It’s time for another ESPN NBA doubleheader! Tonight, the Philadelphia 76ers host the Brooklyn Nets at 4:30 p.m. (PST), followed by the Golden State Warriors hosting the Memphis Grizzlies at 7:00 p.m. (PST). With several injuries impacting the landscape of these matchups, we’ll take a look at where to put your money. Let’s start, as usual, with the early game.
BKN Spread: +5 (-110) Moneyline: +170
PHI Spread: -5 (-110) Moneyline: -200
Things to consider…
1) First things first, Nets forward Kevin Durant (MCL sprain) is still sidelined, which means we will likely see Joe Harris continue to get the nod at small forward. It also means that Brooklyn is without its MVP candidate and most potent scorer. Look for point guard Kyrie Irving to shoulder a lot of the offensive burden in his stead.
2) Sixers center Joel Embiid (left foot) is questionable to play. Embiid did not play on Sunday and did not practice much on Tuesday. It is possible that he will miss tonight’s contest as well, as he continues to recover from soreness in his left foot. Montrezl Harrell will presumably start in his place if he is unable to go.
3) The Sixers are defending homecourt where they are 17-7 this season. They also enter the contest on a five-game winning streak with three days of rest. Even if Embiid sits, they should hold the advantage.
Main takeaway: While this game is not a certain blowout by any means, the Sixers are a good bet to win. The Nets are 2-4 in their last six games without Durant and will likely continue to struggle in his absence.
And now, the late game.
MEM Spread: +3 (-105) Moneyline: +135
GSW Spread: -3 (-115) Moneyline: -155
Things to consider…
1) Grizzlies center Steven Adams has been diagnosed with a sprained PCL in his right knee and is expected to miss the next 3-5 weeks. Obviously, he will be unavailable for tonight’s matchup, meaning that Memphis will be without its best rim protector and rebounder. Xavier Tillman is likely to draw the start in his stead, though more will also be expected of Brandon Clarke.
2) The Warriors enter this matchup with two days’ rest and a healthy lineup, whereas the Grizzlies are coming off of a back-to-back that saw losses on each occasion. With the Warriors playing at home, where they are 17-6 this season, it should be a fairly competitive game despite disparity in the Western Conference standings.
3) The Warriors put up 117.6 points per game – which ranks third out of 30 in the league – at the fastest pace of any team. Without Adams defending the paint and clearing the offensive glass, Memphis could be at a severe disadvantage.
Main takeaway: Although the Grizzlies have been the better team this season, if there is a time for the Warriors to come out on top, it’s now. This is reflected in the moneyline, but if you’re confident that the Grizzlies will persevere, you could make a decent bit of money betting on them.