Philadelphia 76ers' Tyrese Maxey
Philadelphia 76ers' Tyrese Maxey, left, reacts as Joel Embiid, right, walks past during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans, Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 117-107. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)


Patrick Werkmeister

Even though these are the dog days of the NBA season, these games have proven to be quite profitable following a 2-1 outcome in last week’s best bets. For this interconference matchup, Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers host LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Last game out, the Lakers earned an impressive road victory over James Harden and the Brooklyn Nets and the 76ers secured a 10 point home victory against the New Orleans Pelicans. Both of these teams are led by their own superstar; however, the Lakers have struggled mightily with their over glamourized roster of distinguished players. However, during the midseason grind, players and teams alike can lose their rhythm due to the harsh schedule of an 82-game season. With this in mind, here are the best bets and player props for this NBA Thursday contest.


76ers (-2.5)
While the Sixers will play this one in front of their home crowd, they are just two and a half-point favorite against the 24-24 LA Lakers. Their big man in the middle running the show, Joel Embiid, had a dominant outing vs New Orleans where he dropped 42 points with 14 rebounds. Philadelphia has the opportunity to make it three straight wins in their last three games and three straight wins against the Lakers. Additionally, the Sixers have gone an efficient 9-4 ATS in their previous 13 contests. However, they are dealing with several injuries along with the ongoing Ben Simmons crisis. Under coach Doc Rivers the Sixers have been resilient in the regular season, where he is an impressive 77-42 SU (65%). However, with Mavs big man Anthony Davis back in the lineup, Los Angeles is fully prepared to make a serious run to make the playoffs as long as they stay healthy. On the other hand, the 76ers will be without members of their backcourt like Seth Curry and Danny Green. One team’s hot streak will come to an end tonight, so expect a competitive match regardless of the outcome. The Lakers have the individual matchups they want against this efficient 76ers team, now that they’re healthy, however, I like Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris and company playing in front of a packed home crowd. I like Philadelphia in this spot for a big game at home to win and cover vs the Lakers.  

LeBron James Over 28.5 Points (-114)
After once again putting the team on his back with 33 points against Brooklyn, LeBron James is seemingly in peak form now that the regular season is well under way. LeBron is averaging 29 points and nearly 8 rebounds and has had 30 or more points in 7 of his last 10 performances. James has been shouldering the load a lot this season, where even at age 37 he still can’t be stopped. Even with Anthony Davis finally returning from injury, LeBron has still defied the laws of time and has been playing his best basketball. However, the Sixers have allowed the 6th lowest points per game in the NBA, so he’ll have to push the pace in this one to get his daily dose of baskets. This prop has amazing value given his ridiculous numbers in the last month. While he has a low of 18 points this season, I’m going to ride the hot hand and take him to once again produce at an efficient rate. Take LeBron to score more than his total points prop with ease.

Joel Embiid Over 11.5 Rebounds (+108)
With Joel Embiid being a very active player on the glass, he is able to grab plenty of rebounds with his massive size advantage. While it’s common to think of Embiid as a dominant scorer and defensive stalwart, he also has an innate ability to be a tenacious rebounder. Additionally, with several injuries to key role players for the Sixers, Embiid has had to pick up the rebounding slack even more than his already massive share of boards. In his last ten games his prop has gone over in 8 of them, so it must be taken advantage of with these odds. There are no solid rebounders other than him on the team, but Embiid does an elite job of tracking down the ball when it goes up. Take him to get enough boards to hit this prop.

Same Game Parlay
76ers -4, LeBron James Over 27.5 Pts, Joel Embiid Over 4.5 Assists, Furkan Korkmaz Over 1.5 Made Threes and Under 222.5 Pts.

SGP Odds +4138

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