The Grizzlies continue their West Coast swing with a matchup against the Kings tonight. Sleep Train Arena should be rocking as the Kings try to improve on their 2-4 home record.
It's been a tough start for both squads. Memphis is 4-5 SU and 1-7-1 ATS and Sacramento is 2-6 SU and 1-6-1 ATS.
And while the Grizzlies won all four head-to-head meetings last season, we foresee them having a tough time tonight.
For one, this is not the same Memphis team. The overall player makeup may be the same, but there's a new coach in town (Dave Joerger) and it hasn't been an easy transition to a new system. The Grizzlies, who ranked second in defensive efficiency last season, are currently ranked #23 in that category through their first nine games.
For a team that's known for its struggles to score the rock, the fact Memphis hasn't been as dominating defensively is a huge worry. The Grizzlies are all the way down at #24 in offensive efficiency, which is even worse than their #18 ranking from 2012/13.
Obviously Sacramento hasn't been tearing it up either, but they've been battling tough at home. Though they lost to Atlanta, Portland, Detroit and the LA Clippers, they have managed to overcome Denver and Brooklyn.
We reckon the Grizzlies will figure things out eventually, but until then they could be overvalued. We'll be going with Sacramento in this spot.
Pick: Sacramento Kings +2
We close out with another home underdog by taking Pau Gasol and the Lakers to bring it to the visiting Pistons. Current NBA betting lines have L.A as a two-point dog inside of Staples Center. The O/U is at 204.
Detroit broke a four-game losing streak by beating Sacramento on the road on Friday night. Five different Pistons scored in double figures, with Josh Smith finishing with 21 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, five steals and four blocks and Andrew Drummond posting 15 points and 18 boards in the win.
The Lakers weren't as fortunate on Friday, losing by three at home to Memphis. Jodie Meeks hit five threes and had a team-high 25 points, while Pau Gasol added a double-double.
Can they bounce back tonight?
We don't see why not. The Pistons haven't impressed us much and while they clearly have more talent, they haven't been able to make the most of it.
The Lakers are going to continue to struggle, but they're at least battling hard night in and night out without leader Kobe Bryant on the floor. Gasol needs to show up inside tonight if L.A. is to hang around, while the likes of Steve Blake and Jordan Hill also need to be productive.
Mike D'Antoni's team has already beaten Atlanta and New Orleans at home, while staying closes with San Antonio (91-85) and Memphis (89-86). Given Detroit has the tendency to let down, we like L.A.'s chances of securing the mild upset.
The Pistons have all of the size, but we expect the Lakers' three-point barrage to keep them in tonight's game. Let's go with L.A. to cover.
Pick: Los Angeles Lakers +2[gameodds]5/247643/?r-1=19-349-43-192/us[/gameodds]