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NBA SO/UP Picks and Analysis for Jazz-76ers, Lakers-Grizzlies

Utah-Philadelphia, Los Angeles-Memphis both meeting for the second time this season.

The Lakers get back-to-back SO/UP treatment this week after I went 3-for-3 picking their game against the Celtics on Tuesday night. SI video producer Doug Vazquez rejoins me as a guest picker to close out the week.

Keep reading for insight and picks for two of the three games on Thursday night’s slate.

Season record: 40-32

Guest pickers: 21-45

Check the Latest NBA Lines at SI Sportsbook

Utah Jazz (16-7) vs. Philadelphia 76ers (13-11)

Time: 7 p.m. ET, NBA TV

Spread: Jazz -3 (-110) | 76ers +3 (-110)

Moneyline: Jazz (-154) | 76ers (+130)

Total: Under 216.5 (-110) | Over 216.5 (-110)

Injuries: Jazz C Hassan Whiteside—Day-to-day

The Jazz are riding a five-game winning streak and began their four-game road trip with a pair of victories. Utah beat the Joel Embiid-less 76ers, 120-85, earlier in the season in Salt Lake City. Though the Jazz have played well away from home, going 8-3, they are on the second night of a back-to-back following a 32-point win Wednesday night in Minnesota.

Joel Embiid (1)

Utah has the second-best point differential in the NBA (+9.2) thanks to the No. 2 scoring offense (114.9 PPG) and the No. 6 scoring defense (104.8 PPG). The usual suspects are behind those elite units—Donovan Mitchell leads the team in scoring (24.7 PPG) and Rudy Gobert paces the club in rebounding (14.8 RPG) and blocks (2.2 BPG).

Philadelphia is once again stringing wins together with Embiid back in the lineup. He tallied a season-high 43 points Monday night against the Hornets in an overtime win. It remains to be seen if he’ll play Thursday considering it’s the second night of a back-to-back. The 76ers are used to playing without Embiid or Tobias Harris, but their record suffers with those two sidelined.

The 76ers are the league’s 18th-best scoring offense (107.1 PPG) and No. 12 defense (105.9 PPG). In the absence of Harris and Embiid, guard Tyrese Maxey is the team’s leading scorer (16.8 PPG), though he’s been in a slump for a few weeks.

Spread pick: Jazz -3

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Utah won its last three on the road, albeit against lesser competition. Philadelphia also had a good week, scoring three road wins. The teams have nearly identical ATS records—the Jazz are 13-12 and the 76ers are 12-12. I’m going with the hotter team in this one and taking the Jazz, who have scored 127 or more in four of their last five.

Over/Under pick: Over 216.5

Refer to the previous line about Utah averaging 127.6 in its last five games. Jazz games hit the over at the third-highest rate in the league, according to Teamrankings.com, and Philadelphia is capable of sticking around to help this game hit the over.

Prop: Tyrese Maxey Over 3.5 Assists

Maxey averages 4.8 dimes per game, so he’s more than capable of going over this line. He does only have nine assists total in his last three games, but before that Maxey had four or more assists in six straight games. I like him to get back on track running the offense at home.

Guest picker Doug Vazquez’s picks:

Spread pick: 76ers +3.5

This game is a little difficult to handicap without fully knowing the status of Joel Embiid as there is a chance Philly could rest him on the second night of a back-to-back. So I am making this pick based on the scenario where he does play. Both teams are pretty hot with the Sixers winning four of their last five and the Jazz winning eight of their last 10. The Sixers are exceptionally good at home and seem to be hitting their stride with Embiid back. Philly will need Harris, Seth Curry, et al., to step up in this one as they were not much help in the first meeting with Harris and Curry combining for only 17 points. But a good dose of home cooking should turn this around. The Jazz just have not been good historically ATS when they travel to Philly, going 0-4 in their last four meetings at the Wells Fargo center. I’m taking the points here.

Over/Under pick: Over 216.5

This total seems a bit low to me as both teams can get buckets when hot. As stated above, I expect better games from Harris and Curry this time and am counting on the “finding their stride” factor rather than “fatigue on second of a back-to-back” factor. I would probably bet this up to 220, again, all with the hopes that Embiid plays.

Prop: Tobias Harris Points + Assists Over 19.5

Harris is averaging 19.3 PPG and 3.5 assists. I think based on my spread and total picks, everyone knows I am relying on him having a big game tonight. I think he will easily surpass this total.

