Add a Young-Less Lakers as Road Dog to your NBA Picks Over Grizzlies Tonight

Jason Lake

Friday, March 6, 2015 12:47 PM GMT

The Memphis Grizzlies have hit a rough patch on their way to the playoffs. This Friday night, they host the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been happily beating the NBA odds since the All-Star break.

Jason’s record as of Mar. 4: 43-38-4 ATS, 3-7 Totals

Kobe Bryant is displeased. His Los Angeles Lakers seem to be having a little fun out there, despite their awful record (16-44 SU, 26-30-4 ATS), and apparently fun is not allowed. After the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics (–3 away) 118-111 in overtime on Feb. 22, they took a moment to celebrate. Bryant, who wasn’t at the game, was asked about it later on Jimmy Kimmel Live. He just stared his Black Mamba death stare.

Bryant must have started boiling over when the Lakers won their next two games. And even though they’re on a fresh three-game losing streak, they covered twice to improve to 3-4 SU and 5-2 ATS since the All-Star break. Can L.A. keep the good times rolling Friday night (8:00 p.m. ET) against the Memphis Grizzlies, who are experiencing technical difficulties at 4-3 SU and 3-4 ATS since the break? The NBA odds at press time have the Lakers getting up to 12.5 points on the road.

Check out today's NBA odds report full of valuable picks.

Showtime Lite
We’ve seen the Lakers enjoy the occasional burst of success this year against the NBA odds – mostly when Bryant (17.7 PER) was on the sidelines. But results have been mixed since Bryant was officially put on the shelf long-term with a torn rotator cuff. Los Angeles is 4-11 SU and 8-7 ATS since that decision was made.

We can chalk part of that up to the lineups coach Byron Scott has been using. His hand has been forced by injuries to other players, and it’s very likely that the Lakers are intentionally tanking, with the hope of hanging on to the Top-5 protected 2015 first-round draft pick that will otherwise go to the Phoenix Suns as part of the Steve Nash trade. Whatever the case, Scott has chosen to play most of his veterans off the bench, starting younger and less talented players in their place – more suspects that prospects, by the way.

 

Great Booz’ Up
It hasn’t been quite as bad recently. Carlos Boozer (17.3 PER) was given his starting job back during that win over the Celtics, and has kept it ever since. Boozer has definitely seen better times, and his career looked like it was just about over when he posted a minus-3.4 BPM for the Chicago Bulls last year. But Boozer is still one of the better players on the Lakers.

L.A. is also benefitting from the absence of certain players. Ronnie Price (10.2 PER) is out after having elbow surgery, and Nick Young (14.3 PER), who’s the worst defender of the remaining Lakers at minus-4.3 DBPM, has missed five games with a swollen knee. That means more backcourt minutes for Jeremy Lin (15.7 PER) and Jordan Clarkson (14.7 PER). Beware, though: Young could be back in action Friday night. He’s listed as questionable to face Memphis.

 

The Green Line
So what’s wrong with the Grizzlies (43-17 SU, 29-29-2 ATS) these days? Well, they’ve had a few minor personnel issues. Zach Randolph (20.3 PER) and Beno Udrih (16.0 PER) both got sick and missed Tuesday’s 93-82 loss to the Utah Jazz (+7 away), which worked out just fine for us. Tony Allen (plus-3.5 DBPM) was also suspended for that game after he got into a scrap with Nick Calathes (14.2 PER) during practice. Everyone except Vince Carter (10.1 PER) is back in action now.

We’re going to point our fickle betting finger at Jeff Green (13.0 PER). He’s posted a positive BPM just once in his nine NBA seasons, and he’s at minus-0.7 BPM after 23 games in Memphis. Green might be an improvement over Tayshaun Prince (10.6 PER) and Quincy Pondexter (7.2 PER), but not as much as the betting market may believe. Memphis is 17-6 SU and 11-10-2 ATS since pulling off that trade. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. Add Lakers to your NBA picks tonight if Young sits out.

Free NBA Pick: Take Lakers at 5Dimes

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