Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons reacts after scoring a three-point basket in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons reacts after scoring a three-point basket in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, at Madison Square Garden in New York.|Mary Altaffer | Associated Press
NBA

Monday NBA Best Picks: 76ers vs Nets, Pelicans vs Grizzlies, and Thunder vs Rockets

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

1-0 Sunday, 68-72-1 overall.

76ers (+1.5) @ Nets (221)

Pick: Nets -1.5

The Nets are favored here? Yes, Joel Embiid remains sidelined for Philly but the sub-.500 Nets being short favorites against a Sixers team they just lost to by double digits at Wells Fargo Center feels odd at first glance. Philly is seven games better in the loss column than Brooklyn and the Nets have lost three straight. This line is so weird it makes us think it’s Nets or pass. The Sixers went through the motions on Saturday at Madison Square Garden in a 90-87 victory over the Knicks and probably don’t deserve to be favored by more than 3-5 on the road right now anyway. Though, the fact that they’re underdogs here is certainly a surprise and probably a trap. Brooklyn gets the win today for the sole reason that the Sixers getting points against the Nets is too good to be true.

Pelicans (+2.5) @ Grizzlies (239.5)

Pick: Grizzlies -2.5

Death, taxes and betting the Memphis Grizzlies on Martin Luther King Day in Memphis. In recent years, this has been the biggest stage the Grizzlies have played on with the organization underdoing a rebuild. Though now with Ja Morant looking like a franchise cornerstone and Jaren Jackson appearing to be the Robin to Morant’s Batman, there’s reason to think the future is now on Beale Street and the Grizzlies could make the playoffs. Look for them to make a statement in front of a national audience today and while the Pelicans have been playing better, Memphis covers the short number at home.

Thunder (+7) @ Rockets (230.5)

Pick: Rockets First quarter -2.5

Do you remember when the Thunder crushed Houston earlier this month in Oklahoma City? We do because we were on the Thunder. We’re also guessing the Rockets remember it and will come out with a purpose at home tonight. I’m sure it wasn’t the return to the Sooner State that Russell Westbrook was looking for and we’re expect him to especially be locked in right from the opening tip in Houston on Monday night. Seven points is a little too much to lay for us to back Houston for the full game, especially given the success against the spread that the Thunder have had this season so far. However, we’re willing to give the two and the hook to back the Rockets in the first 12 minutes.

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