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Ducey’s NBA Best Bets for Jan. 31

Ja Morant

Ja Morant

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

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We’re on to another week in the NBA and there are some great games up and down the card. I’ve picked out a couple of bets I’m really into and will relay them to you now.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Philadelphia 76ers (+3.5) Total: 217.5

I had the Grizzlies as favorites here before the Sixers announced that Joel Embiid would be resting for this one, so I’m very willing to pay the small price of laying a few points here.

Memphis leads the league in record against the spread, but they’ve been exceptional on the road with an NBA-best 17-7 mark ATS away from home. Conversely, Philly is just 9-14 ATS at home this year, so I’m not really sure the pricing, which includes a bit of a boost for the Sixers playing in Philadelphia, makes a whole lot of sense.

I’m also not buying the Sixers’ form. Save for a win over the Heat, their recent stretch of seven wins in nine games has featured just five covers and wins over the lowly Spurs, Pelicans, Lakers and Kings.

The last time these two teams faced off, the Sixers didn’t have Embiid and the Grizzlies didn’t have Ja Morant. Memphis took that one 121-91, and the score would have been even more unfair to the Sixers if not for a herculean effort from Tyrese Maxey. This game should go similarly.

Edge: Grizzlies -3.5

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Sacramento Kings vs. New York Knicks (-6.5) Total: 212.5

The Kings will play this game without Marvin Bagley, and likely won’t have De’Aaron Fox, who is dealing with ankle soreness, either. If that is the case, I’m in love with the Knicks -6.5, but even with Fox this is still a very good matchup for New York.

Sacramento has been one of the worst teams on the glass over the past two weeks and the Knicks rank top-five in rebounding rate during that same time. New York is fully healthy down low with Mitchell Robinson seeing more minutes over the last 11 games and making the most of them and Nerlens Noel entering as probable due to left knee soreness. This is a matchup the Knicks should win down low, considering the big win they had over the Kings last season.

While some things have changed, the personnel is largely the same for both teams. Mitchell Robinson abused Richaun Holmes down low for 10 rebounds and I suspect that takes place again. With that, a Knicks offense which has looked a whole lot better in the last month should take that edge and run with it.

Edge: Knicks -6.5

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