Injured Grizzlies Make Spurs -3 the NBA Pick

Matthew Jordan

Wednesday, December 17, 2014 3:37 PM UTC

Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 3:37 PM UTC

It's one of the toughest back-to-backs for any team this season as a night after beating scorching-hot Golden State, the Grizzlies must travel to Western Conference favorite San Antonio. The Spurs are 3-point favorites on BetOnline NBA odds.

Letdown Game Coming for Grizz?
Memphis and Golden State met Tuesday in the first-ever matchup of teams that had won at least 19 of their first 23 games. I picked the home Grizzlies to end the Warriors' franchise-record 16-game winning streak and that's exactly what happened. Memphis won 105-98 behind 24 points and seven rebounds from Marc Gasol and 17 points and 10 rebounds from Zach Randolph. With the Warriors  missing injured center Andrew Bogut, it was little surprise that Memphis dominated down low.

Golden State led by six at the end of one quarter but then Memphis went on a 20-0 run with Steph Curry getting a breather on the bench. The Warriors outscored the Grizzlies by 16 points overall with Curry on the floor, but shot 3-of-19 and were outscored by 23 points when Curry was on the pine. That's a bit odd because Curry was just 9-for-25 from the floor and 1-for-10 from 3-point range.

The Grizzlies have now ended two winning streaks of at least nine games this season. They ended Portland's nine-game run earlier. Memphis did suffer a key injury Tuesday as starting guard and defensive dynamo Tony Allen suffered a corneal abrasion in his right eye and is questionable for this one. He did travel to Texas.

The Grizzlies are 6-5 against the spread on the road in our NBA odds this season and 5-6 'over/under' away from home.


Spurs Missing at Least 2 Stars
For sure San Antonio will be without forward Kawhi Leonard, the reigning NBA MVP, and star point guard Tony Parker in this one. Leonard missed two games last week with a bruised hand and apparently re-aggravated the problem in Monday's 108-95 loss in Portland. Hard to tell by the numbers as Leonard filled up the stat sheet with 21 points, nine rebounds and four assists. X-rays showed no fracture so that's a good thing.

Parker has missed six of the past seven games with a hamstring injury, and you know the Spurs are going to be ultra-cautious because they basically don't care a lick about the regular season. Parker's numbers are a bit down this year as he's averaging 16.0 points and 5.3 assists in 19 games. Backup point guard Patty Mills remains out until January following offseason shoulder surgery.

Manu Ginobili is day-to-day. He was held out Monday with a lower back contusion. Again, I think that was mainly because it was the team's second game in 24 hours. Presumably Tim Duncan and Tiago Splitter will play. Duncan sat out Monday's game because it was the second of a back-to-back -- he's not going to play in many of those. Splitter just returned from a long injury absence last Wednesday and played very limited minutes in three games before also taking a seat against the Blazers. The Brazilian has appeared in just four games.

The Spurs are 4-6 against the NBA betting spread at home this season and 6-4 'over/under.' They have lost two straight games just once this season.


First Meeting
On Dec. 6 in Memphis, San Antonio was a 1-point underdog at sportsbooks and won 107-101 to end the Grizzlies' 22-game regular-season home winning streak. Duncan had 14 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for just his fourth career triple-double. He was the second-oldest player in league history to have one. Karl Malone was the only older player, doing it in 2003. Ginobili led all Spurs scorers with 17 points. San Antonio was 14-for-25 from 3-point range. Parker left the game for good in the third quarter with his  hamstring injury. Splitter didn't play. Gasol had 28 points and 12 rebounds, and Mike Conley 23 points and 10 assists for the Grizzlies. However, Randolph was held to only 10 points. The Spurs have won nine straight games in this series, sweeping last regular season and also sweeping in the 2013 Western Conference Finals.

NBA Free Pick: Tough call here with the Spurs so banged up and Memphis due for an emotional letdown. Take the Spurs as your NBA pick, considering they have covered six of the past seven meetings. They are also 5-0 ATS in their past five after a loss. Also go 'over' 193 points. It is 5-0 in the past five meetings.

Free NBA Pick:  Spurs -3 at 5Dimes

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