0-2 Thursday, 87-86-1 overall.
Grizzlies (+5) @ Sixers (223.5)
Pick: Sixers 1st Half -3
Allow us first to blow off some steam from last night. We needed a pair of Ben Simmons free throws for us to push on Sixers +9 in the closing seconds. Surely, he missed both and Philly lost by 11. Then the Bulls, our other pick catching 4.5, managed to come back from a deficit north of 20 points in the second half to get within four with less than five seconds left. Off a missed free throw, Chicago tipped the rebound into its own basket and failed to cover. We didn’t deserve that one anyway, but it still stung.
Now for tonight. This will be short and sweet. The Sixers dominate at Wells Fargo Center and this week especially has been tough for Philly. On a four-game road trip in Atlanta, Boston, Miami and Milwaukee, the Sixers went 0-4 and lost each game by double digits. We’re betting on them coming out strong and pissed off back home tonight and playing a good first 24 minutes. Maybe there’s some fatigue in the second half with the road trip and playing on a back-to-back, so we won’t lay the five points for the full game, but we do think they’ll be up multiple possessions at halftime.
Rockets (-2.5) @ Suns (233.5)
Pick: Under 233.5
Speaking of back-to-backs, Houston is on one tonight out West after winning by double digits at Staples Center last night against the Lakers. At 233.5, this total is simply too high. We wouldn’t be surprised if there was a little bit of a hangover for Houston all the big win and fatigue could come into play for Houston in the second half as well. Both of those factors could point towards a sluggish team that has too many inefficient offensive possessions to score at least 115. As for Phoenix, well the Suns have only gone over 110 once in their last eight games. And when it comes to a sluggish team, Phoenix has played its way out of the race for the eighth seed in the West and its last three games are certainly indicators that it is a dead team right now. That’s also not one we expect to execute at a high level offensively.