NBA Picks: Grizzlies vs. Jazz

Darin Zank

Saturday, March 16, 2013 12:17 PM GMT

The Memphis Grizzlies are trying to track down at the very least a top-four seed in the upcoming Western Conference playoffs.

NBA Betting Preview: Grizzlies Visit Jazz

The Utah Jazz, on the other hand, are in a scramble just to qualify for the playoffs. So, who do we choose today for our NBA picks?

Saturday night the Grizzlies will try to bounce back after having a six-game winning streak scuttled Friday when they pay a visit on the struggling Jazz in Salt Lake City (10 pm ET).

Can Memphis recover after a poor fourth quarter cost them a victory Friday night? Or can Utah pick itself up off the floor and put on a winning performance against one of the hottest teams in the league?

And might there be some money to be made by betting against the NBA odds in this game?

Grizzlies-Jazz Betting Lines

Most books opened Utah at -1.5 for this game, with an OVER/UNDER of 185. And both those numbers had held steady in the early betting.

Grizzlies-Jazz Game Preview

Memphis had won six games in a row, until losing to the Nuggets in Denver Friday night 87-80. The Grizzlies actually led by eight points heading into the fourth quarter Friday, then scored just 14 points in the final frame.

On the night the Grizz shot just 35 percent from the floor in losing for just the second time in their last 16 games.

So holding into Saturday's play Memphis is tied for the three spot in the Western Conference standings with the Clippers, four games behind second-place Oklahoma City and a half-game ahead of fifth-place Denver.

On the home side of this match-up Utah has lost eight of its last ten games, after falling at Oklahoma City Wednesday 110-87. The Jazz trailed by 22 points at the half Wednesday and ended up shooting  just 35 percent from the floor for the game.

So, Utah sits in ninth place in the West, one game back of the eighth-place Lakers.

Statistically Speaking

On the season Memphis has been a rather average team offensively, ranking 16th in FG shooting at 45 percent, 24th in 3-point shooting at 35 percent and ninth in FT shooting at 78 percent. But defensively the Grizzlies rank sixth in FG defense, holding foes to less than 44 percent shooting, and second in rebounding at +4 boards per game.

Utah ranks 14th in FG shooting at 45 percent, 15th from long range at 36 percent and 13th from the line at 77 percent. The Jazz also rank 19th in FG defense, allowing opponents to shoot almost 46 percent from the floor, but 11th in rebounding at +1.5 boards per game.

Get the NBA Picks of the Day for Saturday's Betting Action right here!

Grizzlies-Jazz Head-to-Head

Memphis has already beaten Utah twice this season, by scores of 103-94 back in November and 99-86 in December. The Grizzlies covered the spread as five-point favorites in the first meeting, then won straight-up as two-point underdogs in the second.

That first meeting sneaked OVER its posted total of 195, while the second game stayed UNDER its total of 188.  

Grizzlies-Jazz Betting Trends

Memphis is 19-12 SU and 20-11 ATS on the road this season.

Utah is 23-8 SU and 19-12 ATS at home.

The Grizz are 26-37 on the OVER/UNDERS this season, as their games have averaged 183 total points.

The Jazz are 31-33 on the totals, as their games have averaged 197 points.

[gameodds]5/221546/43/us[/gameodds]

Free NBA Pick

This game is a tale of two teams headed in different directions at the moment. Memphis got beat Friday night but is still one of the hottest teams in the league; Utah got bombed its last time out, and appears to be on its way toward playing itself out of the playoffs.

We had the Grizzlies for a winner Tuesday night at Portland, and have full faith they can pull off another winning road performance Saturday.

Take Memphis at the +115 on the moneyline at Bovada.