76ers vs. Grizzlies NBA Preview and Best Bet for December 13

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Joel Embiid #21 (R) of the Philadelphia 76ers. Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images/AFP

The Memphis Grizzlies have been playing well despite being without star Ja Morant. Will that continue Monday vs. Philadelphia? Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Memphis Grizzlies 

Monday, December 13, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at FedExForum 

Monday is the first meeting of the season between the 76ers and Grizzlies, although Memphis is short-handed and I wouldn’t be shocked if Philadelphia rested a key player or two. The Grizz will go to Philly on Jan. 31. 

Last year, the Grizzlies won both meetings. The one in Memphis was 106-104. Ja Morant (more on him below) had 17 points and six assists as seven Grizz players scored at least 11 points, although they nearly blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead.

Superstar Joel Embiid was out for Philadelphia. Ben Simmons (remember him?) had a near-triple-double of 11 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists. Shake Milton had 28 points off the bench. 

Memphis has won seven of the past 10 in the series and is 5-4-1 against the spread at the online betting sites.

Sixers off Huge Victory 

This might qualify as a bit of a letdown game for the 76ers after they knocked off the excellent Golden State Warriors 102-93 Saturday night on national TV.  Star Joel Embiid said he had some trouble breathing during Thursday’s game vs. Utah and he didn’t play like himself, but he looked back in form Saturday with 26 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals. He was 11-for-11 from the free-throw line.  

Matisse Thybulle usually comes off the bench, but he started Saturday in part because he’s a tremendous defender. Thybulle had just six points but helped hold Curry to just 6-for-20 shooting and became the first player ever to block multiple Curry three-point attempts in a game.

Presumably, Danny Green will return to the starting lineup for this one. The Philly bench was excellent vs. the Warriors as Shake Milton was plus-20 in his 19 minutes and Andre Drummond plus-18 in his 15 minutes. 

Of course, the Sixers remain without All-Star Ben Simmons and there doesn’t appear to be any resolution close between the sides. The Sixers aren’t paying him, so they can play the long game.

It has been reported that Portland will not trade Damian Lillard for Simmons but that the Blazers would do C.J. McCollum – problem is, McCollum is currently hurt. Starting Wednesday, 84 percent of the 446 players under contract can be included in trades. Currently, 65 percent of the league's players are eligible. 

Philadelphia is 1-5-1 against the spread on the NBA odds in its past seven after a win. 

Grizzlies Still Without Morant 

Memphis remains without its best player in former NBA Rookie of the Year Ja Morant. He had been sidelined with a knee injury but then also landed in COVID protocols. Thus, we may not see Morant until after Christmas. He was playing terrific before going down, averaging 24.1 points, 6.8 assists, and 5.6 rebounds per game. 

Forward Jaren Jackson Jr. is in question for Monday. He missed Saturday’s 113-106 win over Houston with left knee soreness. Jackson is averaging 16.5 points and 5.5 rebounds.

Dillon Brooks missed a game last week in the COVID protocols but was cleared and played Saturday, scoring 25 points. It was Brooks’ sixth 20-point performance of the season. Killian Tillie recorded a season-high 12 points off the bench. Kyle Anderson tied his season-high with 16 points. 

The Grizzlies shot 50.0 percent from the field vs. Houston and improved to 7-1 this season when shooting at least 50 percent. Even without Morant, the Grizz have won seven of eight to reach a season-high five games over .500. Memphis’ winning percentage of .875 since November 28 is the best in the NBA over that span. 

Memphis has won seven straight games at home vs. the 76ers and the Grizzlies are 5-0 ATS in their past five Monday games, but for my basketball picks, I have to take the Sixers as long as everyone plays.  

NBA Pick: 76ers -3 (-110) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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76ers -3 (-110)
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