Grizzlies vs. Jazz Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via <!–BetMGM–>BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Memphis Grizzlies are locked into the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference but the Utah Jazz are jockeying for positioning with their divisional rivals, the Denver Nuggets. This is a critical game for Utah, but can they take care of business against one of the West’s best?
Let’s break it down.
Grizzlies Playing Well Even Without Morant
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to be without Ja Morant (knee) and Dillon Brooks (hip) is doubtful for tonight’s matchup. Despite this, the Grizzlies have not listed Desmond Bane (ankle), Tyus Jones (hand), Jaren Jackson Jr. (load management), or Steven Adams (calf) on the injury report — if they all play the Grizzlies will continue to have plenty of firepower.
The Grizzlies continue to dominate even without Ja Morant, and they are 20-2 without him this season. A primary reason for this is the Grizzlies’ ability to generate offense regardless of his presence on the floor. Without Morant on the floor this season, the Grizzlies have a +9.6 point differential and they score 115.4 points per 100 possessions while allowing just 105.8, per Cleaning the Glass.
Their halfcourt offense continues to be uninspiring without Morant, but they push the pace and get out in transition, giving them a significant edge over the competition. In transition, the Grizzlies add 3.9 points per 100 possessions, which is a top mark in the league.
This aligns well with what the Jazz do defensively. While the Jazz are excellent in the halfcourt due to their ability to set up a defense and position Rudy Gobert properly, they do not have this same edge in transition. The Grizzlies are one of the league’s best in transition, while the Jazz allow the eighth most points per 100 transition plays. I expect the Grizzlies to run and keep the pace up against this Utah team.
Jazz Defense Falling Apart
The Jazz are spiraling a bit and are 1-5 over the last two weeks, slipping into sixth place in the Western Conference. Over this stretch, the Jazz have lost to the Warriors, Clippers, Mavericks, Hornets, and Celtics with their sole win coming against the hapless Lakers.
Over this stretch, they have a -9.1 point differential and they are allowing 125.5 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass. Even though they are scoring 116.4 points, it’s impossible to win games with defensive performances like that.
These defensive numbers are not typical for Utah, but they have seen a downturn in their defensive metrics from prior years. Utah had the league’s third-best defense last season, but this year they’ve slipped to 14th in Adjusted Defensive Rating. While they still are about league average in their allowed eFG%, their struggles in transition, particularly off live rebounds, have made it difficult for them to contain their opponents.
Considering the Grizzlies are the only team in the league with a better rebounding rate than the Jazz, this could be problematic for the Jazz.
While chemistry is difficult to quantify, it has seemed as if there are major issues in Utah. They’ve blown multiple double-digit leads and they have collapsed in the clutch this season. On the season, the Jazz have a -21.2 Net Rating in the clutch and are just 4-8 on the season, per NBA Advanced Stats. On the flip side, the Grizzlies are 6-2 in this same spot with a Net Rating of 26.1. This does not bode well for them long-term and especially not for the postseason.
The Grizzlies do not have much to play for besides staying sharp and in form, but they do not benefit from losing either. This is a great spot to back the Grizzlies to complete the season sweep of the Utah Jazz despite them being underdogs.
On the season, Utah is just 29-40-1 ATS as a favorite while the Grizzlies are an impressive 18-9 ATS as an underdog and 17-10 straight up in those games. The Grizzlies are a team that can be trusted, and the Jazz are listed as favorites in large part due to the fact that they have a “need” to win. However, given their recent form, the Jazz are a very weak favorite.
The Grizzlies should be able to dictate the pace and tempo of this game with Tyus Jones, Desmond Bane and JJJ at the helm and their significant advantage in transition. I’ll back them stay hot, cover the spread, and push for their eighth-consecutive victory.
Pick: Grizzlies +5.5 and sprinkle the moneyline (+176)