Grizzlies vs. Lakers Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
It’s been a roller coaster series. The Lakers dominated a high-scoring Game 1 behind a combined 52 points from Rui Hachimura and Austin Reaves. Additionally, Ja Morant left late in the 4th quarter with a wrist injury.
Morant sat out Game 2, but it didn’t matter. The Grizzlies won a grueling 103-93 rock fight. Tyus Jones stepped in seamlessly and provided his usual methodical approach to the Grizzlies offense — the polar opposite of Morant’s high-flying intensity.
Morant was a participant in Friday’s non-contact practice and will be a gametime decision for Saturday’s Game 3 meeting in Los Angeles.
Let’s break down the odds and I’ll make a prediction for Game 3 of Grizzlies vs. Lakers.
It’s still unclear whether Morant will play. Jones is probably the best backup point guard in the league, but the Grizzlies are struggling with depth. Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke will remain out, which leaves a lot resting on Memphis’ remaining players.
Memphis was able to tread water in games without Morant this season (11-10 straight up), but that was largely due to the Grizzlies’ depth. Despite starting at shooting guard, Morant’s absence means Desmond Bane has to play backup point guard as Memphis is otherwise short on ball handlers.
But Jones is a worthy replacement. This season, he averaged 16.4 points, four rebounds, 8.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game as a starter and shot an efficient 50% from the field and 41.5% from 3-point range.
However, this is just not a good spot for the Grizzlies, who are coming off a desperation home win. Memphis needed Game 2 as the Grizzlies have been a bad road team all season, going just 14-26-1 ATS. They played well in Game 2, but I don’t see them sustaining that effort — especially on the road.
Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James isn’t moving like he once did and it’s difficult to tell if that’s because of his injured foot or just old age. He can bring it in spurts, but the game-to-game dominance has been absent for a few months now.
James was one of the few bright spots in Game 2, but his 28 points weren’t enough as he and Hachimura combined for 48 of the Lakers 93 points.
The rest of the Lakers shot an abysmal 16-for-50 from the field (24.2%). And while the Lakers were attacking the rim as they always do, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Xavier Tillman did a good job of protecting the paint, holding L.A. to just 56.2% at the rim, according to Cleaning the Glass.
Game 2 was a bad spot for the Lakers and Game 3 should be much better. Teams that win Game 1 on the road tend to relax in Game 2 while the home team tends to elevate their play, hoping to avoid an 0-2 hole before going on the road.
We obviously want to know Morant’s status before making a decision, but I expect the Lakers to handle business in their first home game of the postseason, regardless of whether Morant plays.
You can often find value fading teams when their star player returns and I especially like that spot with a player like Morant. The bookmakers tend to over-adjust for his presence or lack thereof.
I like this spot for Lakers regardless, though. The Grizzlies are 0-5 ATS in their past five games following a straight up win and are also 1-7-1 ATS in their past nine following an ATS win.
This is also a bounce back spot for the Lakers after a blowout loss in Memphis and they also align with a PRO system that has been highly profitable both this season and in the past. Teams that fall under this system are 10-5 (27% ROI) this postseason.
I’ll also look to the under if Morant sits. The under is 6-2 in the past eight meetings between these teams, and with Jones as the primary ball handler, the Grizzlies tend to slow things down. Follow me in the Action app to see how I play the total closer to game time. (AOWatts)
For the official play, I’ll wait to find out Morant’s status and take the Lakers on the spread. If he plays, I like this down to -5. If he’s out, I’ll take this to -7.5.