Joel Embiid will be in Philadelphia tonight while his team is in Salt Lake City. This is not a good thing for his Most Valuable Player prospects, as a new NBA rule mandates that players must appear in a minimum of 65 games.

Embiid injured his ankle when Jonathan Kuminga of Golden State landed on him on the perimeter two nights ago. He was sent back to team headquarters to undergo an MRI as the Sixers finish up a five-game road trip that has begun with four consecutive losses.

As a result, the surging New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers have leapfrogged the Sixers. Both are within striking range of surpassing the big, bad Milwaukee Bucks, who lost last night in Portland.

Looking down at all this are the Boston Celtics, who will be on national television tonight against the dumpster fire also known as the Los Angeles Lakers. Everywhere else in the NBA, trade chatter is heating up with the trade deadline coming one week from today.

For many, this is the most exciting week of the NBA season because of the possibility of trades. Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, Terry Rozier, R.J. Barrett  and Bruce Brown have already been moved. The names still drawing trade rumor clicks include Washington’s Kyle Kuzma and Tyus Jones, Atlanta’s Dejounte Murray, Houston’s Jalen Green, Golden State’s Chris Paul and Andrew Wiggins, and Chicago’s Zach LaVine.

In the meantime, there are games to be played, and tonight has a TNT doubleheader of Lakers-Celtics and 76ers-Jazz. Also, the Pacers visit the Knicks and the Cavs visit the Grizzlies. What looks enticing player prop-wise?

NBA Player Props Tonight for Thursday, February 1, 2024

Jayson Tatum to score 35+ points 

Tatum is probably not all that happy about being listed at +4000 on the MVP futures board given that he is the best player on the league’s best team, and superstars generally use TNT and ESPN games to make statements. Given that the Celtics are playing a wounded animal, we do not expect El Lay to put up a ton of resistance (nor do the oddsmakers, who have made Boston an 11.5 point favorite). As a result, we expect to see Tatum put up one of his best offensive performances of the season, a bar that was set when he had 45 points on Jan. 10 against Minnesota and Nov. 20 at Charlotte. If he goes for 46 or more, his MVP line drops from +4000, guaranteed.

The Pick: Jayson Tatum to score at least 35 points (+350).

Jalen Brunson 12+ assists

Brunson scored 28 the last time these teams met on Dec. 30. That was before the Knicks’ spectacular January, which he began with a 14-assist game against Minnesota and a 13-assist game against Chicago. He is known as a score-first point guard, but tonight he is going against the league’s assists leader in Haliburton. This may change his mindset into trying to be more of a distributor as he goes against a player who outpolled him by a lot in All-Star voting among both players and fans. He does not have Randle to pass to, but the Knicks have not yet missed Randle, which we expect to continue.

The Pick: Jalen Brunson to have at least 12 assists (+500)

Donovan Mitchell 35+ points

This guy might reach this number by halftime given the caliber of players the Grizzlies will be fielding. He had 35 last time out, and he is firing away from 3-point range, having taken 13, 10, 12 and 11 over his last four games. There is no need for coach J.B. Bickerstaff to take his foot off the gas in this one until the Cavs are ahead by at least 30, which again makes us wonder what the oddsmakers were thinking when they set the point spread where they did.

The Pick: Donovan Mitchell to score at least 35 points (+260)

Kelly Oubre to Double-double

Oubre has scored in double figures in three straight games filling in for Maxey, and in his last two games he grabbed six rebounds in both. The ball will need to bounce his way a little more than usual for this to hit, but his minutes should be very high because of all of the Sixers’ injuries. His season-high is eight rebounds, so yes, this is a flyer. But we like the price.

The Pick: Kelly Oubre to have a double-double (+1000)

Odds are subject to change*

WELCOME OFFER: Bet $50 Get $200 if your first bet wins. Download Betway Sportsbook today!

Bet on NBA odds

Find season-long NBA odds on Betway. You'll find all the latest spreads, totals, money lines, and parlays. Missed tip-off? No problem, Betway also offers live betting. All your NBA betting needs are covered in our online sportsbook.

Betway Sports Betting States