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NBA Breakdown and 'SO/UP' Bets for Raptors-76ers, Pacers-Jazz

Utah has one of the best records in basketball Against The Spread (ATS). Does it continue against Indiana?

Tuesday was a tough night for the SO/UP crowd. I went 3/6 and guest picker Michael Shapiro was 2/6. A couple of bad beats sunk us, but it’s no matter, we’re back with more picks for the slim Thursday slate!

Shapiro returns to make sense of the lines and picks for the Raptors-76ers and Pacers-Jazz games.

Check Out the Latest Odds at SI Sportsbook

Season record: 18-12

Guest pickers: 8-16

Toronto Raptors OG Anunoby png

Toronto Raptors (6-6) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (8-4)

Time: 7 p.m. ET, NBA TV

Spread: Raptors +2.5 (-110) | 76ers -2.5 (-110)

Moneyline: Raptors (+115) | 76ers (-138)

Total: Under 213.5 (-110) | Over 213.5 (-110)

Injuries: 76ers C Joel Embiid—Out; 76ers PG Ben Simmons—Out; 76ers G Matisse Thybulle—Out; 76ers G Seth Curry—Day-to-day; 76ers F Tobias Harris—Out; Raptors C Khem Birch—Out; Raptors F Pascal Siakam—Day-to-day

Toronto enters Thursday losers of three straight games. That streak includes a 104-88 defeat Wednesday night at the hands of the struggling Celtics. Star forward Pascal Siakam has only appeared in two games this season for the Raptors. It’s been OG Anunoby, Fred VanVleet and rookie Scottie Barnes stepping up to lead the team in scoring. Despite that trio all averaging 17+ PPG, Toronto has one of the lowest-scoring offenses in basketball (103.3 PPG). The Raptors get by with the second-stingiest defense (102 PPG) which forces nearly 17 turnovers per game.

Philadelphia is winless in two games without Joel Embiid this week after the All-Star center tested positive for COVID-19. That two-game skid ended a six-game winning streak. Both losses came to quality teams by single digits: New York and Milwaukee. The offensive responsibilities have fallen upon Seth Curry, Furkan Korkmaz and Tyrese Maxey, who scored 31 against the Bucks. The 76ers are an average offensive team (109.7 PPG) with an above average defense (103.9 PPG).

Spread Pick: 76ers -2.5

Toronto is on the second night of a back-to-back and Philadelphia is in need of a win to avoid a free fall with Embiid still sidelined. Andre Drummond has been a force down low since being inserted into the starting lineup and he should dominate Khem Birch and control the paint while the wings punish Toronto from outside. The 76ers are 7-5 ATS this season and the Raptors are 5-7. Philadelphia covers once again Thursday night.

Over/Under Pick: Under 213.5

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The 76ers will still be able to score on the Raptors’ defense, but the lengthy wings of Toronto should keep an offensive outburst in check. The Raptors have struggled to score 100 points on any given night and fail to do so on the road against a well-rounded defense on the wrong end of a back-to-back. Only 33% of 76ers games have hit the over this season while five out of 12 Raptors games have done so. This is an extremely low point total, and I still like this game going under.

Prop: Scottie Barnes Over 14.5 Points

Toronto’s breakout rookie averages 17 points per game and has gone over this point total in six of 10 career games. He had 21 points against the Celtics Wednesday, including seven free throws. Barnes isn’t much of an outside shooter, so getting points at the line like that is important to his game. Barnes also won’t be Philly’s primary concern which could allow him to sneakily go over this total easily.

Guest Picker and SI writer Michael Shapiro’s take:

Spread Pick: Raptors -2.5

Toronto limps into this one losers of three straight, though we should see a more inspired effort on Thursday for Nick Nurse’s squad. This is still a backcourt that can score in bunches with Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr., and the OG Anunoby-Scottie Barnes duo makes life quite difficult for opposing stars. Laying 2.5 on the road for a middling team isn’t a winning formula on its face. But Nurse’s squad has the talent and versatility to take down Philadelphia before heading back over the border.

Over/Under Pick: Under 213.5

Philadelphia’s offense has been better than expected in Joel Embiid’s absence, though we could finally see the 76ers’ attack slow to a crawl against Scottie Barnes and the Raptors. Toronto enters Thursday No. 11 in the league in defensive rating, and its collection of athletic wings could spell trouble for Tyrese Maxey and Seth Curry. As for the Raptors, their scoring struggles have been a theme thus far in 2021-22 with Kyle Lowry now in Miami. Even considering the low total, let’s snag the under here.

