Grizzlies vs. Lakers Odds
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The No. 2 seeded Memphis Grizzlies avoided elimination in Game 5 and travel back to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers in hopes of forcing a winner-take-all Game 7 in Memphis. Unfortunately the Grizzlies have lost each of their last 23 games as road underdogs, so they will have their work cut out for them as 4.5-point road underdogs Friday.
The Lakers won both home games against the Grizzlies in this series and are one win away from advancing to the Western Conference semifinals. Not only have the Grizzlies struggled to win as road underdogs, but they has also failed to cover the spread in each of their last six games following a win. A lot of trends pointing in the Lakers favor.
With the Grizzlies’ 16-27 road record during this season, it shouldn’t be surprising that 88% of the money is on the Lakers to close out this series tonight. The under 219 points is also drawing 93% of the money as both teams are averaging less than 110 points per game during the first five games. Seventeen of the Grizzlies’ last 21 road games against Western Conference opponents have gone under the total.
Let’s break this game down further and discuss where to find value in Grizzlies vs Lakers Game 6.
Despite the 116-99 Game 5 victory, the Grizzlies continued their poor shooting with 44.4% from the field. They are shooting 42.2% during the playoffs, which is by far the lowest among all playoff teams. The Grizzlies have the third-worst Offensive Rating, but part of that is credit to the Lakers who have the best defensive since the All-Star break.
Getting off to a hot start is critical for this Grizzlies team. They have lost the first quarter in each of their past eight Western Conference first round road games. Their 34-47-1 record against the spread was also 24th out of 30 teams, which makes them a hard team to bet on. The under total points also hit in 46 of their 87 games played (52.9%).
Ja Morant is one of the many stars who has had to miss a game during this postseason due to injury. When he is on the court, the Grizzlies are obviously a much different team. They have a record of 40-21 with Morant scoring 117.5 points per game compared to 11-10 without him scoring only 115.2 per game. Outside of the first two games where Morant left and then was out due to injury, he is averaging 31.7 points, 9.0 assists and 7.6 rebounds per game.
Defensive Player of the Year Jaren Jackson Jr. has had his hands full with Anthony Davis and LeBron James all series long. Without Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke, the Grizzlies frontcourt is lacking a ton of size forcing Jackson Jr. to play more conservatively on defense. He has still found a way to be successful averaging a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds per game in his last two games paired with seven total blocks and one steal.
After a career-year during the regular season, Desmond Bane has carried over his scoring success. Unfortunately, he has shot just 31.8% from behind the arc, which is low considering Bane has shot over 40% in each of his last three years.
Dillon Brooks is another Grizzlies “shooter” who has been downright pitiful. Since calling James old after Game 2, Brooks has gone on to shoot 25.6% from the field and 18.2% from downtown. Maybe Brooks can find his shooting touch tonight, but the Grizzlies are in a tough spot given how poorly they have shot during the playoffs.
Los Angeles Lakers
Trying to prove their Bubble Championship wasn’t a fluke, the Lakers have a chance to win their first playoff series since their 2020 NBA title run. Defense has been their calling card as Davis and James have been incredible rim protectors against Morant who won’t stop challenging them at the apex every night.
Davis has been an absolute monster in this series averaging 21.8 points, 13.6 rebounds, and 4.2 blocks per game. The reason the Lakers have the best defense since the All-Star break is simply due to Davis controlling the paint. He has also pulled down at least 17 rebounds in two of his last three games. With insane block numbers, Davis controls both ends of the floor and even with Jackson Jr. guarding him, Davis has shown a relentlessness to put up big numbers.
Calling James “old” was probably not the best move by Brooks, even if it he was statistically correct. The 38-year old has also averaged a double-double in this series with 22.2 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. It helps he had a 22-point, 20-rebound performance in Game 4 leading the Lakers to an overtime victory. This isn’t the first rodeo for James who looks to close out another opponent at home. Expect a big close out game from King James and Davis.
Outside of James and Davis, Austin Reaves has stepped up in a big way since the Lakers traded away guards Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley. He has led the Lakers in assists since then and is averaging 17.6 points per game in the playoffs with several clutch plays down the stretch of games. Reaves is shooting 40% from behind the arc, which has been desperately needed in the Lakers offense to stretch the floor. He can stuff the stat sheet in a variety of ways.
It may be surprising the Lakers are up 3-2 in this series based on how poorly they have shot the ball — 44.8% from the field is and 30.1% from behind the arc isn’t ideal — but they lead all playoff teams in rebounds per game, which has provided a lot of second-chance opportunities. The Lakers have the edge in Game 6, but scoring may become a problem against a Grizzlies defense that is facing elimination and will give them everything they can handle.
Even though the Lakers are getting a ton of love as a home favorite, their offense is difficult to trust especially on the perimeter. During the regular season, they shot only 34.6% from behind the arc, which was tied for the sixth-lowest in the league. The Grizzlies may have lost a few interior players, but they are still a dangerous team to play against.
Instead of taking a side in a close-out game, we’re going to look at the total points line and take under 219.5 points. Combining all five games, the average points scored has been 218.5 points and that is including an overtime in Game 3. The Pace in this matchup has been below 100 as well, so we can expect a more grind it out style of playoff game. I would take this under down to 217.5.
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