Grizzlies vs 76ers Picks and Predictions: Philly Survives Embiid-less Outing

Even without Joel Embiid, who was ruled out due to a rest day on Monday, the 76ers can still handle a cooled-off Grizzlies squad. The spread shifted wildly after Embiid's absence was announced, but our betting picks explain why you should hold firm.

Douglas Farmer - Betting Analyst at Covers
Douglas Farmer • Betting Analyst
Jan 31, 2022 • 14:44 ET • 4 min read
Tobias Harris Philadelphia 76ers NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

After playing in a career-high 21 straight games, Joel Embiid will sit out tonight against the Grizzlies, costing a marquee matchup of its biggest attraction and forcing an entirely different perspective when handicapping this game. The 76ers have leaned on Embiid in every conceivable way in winning 14 of their last 17, but to keep that momentum Philadelphia’s secondary scorers will need to step up.

Here are our free NBA betting picks and predictions for the Grizzlies at the 76ers on January 31, with tip set for 7:00 ET.

Grizzlies vs 76ers odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The 76ers opened as either 3.5- or 4.0-point favorites late Sunday, depending on your sportsbook of choice, and by Monday’s sunrise on the East Coast, nearly every book had consolidated at -3.5. As the morning passed, that fell to -2, and then it was announced Embiid would be out for rest purposes, a lineup decision not expected even by sharp bettors, and the line immediately jumped to Memphis -3.5.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Grizzlies vs 76ers predictions

Predictions made on 1/31/2022 at 2:35 p.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Grizzlies vs 76ers game info

Location: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA
Date: Monday, January 31, 2022
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Southeast, NBCS-Philadelphia

Grizzlies vs 76ers betting preview


Grizzlies: Ziaire Williams SF (Probable), Tyus Jones PG (Out), Dillon Brooks SG (Out).
76ers: Joel Embiid C (Out), Furkan Korkmaz SG (Questionable), Shake Milton PG (Out), Ben Simmons SG (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The 76ers are 7-0 against the spread in their last seven games following an ATS loss, avoiding consecutive ATS losses since Dec. 16. Find more NBA betting trends for Grizzlies vs. 76ers.

Grizzlies vs 76ers picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Spread analysis

The initial version of this handicap, one written before Monday’s sunrise and published before Embiid’s absence was announced, spent the next 426 words discussing the Cameroonian’s recent dominance and how Memphis would struggle to slow him down on the inside, despite the general defensive discipline of Jaren Jackson and Steven Adams.

Well, scrap all that. Embiid’s 17-game average of 34.2 points, 10.7 rebounds, and 4.5 assists no longer apply, do they?

If any player is worthy of a seven-point jump in the spread, it's Embiid in his current form. He has scored at least 24 points in every game of this stretch and 31 or more in 15 of the 17. He's grabbed 11 or more rebounds in 11 of the 17 contests. He is a man on a mission and the primary reason Philadelphia has gone 14-3 straight up and 11-6 ATS since mid-December.

But this handicapper has long believed in “buy on bad news, sell on good,” and long-held strategies like that cannot be abandoned simply because an MVP candidate is taking a night off.

The seven-point jump suggests Embiid is that much better than the collective that will replace him in all facets, and he probably is, but that would be in a vacuum, and no NBA game is a vacuum.

First of all, Philadelphia will not lose all of its size down low. Andre Drummond may feel like a relic from a bygone era, but he has been exceedingly productive for the 76ers this season and should be the biggest beneficiary of Embiid’s off day. Secondly, Philadelphia has other scoring threats. Tobias Harris and Seth Curry are both capable of doing plenty of damage with an added share of Embiid’s 23.1 field goal attempts per game across the last two weeks.

Meanwhile, Memphis has cooled off since its attention-grabbing 11-game winning streak ended earlier this month. The Grizzlies are on a three-game winning streak, both straight-up and against the spread, but those wins came against struggling franchises (Washington, San Antonio) and the injury-depleted Jazz. Memphis has not beaten a healthy opponent near its own playoff standing since that winning streak ended. Philadelphia no longer qualifies as applicably healthy, but the Grizzlies’ stumbles against quality foes warrant acknowledgment, nonetheless.

The 76ers may be two losses worse than the Grizzlies in the standings, but they are the Eastern Conference No. 3 seed, every bit the contender Memphis is. Even without Embiid, Philadelphia should pose a challenge.

Prediction: 76ers +3.5 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

This stretch of Philadelphia's and Embiid's dominance has roughly covered six weeks of the season. Looking at each team’s last 17 games, the 76ers have the No. 4 defensive rating in the league and the Grizzlies have the No. 5, per

Compared to their season-long rankings of Philadelphia at No. 9 and Memphis at No. 8, that improvement is notable. To be clear, this has not simply been related to other teams falling off. Both have shown statistical improvement.

Shrink the sample size, and the same trend shows up. The Grizzlies have gone Under the total in three of their last four games while the 76ers have done so in five of their last eight, including four games with totals either below this one or far below this one.

Part of why Embiid has erupted is the team around him has not been setting the world on fire offensively. He has been able to pick up that slack, and in turn, they have stepped up defensively. That should not change even without him in the rotation. If anything, Doc Rivers knows to scheme this game into a mess.

Prediction: Under 217.5 (-110)

Best bet

Memphis is playing its third game in four nights, a recipe for disaster if facing Embiid at the height of his powers and still puts the Grizzlies in a letdown spot. This is especially true if Embiid’s absence slips into the Grizzlies’ psyche and they approach this game as a certain win, which is another dynamic to “buying on bad news.”

That kind of mental easing could run right into Rivers junking this game up, and with Philadelphia only 1.5 games from the top of the East, every game matters enough for the 76ers not to chalk this up as an acceptable loss, not when the risk of being the No. 3 seed in the East is facing the Brooklyn Nets.

Every game counts for the 76ers. Without Embiid, that may not be enough to garner a win, but it should be enough to minimize the margin of the game and thus keep things interesting. Either way, we expect a defensive showcase where neither team hits enough buckets to reach the Over.

Pick: Under 217.5 (-110)

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