NBA Picks: Gasol to Define Grizzlies Victory Over Blazers

Matthew Jordan

Thursday, November 5, 2015 2:27 PM GMT

Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015 2:27 PM GMT

Portland and Memphis are likely tired of seeing each other as the teams will square off for the 10th time in less than a calendar. Let's check the NBA odds for this game and side for an NBA pick.

Odds Offered by5Dimes | BetOnline | Bookmaker | Bovada | Heritage | GTbets | WagerWeb | SportsBetting | BetDSI

Memphis Scores 1st  -120 (best line at BetOnline)
Portland Scores 1st +100 (best line at Heritage)
Memphis: 1st 3pter +175 (best line at BetOnline)
Portland: 1st 3pter -220 (best at Sportsbetting)
Memphis Scores 10 1st -125 (best at BetOnline)
Portland Scores 10 1st -110 (best line at Heritage)
Yes OT +1200 (best line at Sportsbetting)
No OT -2500 (best line at BetOnline)

 

Blazers Better Than Expected
It's obviously still very early, but Portland (3-2) is better than expected after losing four starters off last year's team, led by All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge. About all that was left was point guard Damian Lillard. 

Portland won its second straight game on Wednesday night, 108-92 in Utah. Lillard had 35 points and this season's early breakout star C.J. McCollum had 27. Mason Plumlee had 12 points and 16 rebounds. Lillard is clearly the focal point of this offense now with Aldridge in San Antonio, and Lillard is averaging 27.4 points per game, which is fifth in the NBA. McCollum is averaging 23.5 ppg, giving the Blazers the highest-scoring backcourt in the NBA. The only other team with two backcourt starters averaging at least 20 points is Washington with Bradley Beal (25.3) and John Wall (20.8).

Blazers power forward/center Meyers Leonard left the Utah game in the first quarter with a right ankle sprain and didn't return, so he's questionable at best here. Guys like Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh, both offseason acquisitions, would see more minutes if he's out. Leonard is averaging 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Portland is 3-2 against the spread on NBA odds and 2-3 'over/under.'

 

Grizzlies Very Up-And-Down
Memphis (3-2) has been a puzzling team thus far. It lost by 30 at home to NBA championship favorite Cleveland in the season opener -- even though the Cavaliers were playing the second of a back-to-back. The Grizzlies won the next two pretty easily over Indiana and Brooklyn.  But then on Monday at defending NBA champion Golden State, the Grizzlies were destroyed 119-69, the worst loss in franchise history. The previous worst was by 49 points in 1995, when they were the Vancouver Grizzlies. Memphis was outscored by the Warriors 72-27 over the second and third quarters.

But kudos to Memphis, as 24 hours later the team won in Sacramento, 103-89 against a Kings team missing its best player, All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins. Predictably, without "Boogie" in the middle, the Grizzlies outscored the Kings 50-32 in the paint and had a 50-35 rebounding edge. The Memphis starters were a combined 11 of 46 against Golden State, but had 11 field goals in the first quarter against the Kings.

All-Star Memphis center Marc Gasol had to leave that Sacramento game with a neck spasm and didn't play in the second half. Needless to say, his absence would affect this line, but it doesn't appear to be anything major. Gasol is listed as a starter on the team's official game notes but also as questionable. Gasol is averaging 12.0 points and 5.6 rebounds this season.

There are reports that Memphis is interested in trading for Miami Heat reserve guard Mario Chalmers to act as a backup to starter Mike Conley. Nothing is imminent, however. Chalmers is in the final year of his deal worth $4.3 million. Memphis wants Miami to take back point guard Beno Udrih, but he makes only $2.2 million. So a player-for-player swap wouldn't work under NBA salary rules. Like the Heat, the Grizzlies, are above the NBA salary cap and do not have a large enough trade exception to take on Chalmers' salary without sending salary back to Miami. Udrih is averaging 6.4 points and 3.8 assists in 16.8 minutes a night behind Conley.

Memphis is 2-3 ATS on NBA picks this season and 1-4 O/U.

 

Blazers Better Than Expected
It's obviously still very early, but Portland (3-2) is better than expected after losing four starters off last year's team, led by All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge. About all that was left was point guard Damian Lillard. 

Portland won its second straight game on Wednesday night, 108-92 in Utah. Lillard had 35 points and this season's early breakout star C.J. McCollum had 27. Mason Plumlee had 12 points and 16 rebounds. Lillard is clearly the focal point of this offense now with Aldridge in San Antonio, and Lillard is averaging 27.4 points per game, which is fifth in the NBA. McCollum is averaging 23.5 ppg, giving the Blazers the highest-scoring backcourt in the NBA. The only other team with two backcourt starters averaging at least 20 points is Washington with Bradley Beal (25.3) and John Wall (20.8).

Blazers power forward/center Meyers Leonard left the Utah game in the first quarter with a right ankle sprain and didn't return, so he's questionable at best here. Guys like Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh, both offseason acquisitions, would see more minutes if he's out. Leonard is averaging 5.4 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Portland is 3-2 against the spread on NBA odds and 2-3 'over/under.'

Last Season
Memphis was 4-0 against Portland in the 2014-15 regular season, marking the first time in franchise history (20 years) that the Grizzlies swept. The Blazers never reached 100 points in any of the games. Conley played in three of the four and averaged 19.0 points, 8.7 assists and 6.0 rebounds. Gasol was at 18.8 ppg and 7.5 rebounds per. He played all four as did Zach Randolph (16.5 ppg, 10.3 rpg). Lillard averaged 22.0 points and 7.3 assists against Memphis. Aldridge was at 22.3 ppg and 8.0 rebounds.

The two teams also met in the first round of the playoffs and Memphis dispatched the Blazers in five games; four of the five were very low scoring. Conley missed the final two games of the series following surgery to repair broken bones near his left eye. That injury happened in Memphis' Game 3 win. Aldridge struggled in that series against the big Grizzlies frontcourt, hitting just 37-for-112 from the field.

NBA Free Picks: As long as Gasol plays, go Memphis and 'under.' Grizzlies have covered seven of the past nine meetings. The 'under' is 5-2 in the past seven. If Gasol doesn't play, take the points at your preferred sportsbook and go 'over.'

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