The Memphis Grizzlies got a big win in Dallas on Saturday night and have now cashed in three of four. They’ll host a Trail Blazers team that’s now lost three straight. Memphis is the clear favorite on the NBA betting lines in this spot.
The Portland Trail Blazers Can Win Because…
The Grizzlies have been a so-so team of late. They started the year 41-14 but have been fairly average since. They have gone 7-7 over their last 14 games, which shows just how much they’ve been treading water. They’re not a team with a lot of depth and they’ve mostly be over-exerting themselves to this point, playing at a very high level. Now it looks like they are starting to fade. A lot of the members on the team aren’t 100% as Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph have all been banged up over the last month. With the Grizzlies being in a back-to-back situation, you’ll have to keep an eye on who is playing and who is out of the lineup.
If injuries or rest comes into play, the Trail Blazers should have the upper hand.
The Memphis Grizzlies Can Win Because…
They have an opponent which is not on top of its game right now. The Trail Blazers lost to the Miami Heat the other night, giving up 108 points. Portland played terrible defense, giving up seven three-pointers in 10 Miami attempts. The Heat hit 52.9 percent of their shots and were never really slowed by the Trail Blazers, who allowed old man Dwyane Wade to score 32 points. All five Miami starters hit 50 percent of their shots or better, and four of them shot the ball at least 11 times. That is just not acceptable from Portland’s standpoint. Memphis does not have many great perimeter shooters, but Vince Carter hit 4 of 6 three-pointers in the Grizzlies’ most recent game. Even without Mike Conley on the floor (assuming he doesn’t play), Memphis can overpower Portland’s defense with Gasol and Randolph. Portland’s Robin Lopez was very ineffective in that loss to Miami. He scored only six points and grabbed only six rebounds. Memphis can bully Portland in the paint here.
The fact that the Blazers played a terrible defensive game against Miami and then Orlando is a fairly bad sign. As a matter of fact, this team has played three straight games where their opponent has scored at least 105 points, which makes it no surprise that they’ve lost all of those contests.
Beyond that, the Trail Blazers are in a back to back situation and are playing their fifth game in seven nights, all on the road. The road trip started in Toronto but has made stops in Washington, Miami, Orlando and now Memphis. Considering this team isn’t that good on the road to begin with (16-17), it’s a lot to ask of them to succeed in this spot. Unless the Grizzlies are resting players, they’re the better NBA Pick on the NBA odds in this spot.
NBA Pick: Grizzlies -2.5 at Bodog