Your Philadelphia 76ers bought themselves a few much-needed days off, following Joel Embiid dropping a cool 101 points over two back-to-back nights. Those Sixers are back on Friday when they’ll host Giannis and the Bucks for a second time this year, hoping for a vengeance dish served cold.
But for you NBA addicts who cannot get enough, we have a star-studded double-header on TNT.
Grizzlies-Pelicans (NO -4, money line -170)
Memphis was noncompetitive vs. the Washington Wizards when Ja Morant was out dealing with a sore ankle. The superstar missed one game but he’s back out there tonight for primetime. Jaren Jackson Jr. is actually listed as questionable for this one. We don’t know if JJJ will make his season debut after recovering from foot surgery, but if he’s able to log any minutes, it would be a big emotional lift for ‘da Bears South.
Late first-round smash pick Desmond Bane is out, as the two-way sniper deals with a toe ailment.
.@memgrizz status report, Nov 15 at @PelicansNBA:— Grizzlies PR (@GrizzliesPR) November 14, 2022
J Jackson Jr. - RT Foot Surgery Recovery
D Bane - RT Toe Soreness
D Green - LT Knee Surgery Recovery
K Lofton Jr - Two-Way Transfer
Z Williams - RT Patellar Tendinitis
V Williams Jr - Two-Way Transfer
On the other side, we have Brandon Ingram and C.J. McCollum locked and loaded although Zion Williamson sounds less likely to suit up:
Pelicans say Zion Williamson is questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Grizzlies with a right ankle / foot sprain. pic.twitter.com/aL7DQZX1Vq— Andrew Lopez (@_Andrew_Lopez) November 14, 2022
McCollum has been in a big slump recently. He’s made just three field goals in three of his last four outings.
If this game is close — and we figure it will be — then Ja, despite coming back from a sore ankle, is probably going to rack up buckets. The Pelicans have done an average job containing opposing point guards, but this is basically a 23-year-old MVP candidate. That’s a tall order.
In a single-game parlay, let’s start with the Morant over 28.5 (-110). We don’t have full available player props yet, I suppose because we’re currently unsure if Zion will suit up. But I was eyeing the McCollum slump busting over. We may have to wait a couple hours to plug that in as well. How long can you keep C.J. down though?
Ja has averaged 8.8 dimes in the month of November. If our thesis is that he’s healthy, and going to have to log big minutes in a fun, close game, then we can put his over 8.5 dimes (+125) in there as well. Taking the 3.5 points, we lock in the Grizz hanging tough in this one, spearheaded by their supernova out of Murray State.
Here, our 5 bucks pays us $17.25 with Morant dropping 29 and 9 in a very close game or a win where we never sweat. But I’m gonna check back for Pellie’s player odds as the game approaches.
Nets-Kings (Kings -2, money line -125)
Next up we have the controversy-addled Nets. The Nets are coming off a throttling by the lowly Lakers. While the Kings are white hot, having defeated the Cavs, Lakers, and Warriors in their last three games. Who dey Sac-town?!
I can’t say I have a great feel for this one, but I’m inclined to stick with the hotter team. The Nets’ defense isn’t formidable these days. Kyrie Irving (out) still apparently has “work to do,” as he’s manufactured another preposterous way to miss critical ball games. So I look for De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis to give Jacque Vaughn’s unit fits.
Ben Simmons has been on again off again with knee soreness. Figuring out which Nets will play, and how they’ll look, is anyone’s guess these days.
Nic Claxton isn’t at full strength. So it’s basically the Kevin Durant show. And that should play into the Kings’ hands as well, as they can focus on trapping him, and forcing others to hurt them. D-Fox is playing some of the best ball of his career and there’s not a guy on the Nets roster that can stick with him these days.
Let’s plug in a single-game parlay. Gimme that pricy Kings Money line (-135), the Fox points over 24.5 points (-165), and the Sabonis points over 17.5 (-135). That five-dollar bet will pay us $18.25, and if we’re really feeling ourselves, we tack on the Sabonis over 11.5 boards, and that brings us to +450 pay out. Now our fiver pays us $27.50. If you’re totally out of your mind, add Kevin Durant’s over 28.5 points and now you’re up to +750 on the whole game stack. It might be chalky but we’re only playing against the house on these SGPs. Even if the King sell out to stop KD, he still might just sneeze his way to 30 with so little help.
The thesis here is simple: the stars come out to shine. So hopefully they can get us paid in the process. We don’t expect anyone to touch Joel Embiid’s 59 points though. The brightest star can enjoy some video games on his couch as far as we’re concerned.