Los Angeles Lakers (13-12) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (14-10)

Time: 8 p.m. ET

Spread: Lakers -3.5 (-110) | Grizzlies +3.5 (-110)

Moneyline: Lakers (-163) | Grizzlies (+138)

Total: Under 223.5 (-110) | Over 223.5 (-110)

Injuries: Lakers F LeBron James—Day-to-day; Lakers F Anthony Davis—Day-today; Lakers F Trevor Ariza—Out; Lakers G Kendrick Nunn—Out; Grizzlies G Ja Morant—Out; Grizzlies F Kyle Anderson—Out; Grizzlies F Brandon Clarke—Out; Grizzlies G Ziaire Williams—Day-to-day

Los Angeles scored a convincing home win against the Celtics Tuesday night. The Lakers now head back on the road to face the Grizzlies, whom they beat 121-118 in early October. With LeBron James back in the lineup, the offense is back to what many expected it to be with James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook all sharing the floor. L.A. is averaging 116.6 points in its last nine games.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook on the court during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Staples Center.

Offense is undoubtedly the Lakers’ strongsuit—they rank fourth in the league in scoring (111.9 PPG). The problem is Los Angeles allows even more points than it scores (113 PPG).

A Wednesday night loss to Dallas ended the Grizzlies’ five-game winning streak. Now, the Lakers visit short-handed Memphis, which has been missing star guard Ja Morant while he recovers from a knee injury. The Grizzlies have gotten big contributions from players one would expect like Jaren Jackson Jr. and Dillon Brooks in Morant’s absence.

The Grizzlies, much like the Lakers, are significantly better on offense than on defense. Memphis ranks eighth in the NBA in scoring (110.4 PPG) but 24th in opponent scoring (110.6 PPG). Memphis has defended its home court relatively well, going 8-6 in front of its fans.

Spread pick: Lakers -3.5

Los Angeles has a major health advantage over Memphis, which is not something the Lakers could have said about virtually any opponent a few weeks ago. This pick really boils down to having the best player on the court, and the Lakers have the three best players suiting up Thursday night. L.A. scores a key win over the Grizzlies, who are right in front of the Lakers in the standings.

Over/Under pick: Over 223.5

Two top-10 offenses and two bottom-10 defenses? This one is easy. Eruption against OKC aside, Memphis has had some trouble scoring the ball. A home game against the Lakers is an opportunity to return to form for the Grizzlies. And the Lakers have been putting up points in a hurry in recent weeks. Both teams’ games go over more than 50% of the time. I see that trend continuing.

Prop: Russell Westbrook Over 18.5 Points

Westbrook is playing great basketball as of late. For the season, he averages 20.4 PPG and that’s bogged down by a rough start. He’s gone over that figure in seven of his last eight games, and he shot better than 50% from the field in five of them.

Guest picker Doug Vazquez’s picks:

Spread pick: Lakers -3.5

Did Sir Charles Barkley’s lambasting of Anthony Davis get to him and sink in? While I don’t think Barkley’s criticism was 100% fair, as I have never considered Davis worthy of mention along with Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry or Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Lakers do need more from him, especially in the paint. James carried the load against the Celtics on Tuesday with a 30-point outing and AD did have a good game with a 17-point, 16-rebound double-double, easily surpassing his season rebounding average of 10.2. Westbrook also had an impressive performance after receiving his fair amount of criticism. The Lakers were off Wednesday night while the Grizzlies suffered a loss to the Mavs. I like the rest factor for an aging team in L.A. in this one, even though Memphis has been solid without Ja Morant, who will miss this game. It's going to be tough to win if the Lakers can match their impressive performance on Tuesday night. I’m laying the 3.5 here.

Over/Under pick: Under 223.5

This total seems very high to me.The Grizzlies are on a back-to-back, missing their best player and the Lakers are going on the road with an aging team. In addition, it seems like the Lake Show is finding its stride defensively. This feels like a 110-105 type of game with the Lakers winning, so I'm going to take the under here.

Prop: Russell Westbrook Over 18.5 Points

After a lot of criticism so far this season, Russ showed on Tuesday night how valuable he can be to this Lakers squad putting up a 24-point, 11-assist line. He is averaging 20.4 points per game this season and I'm not going to pass up even money on this prop of over 18.5 PPG.

DFS Value Plays

(Prices based on 7 p.m. main slate)

PG/SG Seth Curry, 76ers (FD: $5,400 | DK: $5,600)

SG/SF Will Barton, Nuggets (FD: $6,000 | $6,800)

SF/PF Royce O’Neale, Jazz (FD: $4,900 | $4,300)

PF/C Jaren Jackson Jr., Grizzlies (FD: $6,200 | $7,000)

C Steven Adams, Grizzlies (FD: $5,700 | $5,100)

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