Prop: Scottie Barnes over 14.5 points

Barnes has looked like a man amongst boys as a rookie, bruising through defenses to the tune of 17 points per game despite the lack of a reliable jumper. A diminished Philadelphia front line should allow Barnes to feast again, even on the second night of a back-to-back.

myles-turner-indiana-pacers

Indiana Pacers (4-8) vs. Utah Jazz (8-3)

Time: 9 p.m. ET

Spread: Pacers +9 (-110) | Jazz -9 (-110)

Moneyline: Pacers (+375) | Jazz (-500)

Total: Under 219.5 (-110) | Over 219.5 (-110)

Injuries: Pacers SG Caris Levert—Out; Pacers PG Malcolm Brogdon—Day-to-day; Pacers F TJ Warren—Out; Jazz F Rudy Gay—Out

The Jazz showed their mortality in a winless trip to Florida last weekend, dropping games to the Heat and Magic. They rebounded with a 12-point win at home Tuesday against the Hawks and remain one of the top seeds in the West. That’s thanks to top-five offensive (111.5 PPG) and defensive (102.2 PPG) units anchored by the play of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

Indiana has been unable to sustain success for any length of time this season. The Pacers are fresh off a narrow loss to the Nuggets and are 1-2 on their West coast road trip, which ends against the Jazz. The team has missed its two top guards—Caris LeVert and Malcolm Brogdon—for much of the season. Brogdon will be in action Thursday to lead Indiana’s No. 16 offense (108.3 PPG). Meanwhile, big men Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner anchor the 18th-ranked defense (108.8 PPG).

Spread Pick: Jazz -9

Utah has not lost at home this season and is the only team that can still say that. The average margin of victory in those games is 12.75 points. That would make for an easy cover against the visiting Pacers. The Jazz are also 7-4 ATS for the season. Indiana, meanwhile, is 1-6 in road games and 6-6 ATS. Utah slipped up against the Magic on Sunday and one of the best regular-season teams in recent memory won’t do so again against inferior competition in front of its home fans.

Over/Under Pick: Under 219.5

The Jazz notoriously hold opponents below their scoring average with Gobert running the defense. And the Pacers don’t pose a huge threat on offense. Indiana has failed to break 100 points in back-to-back games and four out of 12 Pacers games have gone over this season. Even fewer Jazz games have hit the over: three out of 11. Good defense by the Jazz and mediocre offense by the Pacers keep this game well under the projected total, even if Utah has a big scoring night.

Prop: Mike Conley over 14.5 Points

Utah’s point guard has gone over this total in five of nine games this season and his season average is 15.7 PPG. It’s a close one. The reason I like this bet is because of how often Conley has been shooting threes in November. He’s hoisted 31 threes in four games this month and he’s connecting at a 45% clip. If he knocks down three or four treys, he clears this total easily.

Guest Picker and SI writer Michael Shapiro’s take:

Spread Pick: Jazz -9

The Pacers will face the Jazz on the second night of the dreaded Denver-Utah back-to-back, perhaps the most difficult two-game stretch in basketball at the moment. Perhaps we’ll see a sluggish effort as a result. Meanwhile, the Jazz are 4-0 at home this season, and Quin Snyder’s squad ranks No. 3 in offensive rating. Utah remains the favorite for the No. 1 seed in the West, even amid the Warriors’s torrid start. Expect the Jazz to keep rolling on Thursday.

Over/Under Pick: Under 219.5

Rudy Gobert and Myles Turner are two of the game’s top rim protectors, and we could see some tired legs out of the Pacers as they finish their mountain-time trip. Perhaps a hot night from Jordan Clarkson or Chris Duarte sinks me here, though the personnel on hand makes the under a sensible play.

Prop: Joe Ingles under 8.5 points

This isn’t to disparage Ingles, who remains a delightful playmaker and perhaps the best vibes guy in the NBA. But his dip in production is hard to ignore. He’s down to 25.1 minutes per game this season, and he’s tallied more than five points just once in the last six contests. Ingles seems content to rack up assists and take a backseat as a scorer while Utah cruises through the Western Conference. Let’s enjoy the ride with him.

Check Out the Latest Odds at SI Sportsbook

DFS Value Plays:

PG/SG Tyrese Maxey, 76ers (FD: $7,000 | DK: $6,800)

SG/SF Tyler Herro, Heat (FD: $6,400 | DK: $6,100)

SF/PF Scottie Barnes, Raptors (FD: $6,800 | DK: $6,600)

PF/C Myles Turner, Pacers (FD: $7,400 | DK: $7,000)

PF/C Precious Achiuwa, Raptors (FD: $4,900 | $4,200)

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