Grizzlies vs. Hornets Preview: Back Road Favorite Despite Big Number

Jacob McKenna previews Grizzlies vs. Hornets on Saturday night.

Grizzlies vs. Hornets Odds

Grizzlies Odds -6.5
Hornets Odds +6.5
Over/Under 239
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via <!–BetMGM–>BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Two of the most exciting teams in the NBA will face off on Saturday night when the Memphis Grizzlies hit the road to take on the Charlotte Hornets.

Charlotte snapped its abysmal six-game losing streak on Friday against Detroit, a game in which the Hornets, scoring 79 points in the first half and 141 total.

The Grizzlies happened to take care of Detroit in their most recent game as well, scoring 132 points to lead them to their 39th win of the season.

Memphis and Charlotte are two teams that have shown some promise this season, but as of right now they are trending in opposite directions. Can Charlotte right the ship and build on some of their newly found momentum, or will we see the Grizzlies continue their dominant season and grab a win on the road?

Grizzlies on Dominant Offensive Run

The Memphis Grizzlies have been one of the most impressive teams in the NBA this season, dominating many of their opponents on a nightly basis. That level of dominance has been on full display during Memphis’s current four-game winning streak, which has only further solidified the Grizzlies as contenders in the Western Conference.

During this four-game run, the Grizzlies have seen tremendous improvements on offense, which is hard to do when Memphis is already one of the better offensive groups in the NBA.

In their last four games, the Griz have seen their Offensive Rating soar to 125.8 from their season rating of 112.7, which is tied with Milwaukee for the best rating in the NBA during that timespan. Their efficiency has seen a similar leap as well, as Memphis has shot 48.3% from the floor overall and 39.6% from behind the arc.

In that same stretch, the Grizzlies have shown their ability to cause chaos on the defensive end of the floor. Their Defensive Rating has improved to 106.6, and Memphis ranks inside the top eight in the NBA in both steals in blocks.

Their efficiency and dominance has certainly paid dividends as of late, leading to an average of 130.5 points per game and an average margin of victory of 20.75 points during the win streak.

Hornets Defense Has Been a Disaster

Charlotte turned things around on Friday night, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the grass in greener for the Hornets.

Gordon Hayward, Cody Martin, and Jalen McDaniels will all miss this game with various injuries, which we have seen have a major impact on their play as of late.

Having those guys sidelined has certainly presented some issues, because in their last ten games the Hornets are just 3-7 overall, with those wins coming against three struggling team in the Pistons, Lakers, and Pacers.

During that 3-7 stretch, the Hornets have allowed their opponents to shoot 48% from the floor and nearly 40% from 3, which has led to Charlotte surrendering an average of 115.5 points per game in their last 10.

The defense has had quite some holes in it all season, surrendering 112.3 points per 100 possessions through 57 games, but this has been the worst stretch they have pieced together.

That has largely been the reason for their recent slide in the standings, but their offense has also not been what we are used to. Charlotte leads the NBA in points per game with 113.8, but this unit has failed to score more than 110 points in six of their last seven games, with four of those games not seeing Charlotte eclipse the 101 point mark.

The Hornets have several things to clean up, and going up against a red-hot Grizzlies team while on a back-to-back doesn’t provide them with a great opportunity to do so.

Grizzlies-Hornets Pick

It’s clear that the Hornets are not in great form, and even though they will be returning to their home court for this matchup, I don’t feel they have completely turned things around.

The Hornets have struggled mightily this season when in back-to-back situations, going just 1-9 overall and 3-7 against the spread when having no rest. Factor in the absence of Gordon Hayward, and I think we are likely to see that trend continue.

Meanwhile, Memphis is the best team in the NBA against the spread, covering in 38 of their 57 total games, and is 7-2 ATS when they are a road favorite this season.

Simply put, the Grizzlies are the stronger team overall and have several advantages working in their favor in this one. I think Memphis can win this game by double digits.

Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -7.5 (-110)