NBA Picks: Lakers vs. Grizzlies

PJ Laferla

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 1:44 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 1:44 PM GMT

While both the LA Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies will be busy fighting for the win, us bettors want to decide which squad will pull through for our NBA picks tonight. Where does the best value lie in this showdown?

The star-studded Los Angeles Lakers have looked pedestrian all season long, and if they don’t turn it around soon they will be out of this thing in a hurry. Tonight they have an opportunity to prove what they are made of when they challenge the Grizzlies in Memphis.

Lakers Look To Snap Losing Streak Against Grizzlies

The struggling Los Angeles Lakers (17-24 SU, 6-13 ATS away) will be on the road tonight, as they meet up with the Memphis Grizzlies (26-14 SU, 12-8-1 ATS home) in a battle between two Western Conference foes, with one boasting a great offense, while the other offers an even better defense.

Tip off is scheduled for 8:05 PM EST from the FedEx Forum in Memphis and can be seen live on television, with broadcast coverage provided by TWSN.

As it stands right now, the NBA odds list Memphis as -4 point favorite at home, while the over/under total has been set to 188 points. Only one other matchup is offering a lower number, but while betting on the total might look tempting, I predict that the best value lies with the point spread.

[gameodds]5/134680/43/us[/gameodds]

Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers will attempt to snap their road-losing streak tonight, which has now stretched to six games, but it won’t be easy, as they go up against a tough team in the Grizzlies, whom have played exceptionally well at the FedEx Forum all season.

Los Angeles can score, which is evident by their 102.6 ppg average, but the defense is among the worst in the NBA this season, as they are allowing opponents to shoot 45.1% from the floor, while giving up an average of 101.4 points per contest. That formula has the Lakers going over the posted total in six of their last eight games played on the road.

The LA defense really needs to find it's feet, as the poor performances on the defensive side of the ball could have already cost the Lakers a trip to the NBA playoffs.

While the Lakers losses are starting to stack up, so are the numbers against the spread. They are only 3-8 ATS in their last 11 games overall, 1-5 ATS in their last six games played on the road and 1-4 ATS in their last five versus Western Conference opponents.

Additionally, the Lakers are just 6-13 against the spread in the last 19 meetings when facing the Grizzlies in Memphis.

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies continue to shine on defense, which has them ranked second best in the league, as they allow fewer than 90 points per game (89.4). However, their 92.9 average points scored is awful and ranked 28th best in the NBA this season.

Memphis’ superb and stingy defense keeps most of their games under the posted total. In fact, five of their last six games played at home are under, as well as five of six when facing a team from the Pacific Division.

They have been pretty good against the spread, especially when playing on a Wednesday, where they have covered 12 of their last 18 contests. They are also 4-1 ATS in their last five versus Pacific Division opponents.

The Pick

Sooner or later the Lakers need to snap out of their funk…or do they? For my free picks tonight, I recommend siding with Memphis at home and laying the cheap -4 points, as this is much smarter than taking the Lakers who have struggled all season and look terrible on the road.

NBA Picks: Grizzlies -4

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