Pro Basketball Picks: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Philadelphia 76ers

Memphis Grizzlies at Philadelphia 76ers
Monday, 1/28/13, 7:00 PM EST, TV:  SPSO
Opening Point Spread:  Memphis -4
Current Betting Line:  Memphis -3
Opening Total:  177
Current Total:  178.5
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Philadelphia 76ers are 8-19 SU in their last 27 games
The Philadelphia 76ers are 8-19 SU in their last 27 games

Memphis has won four of its last six games, but comes off a 91-83 loss to the New Orleans Hornets as 7.5-point home favorites Sunday, while going UNDER the total for the sixth time in eight contests.  “Just taking too many jump shots,” commented Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins.  “We got to attack the basket.”  The Grizzlies are hoping that forward Rudy Gay can assume the responsibility of getting to the rim, but he’s averaged just 12.6 points over his last five contests.  Memphis is 5-3 when playing on back-to-back days this season, with the UNDER going 5-2-1 in that situation.

The Grizzlies are 11-8 overall on the road this season, including a 4-1 mark when taking on Eastern Conference opponents.  Memphis has held 39 of its 43 opponents under 100 points this season, which is the highest mark in the NBA in that particular category.  Entering Sunday, the team was leading all teams in allowing just 89.2 points per game, which has been led by ranking second in the league in steals and forced turnovers.

Philadelphia snapped a two-game losing streak by picking up a 97-80 win over the New York Knicks as four-point home underdogs Saturday, while going UNDER the posted total of 192.  The 76ers are a disappointing 8-19 since opening up the 2012-13 NBA season with a 10-6 mark, as they still wait for Andrew Bynum to make his debut on the floor.  Point guard Jrue Holiday is the player to watch offensively, averaging a team-high 19.4 points, including a career-high 35 last time out.  Philadelphia is 6-6 ATS as a home underdog of 3.5 to 6 points over the last two-plus seasons, which can’t be ignored when looking over the pro basketball odds page.

The 76ers have lost four of their last six games against the Grizzlies, while they’ve failed to hit the century mark in scoring in the past four.  Philadelphia will be playing the second of eight straight at home, as it won’t play on the road again until Feb. 23, which happens to be the final game before the All-Star break.  Holiday joins Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook as the only two players in the league to average 18-plus points and 8-plus assists this season.

Sports bettors will likely back the Grizzlies due to their 2-0 ATS mark as road favorites of 3.5 to 6 points, while the 76ers are 2-5 ATS off an upset win as an underdog this year.

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