NBA Picks: Take Dominating Grizzlies To Cover ATS Against Blazers

Jay Pryce

Monday, February 8, 2016 1:34 PM GMT

Monday, Feb. 8, 2016 1:34 PM GMT

The Trail Blazers and Grizzlies meet for the the fourth time. Memphis took two of the first three matchups. Can Portland even the series on the road? NBA Pick and analyisis here.

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NBA Pick: Grizzlies -4
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

The fourth and final meeting between the Trailblazers and Grizzlies this season takes place Monday night (8 p.m. ET) in the FedExForum. Memphis swiped two of the first three straight up. Portland will need to muster more than the 78 points it put up in the last matchup to even the series.

 

Portland Trail Blazers (25-27 SU, 27-24-1 ATS)
Portland stuffed the Rockets in Houston 96-79 last time out, lifting the team to just one game back of the Jazz for the Western Conference's final playoff spot. PG Damian Lillard led the group with 21 points and SG Gerald Henderson put up 16 off the bench. It may find the Grizzlies a little tougher to tame tonight.

Over the last 10 games, Memphis' 19.0 points per game average allowed to opposing guards is tops in the NBA. This may present problems for the Trail Blazers. Offensively, they are carried by their backcourt. Lillard (24.0 ppg), SG C.J. McCollum (20.8 ppg) and SG Allen Crabbe (11.3 ppg) are the team’s three top scorers. When the trio scores below their combined average (56.1) on a night, the Blazers are 9-14 ATS, slumping to 97.0 points per game and failing to reach their team total in 14 of 23 games. Portland is 13-7 ATS when they put in 56.1 or more a night, scoring 108.7 points per game with the team total go over in 18 of 20.

 

Memphis Grizzlies (30-21 SU, 25-25-1 ATS)
The Grizz fell to the Mavericks at home 114-110 as 5-point favorites on Saturday, just their second loss in the last 14 at FedExForum. Memphis has enjoyed a strong home-court advantage over the last few seasons. Portland, in fact, is just 1-10 SU, 4-7 against the NBA odds in its last 11 trips to Bluff City.

Led by 7-1 C Marc Gasol, Memphis possesses one of the best rim-protecting defenses in the NBA. Its 37.2 points allowed in the paint per game is best in the league. The Trail Blazers are more of a perimeter team, shooting and making the fourth most three pointers in the league with 28.4 attempts and 10.1 makes per game. But the points they do get down low are critical to their offensive performance. The average ratio of points in the paint per points in the NBA is 41.4 percent. When the Trail Blazers tip off against an opponent yielding more than this number they score 104.4 per game versus 99.9 if lower. The Grizz yield just 37.7 percent of its opponents points in the zone.

Another good sign for the Grizz is the visitor's penchant for tripping up against teams with a superior assist-to-turnover ratio. Memphis' 1.61 rate ranks 11th in the NBA. When Portland plays an opponent accumulating 1.51 or better, the league average, it scores 99.9 points a night as opposed to 104.5 with a lesser rate. On the road, the Trail Blazers have gone below their team total in eight of 12 under these conditions.

 

Final Analysis
The Trail Blazers are averaging 103.8 points per game since the New Year, and are shooting a solid 46.3 percent from the field in this span. Memphis, however, presents plenty of matchup problems across the court—most of all it will not allow Portland's backcourt to penetrate the lane and score close-up. Grizzlies -4 is the NBA pick.

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