Grizz Need to Suck It Up for Lakers Game

Jason Lake

Wednesday, December 27, 2017 12:49 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017 12:49 PM UTC

The Memphis Grizzlies just lost a heartbreaker in Phoenix. Can they pull it together and be a strong NBA pick for Wednesday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers?

Memphis Grizzlies vs L.A. Lakers

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Free NBA Pick: Lakers –2.5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

That’s a hell of a way to lose a basketball game. The Memphis Grizzlies dug deep to tie the Phoenix Suns 91-91 Tuesday night with almost no time on the clock, but the Suns (+1.5 at home) prevailed on a glorious in-bounds pass from Dragan Bender to Tyson Chandler for the alley-oop. That’s 20 losses in 23 games for Memphis at 4-17-2 ATS, all since point guard Mike Conley went on the injured list with a sore left Achilles.

No rest for the Grizz – they’re heading even farther West to play the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, tipping off at 10:30 p.m. Eastern. The Lakers (11-21 SU, 16-16 ATS) may or may not have two of their most important players: Lonzo Ball (shoulder) and Brandon Ingram (quad), but they’re still 2.5-point home faves on the NBA odds board as we go to press. Interesting.

Lonzo Journalism

We’re getting mixed reports on Ball (plus-0.2 BPM), but it appears he won’t be in action; the Lakers own Twitter account said on Christmas Eve that Ball would be re-evaluated in a week after an MRI revealed a sprained left shoulder. Ingram (minus-2.0 BPM) is officially listed as questionable, even though he practiced in full on Tuesday. It looks like he’ll face the Grizzlies at this point.

From a betting standpoint, the injury news might sound like bad news for the Lakers, but if Ingram does play, that means fewer minutes for Josh Hart (minus-2.3 BPM). Sadly, Los Angeles didn’t get the job done for us against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Christmas Day, collapsing late in a 121-104 loss as 6-point home dogs. But at least they’ll be rested for Wednesday after taking a day off to heal.

The Grizzlies won’t have that luxury. And our friendly friends at FiveThirtyEight project L.A. as a 6-point chalk using their CARMELO formula; ESPN’s Basketball Power Index sees the Lakers winning 64 percent of the time, or around –4.5 according to Wizard of Odds. All of this makes Los Angeles a viable NBA pick in our estimation, if only for a small sum to account for all these injuries.

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