The Grizzlies should be nice and rested for tonight's home game against the Bucks after sitting a bunch of starters on Thursday. Let's see if there's a weak spot in the NBA odds we can exploit.
The Grizzlies are firm six-point NBA odds favorites for tonight's home game against the Bucks, though some sites out there have a line of six and a half for the taking.
Don't expect a lot of offense tonight, with the O/U at 185 right now. Both teams are ranked in the top five in scoring defense coming in, so points are going to have be earned the hard way in Memphis.
We've seen numerous other times employ a similar strategy, so we can't fault the Grizzlies for resting some key guys in their latest game on Thursday against Washington. It was the tailend of a back-to-back set and the third game in four nights for Memphis, so we can see why the likes of Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Mike Conley were all rested against the Wizards.
Funnily enough, the Grizzlies actually were up on Washington after the first quarter, only to get obliterated in the second quarter on their way to a 107-87 loss. Beno Udrih, Courtney Lee, Jeff Green, JaMychal Green and Kosta Koufos were the starters in the loss, and six other Memphis players got in on the action off the bench.
What that means is the Grizzlies should be feeling rejuvenated and ready to go for tonight's game against the Bucks. It helps that Memphis has been excellent at home, going 24-7 on their own court thus far this season.
The Bucks were hopeful that bringing Michael Carter-Williams in to run the offense (in place of the deparated Brandon Knight) would bring with it positive results, but we haven't seen that at all so far. Milwaukee has gone 3-6 in the nine games he's played in so far, not exactly the kind of return they would have liked. Of course, it's a little too early to make the final judgement on the moves that were made before the deadline, but it's fair to question whether or not it was the right move to ship Knight out of town. After all, he was having his best season as a pro and seemed to be coming into his own.
Milwaukee has been off since Thursday's 109-103 overtime loss to Indiana. All five starters scored at least 12 points, but the Bucks got very little out of their bench, and Carter-Williams' big day went to waste. He ended up with 28 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals, yet it still wasn't enough.
It may be time to start worrying if you're a Milwaukee fan, as they haven't been performing well at all and there are other teams in the conference that are starting to find their stride. The Bucks are just 3-7 over their last 10 and are now only three games over .500 for the season.
We feel this number is too low and therefore will be all over the Grizzlies to cover.
Getting a few days of rest at this point in the season is a nice luxury, and we've already noted how strong Memphis has looked at home throughout the season. Meanwhile, we haven't been too impressed with the Bucks' recent play, as they seem to be struggling to adjust to Carter-Williams running the offense. Milwaukee has also gone just 15-19 on the road, so it's not like they've dealt with tough environments very well.
For those reasons, we're adding the Grizzlies as home chalk to our collection of NBA picks. Gasol and Randolph should be raring to get back out there and run the show, and they couldn't get a much better matchup than this one with the weak interior of the Bucks. Back Memphis to win and cover.
Free NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -6 at 5Dimes