Philadelphia 76ers @ Utah Jazz – 10:30pm – TNT
Sometimes it’s extra tough finding a side on the televised games. Typically because the public sees something is coming up, gets itchy to make a bet and have something to watch. This makes it quite a challenge to find a line that could be exposed, but let’s give it a go. Before I get to my free bet tip for tonight, let’s take a look at the matchup.
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Philadelphia (22-13) 5-8 on the road.
The 76ers had a holiday miracle snatched out from them while in Boston Tuesday. They did push the game to overtime, but in the final minute it looked like they forgot how to play, and lost by 7. Joel Embiid is coming off a monster 34 point, 16 rebound game, and would love to get numbers like that against a stout Jazz defense. The Jazz are a little above average when it comes to points allowed in the paint, but Embiid also stretches the floor with his shooting taking nearly 4 three-pointers a game. Luckily for the other team, he hits less than 30% of these tries.
Utah (17-18) 7-7 at home.
The Jazz also played on Christmas day, handily beating Portland by 21. Rudy Gobert had a near triple double that included 7 blocks, 18 points and 14 rebounds. Even with the increased pace and outside shooting in the league this year, success will still come to how great Gobert can perform. Six players were in double figures in the last game, showing Utah is getting contributions from more than one place when things go right.
Utah is a tough place to get a victory, no matter how bad their overall record looks. This year they are 7-7 at home, but you would have to go back to November to find a blowout at home (vs. Indiana, 121-88). This team has changed its mindset and is playing really solid defense lately.
Which leads me to my free bet for tonight. Utah plays a bit slower overall than Philly this year, and this game may have spurts of quick scores back and forth, but the total seems to be off. I expect Utah to defend home court tonight, and keep the game under the posted total of 219. There should be some cushion to that amount. No matter how much I hate betting unders, this seems like a prime place where scoring will come at a premium. Hop on the free pick and let’s win together!
Philadelphia/Utah under 219 total