range from behind the arc, sinking five of his eight 3-point attempts. 

The good news for the Sixers is that they are winning games without needing a major contribution from Joel Embiid. The Nets have swarmed Embiid in all three games of the series, forcing the Sixers to find other shooting outlets in their starting five.

Harden had 21 points before being ejected. Tobias Harris is also having a good series, and De’Anthony Melton scored 13 points off the bench in Game 3.

The Nets have their outlets, although they are a couple of pieces away from being ready for a playoff run. Mikal Bridges is a budding star who can lead his team for several years to come, and Brooklyn has other young pieces around which to build. However, the Nets need better shooters in the backcourt as well as another forward to complement Nic Claxton’s game.

I feel like the Sixers might want to go out and claim this series in a sweep so they can head back to Philly to rest, watch the film, and prepare for the next round.

Best NBA Same Game Parlay Picks Today for 76ers vs. Nets - NBA Playoffs Game 4: 4-Leg Parlay Picks (+850)

Tyrese Maxey Points Total

Tyrese Maxey has been a reliable source of offense when the Nets are double- and triple-teaming Joel Embiid. Maxey is tough to cover one-on-one -- especially in transition offense -- because he’s exceptionally fast and can blow by defenders for layups or pull up from 3-point range with a high rate of success.

The Sixers guard has come into his own during the series after a quiet 13-point night in the opener. I suspect he was told to be more aggressive and force the Nets to think about him more consistently on Philadelphia’s offensive possessions, and he has been a handful since Game 1.

Maxey scored 33 points in Game 2 and 25 in Game 3. He has hit 14 threes in the series so far and is making those threes at a rate of 53.8 percent. Another big night for Maxey in Game 4 would be far from a surprise, so I’m kicking off my NBA same-game parlay predictions with the Sixers guard.

Leg 1 SGP Pick: Tyrese Maxey Over 21.5 (+120)

Cameron Johnson 3-Pointers Made

Cam Johnson has been an excellent 3-point shooter all season. Since his arrival in Brooklyn, he has proven to be a great asset in pulling up from behind the arc. He never backs down from knocking down a corner three, and he has drained 11 from behind the arc over this series’ first three games.

Johnson took 11 shots from 3-point range in Game 2, but that number dipped to just five in Game 3. I’d like to see Brooklyn look for him on the perimeter early in Game 4 to ensure the Sixers don’t crash inside and take driving lanes away from Mikal Bridges. When they do commit to Bridges, Johnson becomes a great bet from long range. With everything on the line for the Nets, I’m backing him to make three or more from deep.

Leg 2 SGP Pick: Cameron Johnson 3+ Three Pointers made (+100)

Joel Embiid Total Points

The Nets’ plan for this series has been clear from the start: Smother Joel Embiid and hope the Sixers don’t beat you another way. It’s the reason James Harden went off with seven 3-pointers in Game 1 and Tyrese Maxey started heating up in Games 2 and 3.

Embiid is averaging just 20 points per game in the series so far, but Sixers fans were used to seeing almost double that from him during the regular season. He’s not getting to the foul stripe as much as he’d like -- going from a per-game average of 11.7 free throws in the regular season to eight in the playoffs.

While the Sixers big man isn’t scoring, his presence opens up opportunities for Philly in other areas. That has him sacrificing big scoring nights for the good of the team. Unless Brooklyn drastically changes its plan in Game 4 and suddenly frees up Embiid to seal its own fate in a four-game sweep, I’m willing to back Embiid going under his points total for the fourth game in a row.

Leg 3 SGP Pick - Joel Embiid Under 28.5 Points (-145)

Mikal Bridges Total Points

Let’s round out these NBA same-game parlay picks with Mikal Bridges. The Nets have a star in the making here, and their trade for Bridges could have exceptional long-term value, since Kevin Durant wanted out of the franchise anyway.

Bridges is going to need to show out in Game 4, and I imagine that’s exactly what he’ll do. When teams like the Nets are on the brink of elimination, they tend to lean on their stars and allow them a high volume of shooting and many opportunities to drive the lane. Even if Brooklyn comes up short and exits the playoffs in Game 4, I don’t think it will be because Bridges didn’t contribute enough.

The Nets forward is averaging 25.7 points per game in the playoffs he has seen increasing minutes as this series has progressed. He played 41 minutes in Game 2 and 43 in Game 3, so he’s going to be out there a lot in Game 4, and the Nets should have the ball in his hands as often as possible.

Leg 4 SGP Pick: Mikal Bridges 25+ Points (-200)

Odds are subject to change*

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