The Memphis Grizzlies have a collection of talented players, but are coming off a 36-43-3 ATS season against the betting odds.The NBA is a star-driven league and Memphis is a team without one.
Last season Memphis was 50-32 and had Oklahoma City down 3-2 in a first round series, but could not close the deal. Sportsbooks have a posted win total number of 49 on the Grizzlies this season. Should one bet the 'Over,' 'Under' or pass all together on this team with sports picks against the NBA odds? Here is a breakdown of the Grizzlies.
Where Memphis Stands
Over the last four years, the Grizz are one of five teams to reach the playoffs each season and accumulated at least 20 postseason wins. Despite tumultuous off the court issues each of the last three years, on the court this is one of the most stable franchises.While Memphis lacks the star power of the other elite teams in the league, NBA basketball handicappers are enthralled with this team’s defense, rebounding, chemistry and post play, which during the regular season canovercome the lack of individual stars.
The Grizzlies Guards Are Above Average
Point guard Mike Conley epitomizes this team, being one of the most versatile guards at his position in the league. Conley lacks blazing speed and is not an explosive athlete, but he’s solid playmaker (6.0 assists), a sure ball-handlerand plays all-NBA defense from his position. Last year he stepped up his scoring to 17.2 points per game, but he needs backup Nick Calathes to improve to lighten his minutes.Courtney Lee (11.0 PPG) became the other starter mid-season a year ago and gave Memphis a legitimate scorerfrom the wing, being able to drive to the rim or drain mid-range jump shots. Tony Allen (9.0 PPG) was oft-injured lastseason and frankly is an offensive liability, but his tenacious defense and off the ball activity makes him a plus. Head coach Dave Joerger would prefer to play Allen with mostly scorers on the floor to mask Allen’s scoring deficiencies.
Memphis Forwards Need Upgrade
For anyone making NBA picks, this is the greatest area of concern about the Grizziles. Zach Randolph (17.4 PPG and10.1 RPG) and Tayshaun Prince (6.0, 3.1) have been in the NBA for 12+ years and neither is the offensive threat they used to be. With the departure of Mike Miller, this means Quincy Pondexter (6.3 PPG), Jon Leuer and re-invented Vince Carter (11.9 PPG) will have to make heavy contributions at the three and four-positions on the floor when called upon on a nightly basis. Ideally, coach Joerger would want different players he could trust without a significant drop-off on the floor and reducestarter minutes. Unfortunately that is not a certainty, unless rookies Jordan Adams and Jarnell Stokes are able to fill in the blanks and it becomes a collaborative effort.
Memphis Big Men are a Factor
This is the best aspect of this team and might be even more of an asset after last season’s results. Marc Gasol (14.7, 7.2) could be a 20-10 player if he wanted, but he’s a team player and helps Memphis initiate offense, is a deft passer and can score with a mid-range jumper or bruising turn the shoulder hook shots. Last season Gasol missed 23 games with a knee injury and Kosta Koufos (6.4, 5.2) finally gained confidence and is now a reliable backup or can be used in tandem with Gasol.
Grizzlies Win Projection
For better or worse, this is a team built for the regular season. The core players have been together for severalseasons and have learned to overcome injuries and lack of production on offense by playing defense and reboundingevery night.In looking at Memphis, a worst case scenario is they are plagued by injuries and win 47 to 49 games. If they remain relatively healthy and the bench develops into a strength, 58 wins is not out of the question.However, at this time, I call it down the middle and recommend an 'over' 49 play on the Grizzlies, with them winning 53-54 games, with an outside chance to reach the West Finals.
NBA Futures Pick: Bet Over 49 at Bet365