NBA Picks: Clippers vs. Grizzlies

Jeff Grant

Monday, January 14, 2013 1:04 PM GMT

Monday, Jan. 14, 2013 1:04 PM GMT

The Memphis Grizzlies were clearly out of gas in dropping their last contest, but they should be more than ready to face the Los Angeles Clippers Monday night. Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for this Western Conference affair.


Cooled off

Los Angeles has split its last six games after putting together the longest win streak in franchise history, as it now looks to bounce back from a dreadful 104-101 defeat to the Orlando Magic as 12.5-point home favorites Saturday. The Clippers will also try to avoid a season high-tying third consecutive loss on the road—dropping games to the Golden State Warriors and Denver Nuggets by 21 and 14 points respectively. 

Expected outcome

Memphis had its four-game win streak snapped in a 104-83 setback to the Dallas Mavericks as one-point road favorites Saturday, but it was to be expected after picking up a thrilling 101-98 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs the night before—arguably their biggest rival in the league. The Grizzlies are 8-4 ATS after a blowout loss by 15 points or more over the last two-plus seasons.

All about the bench 

Sports bettors definitely need to factor in the bench play of both teams when making their sports picks Monday night, as the Clippers hold a major advantage in this category. Los Angeles is receiving 40.2 percent of its scoring from its reserves, while Memphis is at 27.5 percent in that category. It’s also important to note that Grizzlies’ leading scorer Rudy Gay will miss this game due to the recent death of his grandmother. 

Off to a great start 

The Grizzlies still need to be respected when looking over the betting lines, considering they own a 24-11 record through 35 games, which is the best start in franchise history despite playing the league’s fifth most difficult schedule to this point. Memphis is also 10-3 SU and 10-2-1 ATS when facing opponents that average 99-plus points per game. 

Points in the paint 

Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph are two of the better front court players in the NBA, which explains why the Grizzlies are sixth in the league in averaging 43.6 points in the paint this year. With that being said, the Clippers (46.7) rank third in the league in that particular category, trailing only the Denver Nuggets (55.8) and Houston Rockets (47.1).

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Clippers as one of their NBA picks, as they improve to 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings in this series. The Grizzlies are 0-2 SUATS at home when the total is between 180 and 184.5 points. 

NBA Pick: Los Angeles Clippers +2.5
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