Back Grizzlies' Cover as they Host Kings Thursday Night

Steven Suarez

Thursday, November 13, 2014 4:45 PM UTC

Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 4:45 PM UTC

The Grizzlies have gotten off to a terrific 7-1 start, and are in a good position to add another win to their collection at home to the Kings. Who should we put our faith in with our NBA picks?

Odds Overview
At most every sportsbook out there, the Grizzlies are favored by 6.5 points, which seems like a fair price. The Kings have been better than a lot of people expected, so that's why the spread isn't even higher for tonight.

For now, the total is trading at 191.5 points, though there's still plenty of time for that number to go up or down. Keep following the live line movement at SBR's NBA odds page to get the latest scoop on the movement.


Memphis Grizzlies
So far, the Grizzlies are looking like one of the teams to beat. They've been outstanding in the early stages of the season, winning seven of their first eight games. The team's only defeat came on the road to Milwaukee of all teams.

Included in the great start are victories over the likes of the Pelicans, Suns and Thunder, though it should be noted Oklahoma City is dealing with some serious injury problems right now.

Nevertheless, Memphis is flying high, and has had a day of rest after a 107-102 home win over the Lakers on Tuesday. 

Considering LA has been awful to start the year, it was a little concerning that the Grizzlies had as much trouble as they did putting Kobe and company away. Still, they got the job done in the end, as they had little trouble scoring on the Lakers' porous defense throughout. Overall, the Grizzlies shot 52.6 percent from the floor. Six different players scored in double figures for Memphis.

Though offense was the name of the game against the Lakers, it's the Grizzlies' defense that has carried them this season. They're allowing a league-low 89.4 points per game heading into tonight's encounter with the Kings. That kind of lockdown defnese is going to take them far, especially in the ultra-competitive Western Conference.


Sacramento Kings
How about those Kings? Did you expect them to be 5-3 through eight games this season? We didn't.

It's been a solid start for Sacramento, though the team has dropped consecutive games ahead of this showdown with Zach Randolph and company in Memphis.

The latest loss came on the road to Dallas. In the 106-98 defeat, the Kings blew a huge lead, getting outscored by 17 in the second half to lose by eight. After the first quarter, Sacramento was up 32-14.

Rudy Gay had a great game in spite of his team losing, as he poured in 26 points to go with eight rebounds and eight assists. DeMarcus Cousins had 16 points, 11 boards and five dimes, while Ramon Sessions filled in for the injured Darren Collison to score 18 points, though he wasn't able to hand out a single assist from the point guard position.

Overall this season, Sacramento hasn't been doing very well defensively, but they've been scoring the ball at a great clip, averaging 103.0 points per game. The Kings will face a stern test against the Grizzlies' league-best defense tonight, however.


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NBA Pick
Though we've been impressed by Sacramento's start, we think there's some market value to exploit here.

We think there will be even more regression coming for the Kings, and so let's take advantage of a reasonable number on the much better team in the Grizzlies. They should be able to lock things down defensively and pull away from Sacramento, and we feel confident in their chances of winning by at least seven in this spot.

Memphis has the bodies to contain Cousins inside, and they have the athleticism on the perimeter to deal with Gay. Look for the Grizzlies to overwhelm the Grizzlies on their way to the ATS cover. Back Memphis with your NBA picks.

Free NBA Pick: Grizzlies -6.5

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