In a rather surprising (maybe not?) turn of events, the Lakers come into Game 5 against the No. 2 seed Grizzlies with a commanding 3-1 series lead after Dillon Brooks seemingly lit a fire under the entire Lakers team.
LeBron James is fresh off of a 20-20 game while Anthony Davis and Austin Reaves have been holding their own for the purple and gold throughout the series. That’s not to mention Rui Hachimura, Dennis Schroder, and D’Angelo Russell who have all had impactful moments throughout the series.
On the flip side, the Grizzlies have continued to struggle with consistency on both ends of the court and are clearly missing both Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke. Despite this, they come into Game 5 as 4-point home favorites. While that could instill confidence among Grizzlies’ fans, that simply has me sprinting to grab the Lakers with the points.
Why? Let’s dive in.
LAKERS VS. GRIZZLIES BETTING ODDS
Lines are accurate at the time of publication
LAKERS VS. GRIZZLIES BEST BETS
Lakers +4 (-110, FanDuel)
As has been the trend with the Lakers since the trade deadline, their defense has been humming in their first-round series with the Grizzlies. Posting a defensive rating of 104.7, only the Knicks and Sixers have had better defenses in the postseason. They’ve also held the Grizzlies to an offensive rating of 104.7, the third-worst in the playoffs ahead of only the Nets (eliminated) and the Cavs (down 3-1).
On top of the stellar defense, the Lakers have been pounding the Grizzlies in the paint. They’ve averaged the most shot attempts per game (29.0) in the restricted area, shooting 62.9%, taking full advantage of the absences of Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke and getting whatever they want down low with two of the best in this area in James and Davis.
On the flip side, the Grizzlies’ secondary production around Ja Morant has left a lot to be desired. Brooks has been one of the worst players (statistically) in the playoffs offensively, shooting under 35% from the field and 22.2% from deep, while Jaren Jackson Jr. has disappeared at times, leaving Desmond Bane as the only constant outside of Morant.
This is simply too much to overcome when facing a defense like the Lakers and an offense that’s smart enough to exploit the Grizzlies’ deficiencies. Being listed as four-point favorites has more to do with the Grizzlies being the home team than it does their play, so I am all over the Lakers with the points on Wednesday.
Risk: 1.1 units on FanDuel to win 1 unit.
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