Grizzlies vs Clippers: Value Lies With Memphis If Ja Morant Plays

Action Network contributor Joe Dellera offers up a Grizzlies vs. Clippers pick and prediction for Friday's matchup.

Grizzlies vs. Clippers Odds

Grizzlies Odds +6
Clippers Odds -6
Moneyline +215 / -260
Over/Under 225.5
Time Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Here’s everything you need to know about Grizzlies vs. Clippers on Friday, Dec. 29 — our expert prediction and betting picks for today.

The Grizzlies play their second game in as many days as they head to Los Angeles to take on the Clippers after facing the Nuggets in Denver on Thursday night. Can the Grizzlies bounce back from a rough loss without Ja Morant, or can the Clippers put their rest advantage to good use?

Let’s get to our Grizzlies vs. Clippers prediction and pick.

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Grizzlies vs. Clippers Prediction

Pick: Grizzlies +6.5

Grizzlies Betting Outlook

The Grizzlies held out Morant (illness) against the Nuggets, but he may be able to play tonight against the Clippers. Memphis was also without Santi Aldama (illness) against the Nuggets. If Morant is unable to go, Marcus Smart and Desmond Bane would see an uptick in usage and playmaking responsibilities.

The Grizzlies are 4-0 with Morant and his presence is instrumental to the Grizzlies’ success. Morant is a +18.9 in the 145 minutes he has played this season and has provided instant offense to a stagnant unit. When Morant has been on the floor, those lineups are scoring 119.9 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.

One of the primary issues for Memphis has been the 3-point shooting. As a team, they are shooting just 33.8%, the worst mark in the league. Morant’s presence on the floor dramatically improves Memphis’ 3-point shooting from the corner, likely a result of his gravity when he’s driving to the rack. He helps his teammates get better looks simply due to the defensive attention he demands.

Clippers Betting Outlook

The Clippers are dealing with a few injuries with Kawhi Leonard being the most notable. Leonard (hip) practiced in a limited fashion on Thursday, per Justin Russo, so we will see if he’s able to return for this game after missing the past three games.

The Clippers are formidable without Leonard, but his impact can’t be understated. Leonard has the best point differential on the team (+15.0) and has been dominant on both sides of the floor. Leonard is averaging 24.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.7 steals per game.

When Leonard has been off the floor, the Clippers have leaned on James Harden and Paul George. When the Clippers have played lineups with Harden and George, but without Leonard and Russell Westbrook, they are +3.5 and scoring 124.5 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.

Grizzlies vs. Clippers Picks, Odds

The injury report is critical to monitor for this game. It reads as if Leonard’s and Morant’s statuses are up in the air, but I speculate that Morant is more likely to play than Leonard.

If Morant plays, I’d like to grab the Grizzlies with the points. His presence significantly raises the floor and the ceiling for this team and even though it is a road back-to-back, none of Memphis’ primary starters played more than 28 minutes in Denver. If Morant is out, I’d grab the Clippers — even if Leonard doesn’t play.

Considering it’s an illness, I’d consider grabbing some of the +6.5 now, then adding on if Morant is ruled in.

Pick: Grizzlies +6.5 (Wait for Morant’s status)