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The Memphis Grizzlies (2-8) will head to crypto.com Arena for an NBA In-Season Tournament group match against the Los Angeles Lakers (5-5) on Tuesday.
The Grizz desperately miss Ja Morant, who is still suspended for another 15 games. The Lakers, on the other hand, could welcome LeBron James back into the lineup after he missed Sunday’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers with a calf contusion.
Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite picks for the Western Conference matchup.
The Grizzlies are mild underdogs despite missing their best player and struggling to remain competitive in most of their early-season games.
Odds from BetMGM Sportsbook. Use our BetMGM promo code for a $1,500 welcome bonus.
|Memphis Grizzlies||+5.5 (-115)||+170||Over 224.5 (-110)|
|Los Angeles Lakers||-5.5 (-105)||-210||Under 224.5 (-110)|
These two teams met in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs earlier this year. That series was ugly and involved a lot of defense and not much offense but ended with the Lakers winning in six games.
One of the reasons LA succeeded in the series was the excellence of Anthony Davis. Though his scoring was inconsistent, he averaged 4.3 blocks per game and totally disrupted Memphis’ repeated downhill attacks.
The Grizz don’t have as much of a rack attack system without Morant in the lineup and are down from 45.9 drives per game last season to 43.9 this time around. However, their three-point shooting is also down from 34.8% in 2022-23 to 33.2% so far (26th). Their failure to replace a strength with another strength is a large part of why they’ve only won 20% of their games thus far.
The Lakers are still figuring out what they have with their current roster. Their numbers have improved since the early days of the season but they’re still only 24th in net rating and don’t look like the team that reached the Western Conference Finals.
The Lakers’ biggest problems are their terrible three-point shooting (30.4%), lack of a defensive identity, and lack of fluidity running the offense.
As far as the defense, injuries to Jarred Vanderbilt, Gabe Vincent, and others have hurt them. Offensively, they’ve done a nice job finding open shooters but just haven’t made their shots. D’Angelo Russell also recently stepped up his efforts as a playmaker and recorded 20 assists in his last two games.
Back to Memphis. An optimistic outlook is that both of their wins came in their last four games, so they’re playing .500 basketball as of late. The pessimistic outlook is that they’re 25th in net rating, 29th in field goal percentage, and have gone from having one of the best defenses in the league to one that is totally average.
The Grizzlies survived terrible shooting last season because of their defense. The fact they added a Defensive Player of the Year in Marcus Smart and got worse on that side of the ball is troubling.
Both teams are about even in pace of play, turnover percentage, and rebounding percentage. Stylistically, neither team has a decided advantage over the other, and the game will come down to whichever team executes their game plan more effectively.
LeBron’s health will obviously play a huge part in determining how the Lakers perform. The purple and gold are 14-14 without him in the lineup since the start of last year and won their only game without him this season during the 116-110 win over the Blazers.
Desmond Bane and Jaren Jackson Jr. both struggled when the Grizzlies met the Lakers in the playoffs and will need to be much better on Tuesday. However, without someone to collapse the defense and suboptimal spacing, they’ll find that hard to achieve.
All in all, we like the Lakers at -5.5. They have not beaten a team by more than six points this season but are getting a team down its best player and that’s had a terrible start to the year. LA also showed its mettle and desire to win an In-Season Tournament game during its comeback against the Phoenix Suns and should be motivated from the opening tip to win at home.
Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself on delivering breaking news and insightful analyses of the industry. Grant graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 and is feverishly pursuing his ambitions in the sports betting field.
In his free time, Grant can be found passionately watching sports, doing a workout, or searching for adventure with his friends.More info on Grant Mitchell
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