Grizzlies vs. Lakers Game 4: Expect Desperation From Memphis Early

Action Network contributor Austin Wang previews the Grizzlies vs. Lakers Game 4 NBA Playoffs matchup and makes his betting pick.

Grizzlies vs. Lakers Odds

Grizzlies Odds +4.5 
Lakers Odds -4.5
Over/Under 220.5 (-110 / -110)
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

Dillon Brooks “poked the bear” in Game 2, and the Grizzlies paid for it in Game 3 with a 111-101 loss to LeBron James and the Lakers.

Game 4 is again at Arena in Los Angeles, where the Lakers look to extend their series lead to 3-1 against the second-seeded Grizzlies on Monday night.

The biggest question mark is the status of Grizzlies star Ja Morant, who is dealing with an injured right hand. He missed Game 2 and then returned for his usual workload in Game 3. The whole team started off slow, but Morant erupted in the fourth quarter for 24 points to keep it within striking distance and finished with 45 points. His hand seemed just fine as he shot 13-for-26 from the field and 6-for-10 from behind the arc.

As of early Monday morning, Morant is not listed on Memphis’ injury report.

Here’s a look at the odds, as well as a betting pick and prediction for Grizzlies vs. Lakers Game 4. 

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Memphis Grizzlies

I figured the Grizzlies would struggle in Game 3 and be in a letdown spot while reintegrating Morant back into the lineup. That was certainly the case, as they were down 35-9 after the first quarter.

However, he looked amazing when the Grizzlies rallied in the fourth quarter. The effort fell short, but I expect them to pick up where they left off.

In spots where Morant plays for the second consecutive game after missing a start, they Grizzlies are 14-5 straight up and 12-6-1 against the spread, per the SDQL at Killer Sports. I see them performing better with one game back under Morant’s belt.

It was announced on Sunday that Brooks will receive no further punishment for his flagrant foul on James in Game 3 that got him ejected. A polarizing figure, Brooks has flawlessly played the role of a heel.

There was a lot of emotion in Game 3. I think things settle down in this pivotal Game 4 and Brooks impacts the game in a positive manner.

Los Angeles Lakers

It was obvious the Lakers would come out strong after Brooks’ comments toward James, and in a textbook “Zig-Zag Theory” spot after losing Game 2. Brooks’ arrogance can be entertaining, but it provided easy bulletin board material for one of the best players of all time.

As a result, the Lakers had a wire-to-wire victory behind a dominant game from Anthony Davis. He finished with 31 points and 17 rebounds, including 15 points in a crucial third quarter. Given his success, I think the Lakers go back to him in Game 4, but I don’t see him replicating that level.

In addition, D’Angelo Russell — shooting 14-for-42 from the field — has had a disappointing series. With potential duds from Davis and Russell, I see a potential letdown from the Lakers.

Los Angeles, however, does have a massive edge in bench productivity. Rui Hachimura had another strong game with 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting, and he has been able to find success against a weak Grizzlies bench. Memphis in general is pretty shorthanded without Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke.

Grizzlies-Lakers Pick

I like the desperate Grizzlies to come out strong to make up for a poor start in Game 3. I expect Morant to continue his excellent play from the fourth quarter on Saturday to keep his team from falling to a 3-1 deficit.

The Grizzlies have the best 1Q ATS record in the league at 51-33-1. I don’t trust the Grizzlies bench, so I’ll be backing them early in Game 4.

Pick: Grizzlies 1st Quarter +1.5