Home Cover for NBA Picks in Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies

Darin Zank

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 11:49 AM GMT

Tuesday, Mar. 11, 2014 11:49 AM GMT

Western Conference playoff contenders collide as the Memphis Grizzlies host the Portland Trailblazers Tuesday night (8 pm ET). We examine both teams and the current betting trends to decide where the best NBA betting choices might be hiding.

Portland is fairly secure in its playoff positioning, still fighting for a top-four seed, but Memphis is playing for its playoff life; if the Grizzlies don't watch out they could find themselves out in the cold come April.

The Line

Most sportsbooks we consulted opened Memphis at -3 for this game, with a total of 198.5. Many of those books then bumped the Grizz to -4.

Potential bettors who think Portland might win this game outright can get a price of +155 on the various NBA betting moneylines.

[gameodds]5/258164/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Game Set-Up

Portland recently won five games in a row, but has begun a five-game road trip with a pair of defeats. Friday night the Blazers fell at Dallas 103-98, and Sunday night they lost in Houston 118-113 in overtime.

Friday night Portland trailed by 30 points late in the second quarter, rallied all the way back to take a seven-point lead with eight minutes to go in the game, but ran out of gas and didn't score in the final four minutes.

Sunday night the Blazers led by 16 points in the third quarter and by 13 with about eight minutes to go, but allowed the Rockets to rally and win in OT.

Memphis, meanwhile, has won four of its last five contests, after disposing of Charlotte Sunday night 111-89. The Grizzlies shot 51 percent from the floor, limited the Bobcats to 40 percent shooting, covering as nine-point favorites.

Memphis has now won six games in a row at home.

So looking at the big picture the Blazers, at 42-21, occupy fifth place in the Western Conference, two games out of fourth place, while the Grizzlies, at 36-26, hold down the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot. Memphis is only a game behind seventh-place Dallas, but also only a half-game ahead of ninth-place Phoenix.  

By the Numbers

Portland, which ranks second in the league in scoring at 108 points per game, is shooting 45 percent from the field this season, 38 percent from 3-point range and a league-best 82 percent from the FT line.

Defensively the Blazers rank 11th, allowing foes to shoot 45 percent from the floor.

Memphis plays a little slower game; the Grizzlies only rank 25th in scoring at 96 PPG, but third in defense, holding foes to 95 PPG.

Memphis is shooting 46 percent from the floor, 36 percent from long range and 75 percent from the line, while holding opponents to just under 45 percent FG shooting.

Both these teams are tough on the boards; the Blazers rank fourth in the league in rebounding at +3.7 per game, the Grizzlies sixth at +2.8 per game.

Blazers-Grizzlies Recent History

Memphis has beaten Portland four times in a row. Last year the Grizzlies took three of four games from the Blazers, and in the first meeting between these teams this season Memphis won 98-81 at the Rose Garden back in January.

The Grizz led that game right from the get-go, scoring the first 10 points, eventually building a 24-point lead. Memphis shot 52 percent from the floor on the night, held Portland to just 35 percent shooting and won straight-up as five-point underdogs.

Also, despite a 61-46 halftime score, that game played UNDER its total of 198 because the teams combined to score just 72 points in the second half.

In fact, seven of the last eight meetings in this series have played UNDER the totals.

Blazers-Grizzlies Betting Trends

Portland is 35-27 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as Blazers games have averaged a league-high 210 total points. 

Memphis is 31-31 on the totals, as Grizz games have averaged 191 points. But nine of their last 10 games have gone OVER, in part because those totals have often been lined as among the lowest on the board. 

Portland is 19-12 ATS on the road this season, while Memphis is only 13-20 ATS at home. Apparently, oddsmakers have been overestimating the Grizzlies for their home games, and underestimating the Blazers on the road.

Free NBA Pick for Tuesday

Memphis has beaten Portland four times in a row, and we don't see any reason why the Grizzlies can't extend that streak to five. And the spread is very manageable for a home team. So we'll go with Memphis at the -3.5 points offered at The Greek for our free NBA pick for Tuesday.

NBA Picks: Grizzlies -3.5

comment here