76ers vs. Grizzlies NBA Odds & Picks: Can Philly Win Without Joel Embiid? (Jan. 16)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images. Pictured: Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers.
- The 76ers are a short favorite over the Grizzlies on Saturday night with both teams short-handed.
- Memphis has been dreadful on offense, and its defense has been propped up by wins over teams without their star offensive players.
- See how we're betting this cross-conference matchup on Saturday night:
76ers vs. Grizzlies Odds
|76ers Odds||-3 [BET NOW]|
|Grizzlies Odds||+3 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||+120 / -148 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||N/A [BET NOW]|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
Like many other NBA games, this one is missing some key pieces.
The Sixers won consecutive midweek games against the Heat, but Joel Embiid did not make the road trip due to right knee pain. The Grizzlies are also without some of their best players as Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. remain out.
The Grizzlies have been heating up with a season-high three straight wins. While both teams have notable absences, the Sixers still have an All-Star in Ben Simmons (knee) who is probable to play after he just dropped his second triple-double of the season two days ago. Expect Simmons and Shake Milton to lead the Sixers to a road win and snap the Grizzlies’ win streak.
While Embiid only played 24 minutes in the last win against the Heat, nearly every other member of the Sixers stepped his game up as they cruised to a 17-point victory. Shake Milton had a career-high 31 points as the sixth man and earned some praise from Lou Williams.
Rookies Tyrese Max and Isaiah Joe combined for 27 points while shooting 10-14 from the field and Tobias Harris also added 18 points. The Sixers are a deeper team this year, and the recent absences on the perimeter due to health and safety protocols have helped younger players like Maxey and Joe get valuable experience when the 76ers were briefly the Seven Sixers.
This will be valuable against the Grizzlies as Mike Scott, Seth Curry, Furkan Korkmaz, and Vincent Poirier are also all listed as out. To win and cover in Memphis, the 76ers will need two of Simmons, Milton, and Harris to have efficient performances. The Grizzlies rank 26th in offensive efficiency, and although Embiid is out, Simmons, Milton, and Harris will be the three best offensive players on the floor in the game.
The Grizzlies will need to clamp down on defense and have big games from Kyle Anderson and Dillon Brooks if they hope to pull the upset. The Grizzlies will be without Justice Winslow, Killian Tillie, and Jontay Porter in addition to Morant and JJJ on Saturday.
In the absence of their two best players, the Grizzlies have played through Brooks and Anderson. Brooks ranks in the 93rd percentile among wings in usage rate (27.8%) while Anderson’s usage (21.9%) ranks in the 74th percentile among forwards, per Cleaning The Glass.
Unfortunately for Grizzlies fans, all five Grizzlies with usage rates over 15% who average at least 20 minutes per game (Brooks, Anderson, Brandon Clarke, Jonas Valanciunas, and Tyus Jones) all rank below average in points per shot attempt among their position groups.
Even worse, four of those five each rank in the bottom 20th percentile in points per shot attempt among his position group. The Grizzlies are facing a top-10 defense (albeit without Embiid), and they will need Brooks and Anderson to be more efficient and take smart shots when creating for themselves while the whole team needs to improve its accuracy from beyond the arc (26th).
While the Grizzlies rank seventh in defensive efficiency, I believe this ranking is a little misleading due to a relatively soft schedule and some well-timed absences from top opposing players (like beating the Nets twice while both Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant were out).
The Grizzlies have been terrible offensively, and the 76ers have shown they have multiple capable creators without Embiid. Take the 76ers, and I’m comfortable playing up to -5.5.
Pick: Sixers -3