On Sunday night, the Philadelphia 76ers will play host to the Memphis Grizzlies. The Sixers enter play at 34-15, in a virtual tie with the Brooklyn Nets for the best record in the Eastern Conference. The Grizzlies are 23-23, just a half game behind the San Antonio Spurs for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Let’s get into our Sixers-Grizzlies betting preview, including odds, boosts, and picks.
Sixers vs. Grizzlies Betting Pick (April 4, 2021)
The Philadelphia 76ers are on the second half of a back-to-back against Western Conference opponents, but have been reenergized by the return of franchise center Joel Embiid.
The Sixers center was an early frontrunner for MVP before a bone bruise in his knee cost him three weeks and ten games. Philadelphia played well in his absence, going 7-3, but there’s no comparison between this squad without Embiid and when he’s able to play.
On Saturday night against the Timberwolves, Embiid played 29 minutes in a game that never felt as close as the 122-113 scoreline would have otherwise indicated. He put up 24 points, pulled down eight rebounds, and dished out two assists. Tobias Harris continued his high-scoring ways, leading Philadelphia with 32 points, while Ben Simmons (14), Shake Milton (14), and Seth Curry (13) all made it into double digits.
The Memphis Grizzlies enter tonight’s game with an extra day’s rest, having dispatched of the same Minnesota Timberwolves team by a final score of 120-108. In Friday night’s game, the Grizzlies were led by center Jonas Valanciunas with 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Grayson Allen (15), De’Anthony Melton (14), Dillon Brooks (12), Xavier Tillman (12), Tyus Jones (11), Brandon Clarke (11), and Ja Morant (11) all put up double digit points.
Memphis won the first matchup between these teams back on January 16 at the FedExForum. Will history repeat itself on Easter Sunday?
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Sixers vs. Grizzlies Odds
Here’s the line for the Sixers and Grizzlies at DraftKings Sportsbook:
- Spread: Sixers -3.5, Grizzlies +3.5
- Moneyline: Sixers -150, Grizzlies +125
- Total: 226.5
And here are the current best available odds for the Sixers (may not display on Google AMP pages):
Bets We Like With a Sixers Win
FiveThirtyEight gives the Sixers a 73% chance of winning with a -6 point line. The oddsmakers agree though less emphatically, with the Sixers’ implied win probability based on the moneyline at a lower 57%.
Sixers Win and Over 226.5 Points (+215, DraftKings Sportsbook)
Sixers franchise center Joel Embiid showed very little rust in his first game back, putting together some highlight plays while going head-to-head with one of the hottest centers in the game, Karl-Anthony Towns. The Sixers held off the Timberwolves at more than an arm’s length throughout the game on Saturday night, before Philadelphia sent in their reserves for stretches in the second half. Eventually, the Sixers starters, including Embiid, reentered the game to close it out.
With the win, Philadelphia improved to an outstanding 30-7 this season when they’ve been installed as the favorite. An interesting note in this one: the winner of the last seven games between Philadelphia and Memphis has won each game.
As for the total points, Embiid’s reinsertion into the lineup fundamentally changes the offensive and defensive dynamics of the Sixers. While the Sixers’ recent scoring trends had seen the under hit in five of six games prior to Saturday’s contest with Minnesota, Embiid’s presence led to a near-blowout, which sent the total into chaos. It’s entirely conceivable that the same events could play out on Sunday night, with Philadelphia getting out to a big lead, Memphis clawing back, and the final score once again looking closer than it ultimately is. Memphis has seen the over hit in three of their last five games, but while their Friday matchup with Minnesota went under, the final score went over 226.5 points.
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Bets We Like Independent of Outcome
Ja Morant and Jamal Murray 1+ Dunks Each (+300, FOX Bet)
When it comes to high-flying guards, there might not be anyone better at defying gravity than Ja Morant. While it’s expected that Joel Embiid will be filling the lane for the Sixers in this game, Morant will have plenty of opportunities to jam one home in transition or when Embiid isn’t manning the paint. As for Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, his squad will be taking on an Orlando Magic squad that effectively gave up on its season by trading away Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon at the trade deadline. Murray, like Morant, should get plenty of opportunities to attack the rim.
Ja Morant to Record Under 27.5 Points and Assists (-102, FanDuel Sportsbook)
While it’s true that Ja Morant is one of the best young guards in the NBA, his recent scoring trends aren’t indicative of a guy who’s about to put on a show against a more talented Sixers squad packed with lengthy wing defenders. In fact, Morant has finished with under 27.5 combined points and assists in nine of his last 13 games. He’s only gone over that total once in his last four games, and failed to crossed the 27.5 threshold in Memphis’ first meeting with Philadelphia. In that game, Morant went 7-14 from the field, including 0-3 from deep, finishing with 17 points and 6 assists.
Sixers vs. Grizzlies Prediction
Pick: Philadelphia could very easily get out to an early lead and never look back. A large part of this game is dependent on whether or not Joel Embiid suits up. If he does, it should be a comfortable Sixers win. If he doesn’t, the game could be considerably closer. Either way, take the Sixers to Win and Over 225.5 points.
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