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Grizzlies vs. Mavericks Predictions: No Ja, Big Problem?

Written by: Grant Mitchell
Published January 9, 2024
10 min read

The Memphis Grizzlies (13-23) will take on the Dallas Mavericks (22-15) on the road on Tuesday in a battle between two Western Conference foes.

The Grizzlies announced Monday that superstar point guard Ja Morant will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum. However, the Suns won three of their last four games and beat the Phoenix Suns on the road without Morant on Sunday.

The Mavericks enter the matchup riding a three-game win streak with a recent win against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Kyrie Irving is back from his injury and scored 35 points against the Wolves.

Here, we will go over the betting odds and share our favorite picks for the Grizzlies vs. Mavericks matchup.

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Grizzlies vs Mavericks Predictions

Grizzlies vs. Mavericks Betting Odds for Tuesday, Jan. 9

The Mavericks are favored by 8.5 points on their home court on Tuesday. They’re 11-7 at home, while Memphis is 10-10 on the road (but 6-9 without Morant).

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Memphis Grizzlies +8.5 (-110) +290 Over 234.5 (-110)
Dallas Mavericks -8.5 (-110) -375 Under 234.5 (-110)

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The Grizzlies started the year as one of the worst teams in the league, going 6-19 while Morant served a 25-game suspension. They then went 7-3 with him in the lineup as he made his impact and value to the team well-known, but they now find themselves in the same predicament they started the year in.

Memphis is only 25th in overall net rating and has the worst offensive rating in the entire league. Their defense is solid (ninth in field goal percentage allowed, 10th in rating) but hasn’t been enough to power them to victories.

The Grizz are also a poor rebounding team and check in at 24th in rebound rate. Part of that is due to the absences of Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke (both injured), but part is also due to Jaren Jackson Jr. failing to develop that part of his game.

Philosophically speaking, Memphis is going to go through more hard times before anything gets better (if it does). They shoot the worst percentage from three in the league (33.9%) and rank 23rd in assist-to-turnover ratio. 

To summarize, they can’t shoot, don’t move the ball well, don’t take care of the ball, don’t crash the glass, and are down their leading scorer and only real source of rim pressure.

Marcus Smart is going to need to fill his role as the veteran leader if this team has any chance of remaining relevant. He posted an average state line of 14 points and 4.5 rebounds but went for 25 points, eight assists, six rebounds, and three steals in Sunday’s game against the Suns, which Morant missed.

Desmond Bane averaged 24.5 points, 5.0 assists, and 4.4 rebounds in 26 games without Morant and will be the primary ball-handler and scoring option. Jackson Jr. averaged 21.4 points and 5.8 rebounds without his All-Star point guard and will also ascend in the pecking order.

Looking at the other half of the matchup, the Mavericks got back on track with their three-game win streak and by winning four of their last five outings. Their last win against Minnesota saw Luka Doncic and Iring combine for 69 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, and 11 made threes on 55% shooting from deep.

What makes the Mavericks so special is their ability to create great offense regardless of matchup because of their backcourt. Both Luka and Kyrie can go to work off the dribble against anyone in the league, and they’ve done a great job staying out of one another’s way.

The Mavs are just above league average shooting the three but make the second-most triples per game. That’s helped by their quick pace (eighth) and is what allows them to go on explosive scoring runs that often blow games open.

The Dallas defense is 16th in rating and improved on last year. The better effort by Doncic combined with the impact play of rookie center Dereck Lively II and others have allowed them to become more formidable on that side of the court even if they still aren’t the model of a great defensive outfit.

Although the Mavericks also aren’t great on the glass, they take care of the ball better than anyone and are 12-5 in clutch games. They’re tough to keep pace with, and even if games are close near the end, they usually pull away.

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Grizzlies vs. Mavericks Prediction and Betting Pick

It should come as no surprise that we like the Mavericks to win—but can they cover the 8.5-point spread?

Dallas is 21-16 (56.8%) against the spread, while Memphis is 15-21 (41.2%) overall and 10-16 without Ja (38.5%).

Although the Grizz turned in a great performance against the Suns, they’re getting a bad matchup on the road here. Dallas is rounding back into form, healthy, and explosive scoring the ball. A Morant-less Grizzlies team does not have the firepower, especially from three-point land, to keep up with a Mavericks burst of scoring, and that is ultimately the reason why they will lose and fail to cover. 

Grizzlies vs. Mavericks pick: Mavericks -8.5 at BetMGM

How to Watch Grizzlies vs. Mavericks on 1/9/23

  • When: Tuesday, Jan. 9 @ 7:30/8:30 p.m. CT/ET

  • Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

  • TV: NBA TV

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Grant Mitchell

548 Articles

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.

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