Yesterday’s NBA action did not disappoint. There were two overtime thrillers in the Wizards – Pistons and Nuggets – Pelicans games, with both road teams coming out on top. Thursday presents three games, but do not let the small slate deter; there are still edges to be found. Let’s dive into the best bets to make tonight and overall NBA betting tips for Thursday, Dec. 9.
Best NBA Betting Picks Tonight | Dec. 9
Jazz vs. 76ers
The Utah Jazz and Philadelphia 76ers both secured victories on the road last night. The Jazz made 25 3-pointers on a season-high 54 attempts en route to a 136-104 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. The 76ers took care of business for a second game in a row against the Charlotte Hornets, winning 110-106 behind a 32-point performance by Joel Embiid. The 76ers travel back home to play their third game in four days. The Jazz enter their third game of a four-game East Coast road trip.
Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz are winners of five straight and have a 17-7 record, third in the Western Conference. Mitchell is shooting lights out during this win streak, scoring 30 or more points in four of the five games. The Jazz are averaging a league-best 127.6 points per game over this span and have now made 20 or more 3-pointers in three consecutive games. Utah ranks first in rebound percentage this season, led by Rudy Gobert, who is averaging 14.7 rebounds per game.
The 76ers come into this one on a three-game winning streak and seem to be getting back on track after dealing with a handful of injuries and COVID-related absences to start the season. Embiid seems to be getting his stride back but will be up for his toughest test of the season going against the reigning Defense Player of the Year. Keep an eye on tonight’s matchup given this will be the first back-to-back for Embiid this season. Philadelphia’s defense has been shaping up as of late, ranking fifth in defensive rating. Tonight they will need to contain the league’s hottest 3-point team.
The Jazz handled the 76ers in their first matchup last month, winning 120-85. One note from this game is that Embiid was inactive, so expect a better offensive performance from the 76ers tonight. These two teams put up more than 250 points in both matchups last season. The over has now cashed in nine of the last 10 games for Utah. Even though the 76ers are last in pace, expect the Jazz to manage the tempo in this one and continue to take advantage of their opponent from beyond the arc. Ride the hot streak and take the over with confidence in tonight’s matchup.
Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: Total Over 216.5 Points
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Lakers vs. Grizzlies
The Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies will face off for the second time this season. In their first matchup the Lakers pulled off a fourth quarter comeback to defeat Memphis 121-118. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, they will be without Ja Morant in Thursday’s matchup, as he is still without a timetable for his left knee injury. To make matters worse, Morant tested positive for COVID and was placed in the league’s health and safety protocol on Wednesday.
The Grizzlies are coming off a tough loss to the Mavericks last night. Prior to Wednesday, the Grizzlies were playing some excellent basketball, winning five in a row without Morant in the lineup. The absence of Kyle Anderson, Ziaire Williams and Brandon Clarke took a hit on the Grizzlies’ production. All three players are questionable coming into today’s matchup, so be on the lookout for injury updates throughout the day to get the latest on their status. The Grizzlies have been elite on defense, ranking first in defensive rating over the past five games. Tonight they will have a tough test against a Lakers squad averaging 111.4 points per game, fourth most in the league.
The Lakers are 13-12 on the season. Their struggles have come on the defensive end of the floor, where the Lakers are allowing 113 points per game — second most in the league. They have seen improvement over the last five games, raising their defensive rating to ninth in the league. LeBron James continues to prove his greatness in Year 19, averaging 25.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 6.6 assists on the season. The Lakers are in the top five in the NBA in field goal percentage (46.5%) and free-throw attempts (21.7 per game).
The Lakers have won four straight against the Grizzlies and three of their last four games. While Los Angeles is allowing the second-most points per game to opponents, they present a veteran matchup against a Grizzlies team that comes into tonight with a lot of injury concerns. If the Lakers can limit their turnover tonight, they will have a good chance to cover the spread. The Grizzlies’ momentum was slowed after their loss last night, and they will now have to try and bounce back against a Lakers team hungry to string together some wins. Lay the points with the Lakers on the road in tonight’s matchup.
Best Bet for Tonight’s Game: Los Angeles Lakers -3.5 points
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