Pick 'n' roll: Tuesday's best basketball bets
Philadelphia 76ers at Memphis Grizzlies (-3.5, 190.5)
The 76ers bandwagon is getting crowded. Thanks to coach Doug Collins, the team is in the midst of one of the biggest turnarounds in the NBA. Philadelphia is 9-3 SU and 8-4 ATS in its past 12 games, including victories over San Antonio, Atlanta and Denver.
The calling card for the team during that streak has been defense. In the nine wins, the 76ers are giving up a mere 89.3 points per game – in the three defeats, the team is coughing up an average of 105. And when the 76ers hold an opponent to below 40 percent shooting, the team is 9-1 SU.
“I think guys know that our identity, if we want to win, has to be on the defensive end, because we don’t have explosive enough scoring,” said Collins. “We’re not going to have nights we put 120 up on the board. If we have any chance, we have to keep teams under 45 percent shooting and defend the three.”
With Collins having guards Jrue Holiday and Andre Igoudala pressuring the ball, the interior defenders simply have to work on their rotations and stand their ground in the paint. This is allowing the team to force not only tough jumpers but more turnovers, which enables the team to get out in transition and rack up easy baskets.
Also, Memphis will struggle scoring enough on its own. Guard Rudy Gay is nursing a sore toe and forward Zach Randolph is hobbled with a sprained ankle. Both should be monitored closely before tip.
Texas Tech Red Raiders at Missouri Tigers (-17, 159.5)
It wouldn’t matter if this game was played on the moon, but the Red Raiders are especially bad in opposing gyms. Texas Tech is a horrid 1-6 SU and 2-5 ATS in true road games this year, posting their only win at mediocre Iowa State. But that is by far the team’s brightest road spot this year as the team has struggled to be even competitive on the road.
“We’ll probably put together a tape of just bad plays or dumb plays,” Texas Tech coach Pat Knight said. “You had blockouts, missed layups, missed free throws, bad passes. It adds up. You just kill yourself.”
And there should be enough for several plays when they travel to Columbia. The Tigers are a perfect 15-0 at home this year and a strong 7-3 ATS in lined games. Overall, the team is a 27-11 ATS in its past 38 home games.
Missouri also has owned the Red Raiders in recent meetings, posting a 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS record in the team’s past five clashes.
Keep a close eye on the injury report for Texas Tech as well. The team’s up-tempo attack could take a big hit if Mike Singletary is unable to go. The senior guard is averaging 13.2 points per game and dropped a stunning 33 points in the team’s only road win, but was limited to just four minutes in the team’s most recent game and is expected to be a game-time decision.