Balanced Grizzlies Make for a Valuable NBA Pick vs Kings

Darin Zank

Sunday, November 30, 2014 2:44 PM GMT

This NBA handicapper notes that while Memphis has beaten Sacramento eight times in a row, the teams have split those last eight meetings ATS 4-4. And the Kings blew a chance to beat the Grizzlies the last time they met. How might Sunday's meeting play out against the NBA betting odds?

Grizz-Kings Betting Odds
As of early Sunday morning this game had not yet been lined, because of the injury situation with Sacramento C DeMarcus Cousins.

 

Grizz-Kings: The Match-Up
Memphis started this season 6-0, then lost at Milwaukee by a point 93-92. The Grizz then won four in a row, then lost 96-92 at Toronto. Memphis has since won four more in a row, after beating Portland Friday night 114-99. The Grizzlies shot 54 percent from the floor Friday, held the Blazers to just 40 percent shooting and won outright as three-point road dogs. For the season Memphis is seven points away from being 16-0. At 14-2 SU the Grizzlies own the best record in the league.

Sacramento opened this season with a loss to Golden State, then won five games in a row. The Kings then lost three in a row, but won four of their next five. But they've now lost their last two games, after falling at San Antonio Friday night 112-104. Sacramento shot 51 percent from the field Friday, but playing without C DeMarcus Cousins allowed the Spurs to also shoot 51 percent, including 12/24 from 3-point land. But the Kings did hang on for the cover as 10-point dogs. At 9-7 Sacramento owns the ninth-best record in the Western Conference.

 

Grizz-Kings, Statistically Speaking
On the season Memphis ranks seventh in FG shooting at 46 percent, ninth in 3-point shooting at 37 percent and sixth in FT shooting at 79 percent. The Grizzlies also rank fifth in FG defense, holding foes to 43 percent shooting, seventh in rebounding at +1.6 per game and own a 22/12 assist-to-turnover ratio, which is good. 

Sacramento ranks 14th in FG shooting at 45.5 percent, 24th in 3-point shooting at 33 percent but second in FT shooting at 81 percent. The Kings also rank eighth in FG defense at 44 percent, No. 1 in rebounding at +8.5 per game, but own a 19/15 A/TO ratio, which ain't too great.

 

Grizz-Kings Recent History
Memphis has beaten Sacramento eight times in a row, although the Kings have managed to split those games 4-4 ATS. Last time these teams met, just 17 days ago, the Kings led by 26 points in the second quarter and by one point with less than one second to go, but gave up a controversial bucket at the buzzer (a nifty reverse lay-in by Courtney Lee) to lose 111-110.

Memphis shot 51 percent from the floor in that game, Sacramento 48 percent. The Kings outrebounded the Grizzlies 51-39, but Memphis won the turnover battle by a 15-9 margin. That game flew OVER its total of 189 early in the fourth quarter. However, the prior four meetings in this series had all played UNDER their totals, so take this into consideration when looking at the NBA odds.

 

Grizz-Kings Betting Trends
Memphis is 8-7-1 on the totals this season, as Grizz games have averaged 193 points.

Sacramento is 8-8 on the totals, as Kings games have averaged 203 points.

Memphis is 6-2 SU, 5-3 ATS on the road this season.

Sacramento is 4-2 both SU and ATS at home.

 

Injury Update
Sacramento is a little banged up, and possibly shorthanded; C DeMarcus Cousins has missed recent action with an illness, and is uncertain for Sunday; G Rudy Gay, although he scored 23 points Friday night, has been dealing with a sore Achilles, and those things can be a pain; and G Darren Collison (16 PPG, seven APG) has a sore quad, but is expected to play.

 

Grizz-Kings Free Pick
Cousins, of course, would have a big impact on this game, and yet even if he plays we like Memphis. The Grizzlies are balanced, on both ends of the court, don't turn the ball over, play good defense, have no problem playing on the road and own the recent rivalry with Sacramento. Meanwhile, the Kings are still above .500, but they've probably been playing a bit above their heads. It's a bit difficult making an NBA pick without a pointspread, but we'd be willing to give up to seven or eight points with Memphis.

Free NBA Pick: Take the Grizzlies