The NBA season resumes after the All-Star break with a premier matchup of two of the top five teams in the league based on record. The Memphis Grizzlies (35-22, 2nd in the West) visit the Philadelphia 76ers (38-19, 3rd in the East) at 7:30 p.m. ET on TNT.
After starting the season 12-12, the Sixers turned it on in December with an eight-game winning streak that propelled them to a 26-7 stretch. The Grizzlies are going in the other direction, having lost nine of their last 13 games before the All-Star break while dealing with several missed games from multiple key players.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Philadelphia 76ers Prediction
My pick: Sixers -4, over 229.5
The Sixers have been one of the hottest teams in the league since December and carried a four-game winning streak into the All-Star break. They managed to overcome extended absences from James Harden and Tyrese Maxey to get where they are in the standings today, and now they are as healthy as they have been all season.
Philadelphia has been especially strong at home, going a league-best 21-10 ATS in the Wells Fargo Center with an average margin of victory of 6 points per game. Memphis has struggled on the road, going 11-17 overall and 9-18-1 ATS when traveling. They are a league-worst 1-7 as road underdogs and they fail to cover by a whopping 12.8 points per game in those situations.
Joel Embiid looks primed for another great performance with the Grizzlies still missing starting center Steven Adams. All-Star Jaren Jackson Jr. is a great interior defender, but he will have his hands full against Embiid. One of the biggest knocks against Jackson is that he is prone to foul trouble, and Embiid is one of the best in the league at getting to the line.
I am also betting the over in this game. The Grizzlies play at the sixth-fastest pace in the league, and while the Sixers play at the fifth-slowest pace, their games have gone over at the third-highest rate this season. I expect the tempo to be up in this game with the players being fully rested coming off the All-Star break. The Over is a combined a 19-5 in the last 24 games these teams played with 3 or more days.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Philadelphia 76ers Betting Odds
The Sixers are favored in this game as -4 favorites on the spread with -170 odds on the moneyline. The public is overwhelmingly backing the Sixers with nearly 90% of the money on 60% of the bets against the spread at DraftKings. The Sixers are also getting roughly 75% of the money on 70% of the moneyline bets at DraftKings.
The total for this game is at 229.5, just below the two teams’ combined scoring average of 230.5. Oddly (no pun intended), FanDuel opened this game with a total of 217.5 and held it there for nearly 24 hours before moving it closer to the rest of the industry. The public is betting the over with 73% of the handle and 77% of the bets at DraftKings.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Sixers winning 116.75-112.75.
- The Grizzlies are 1-6 ATS in their last seven road games, and 1-5 ATS in their last five games in Philadelphia.
- The 76ers are 20-6 ATS in their last 26 home games, and 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall.
- The Over is 13-3 in the Grizzlies’ last 16 games playing on 3 or more days rest, and the Over is 6-2 in the Sixers’ last eight games in the same scenario.
- The Over is 7-3 in the last 10 meetings between these teams.
With two of the league’s biggest stars in Joel Embiid and Ja Morant squaring off, those two players’ performances will be the biggest keys to watch in this matchup.
Embiid was two assists shy of a triple-double when these teams last met on Dec. 2, putting up a line of 35-11-8 on a 51.9% effective field goal percentage. The Grizzlies had Adams in that game and will have an even harder time slowing down Embiid without him.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is currently the favorite to win Defensive Player of the Year, and deservedly so, but he has struggled in one-on-one matchups against true centers like Embiid. He is more effective at the four spot where he has more freedom to be a dominant weakside defender, like he showed against Embiid in a critical moment of the last matchup.
Jaren Jackson Jr. Blocks Joel Embiid with the game on the line. Grizzlies win pic.twitter.com/FTeLGKWkzt
— Bryson (@BrysonWright3) December 3, 2022
The Sixers need Embiid to be in MVP form to win this matchup. If he can get Jackson in foul trouble, that will have a huge impact on this game.
Morant struggled a bit from the field when these teams last met, going 10-for-28 (2-8 from three) for an effective field goal percentage of 39.3%. He still managed to pour in a team-leading 28 points, but he will need to be more efficient as a scorer this time for the Grizzlies to get a tough road win.
Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup
Philadelphia 76ers Starting Lineups
Memphis Grizzlies Injuries: Luke Kennard (O – illness), Steven Adams (O – knee)
Philadelphia 76ers Injuries: Furkan Korkmaz (Q – personal reasons)