Lakers vs. Grizzlies: The 4th-Quarter Bet to Make in Memphis

Andrew O'Connor-Watts previews how to bet Lakers vs. Grizzlies, including updated odds, picks & predictions for Tuesday's game.

Lakers vs. Grizzlies Odds

Lakers Odds +8.5
Grizzlies Odds -8.5
Over/Under 233.5
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Los Angeles Lakers are in Memphis Tuesday to face the Grizzlies in a game that could have important playoff implications. The Grizzlies are all but locked into the two seed, but the Lakers are fighting for their play-in lives. They currently sit 12th in the West (29-32), but are just two games away from fifth in the loss column, so every game counts.

The Lakers will be without LeBron James and D’Angelo Russell, both of whom are dealing with foot injuries. James is expected to miss extended time with a foot injury he sustained Sunday while Russell is doubtful as he nurses a sprained ankle. Steven Adams remains out for Memphis.

Here’s a preview of the odds and matchup as well as a pick for Lakers vs. Grizzlies.

>> Download The Action Network App to get real-time NBA odds, track your bets and follow all of our experts’ picks.

Los Angeles Lakers

James’ injury and the uncertainty surrounding his timeline is a devastating blow to the Lakers who were starting to gain momentum leading up to the All-Star break.

At the deadline, the Lakers bolstered their defense which had wavered since the start of the season. Since Feb. 9, they rank fifth in Defensive Rating (108.1) and 10th in Net Rating, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

In the Lakers’ Sunday matinee against the Mavericks, that defense was on full display — especially at the end of the game.

Despite a brutal start to the game, the Lakers overcame a 27-point deficit to come back in the second half and win the game against the Mavericks 111-108. The third quarter was where L.A. regained the most ground, outscoring Dallas 31-20. However, they were able to add to their already-impressive fourth quarter resume.

The Lakers are the best fourth quarter team in the league from a betting standpoint with a 40-21 ATS record with a 23.66% ROI, according to EV Analytics. They rank third in assist to turnover ratio (16.9), turnover percentage (13.2), effective field goal percentage (56%) and true shooting percentage (60.4%) and fourth in Net Rating in the fourth quarter (+5).

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies are reliant on their defense to make stops, which lets them get out and run in transition. They’re one of the youngest teams in the league for better or worse.

The positive side is they’re young and brash and can outrun nearly any team in the NBA. They lead the league in transition opportunities (18.2% of possessions) and they execute at a high level, ranking sixth in points per 100 transition possessions per Cleaning the Glass.

The negative side is that when things slow down, they’re directionless. Ja Morant is one of the most exciting young players in the league, but he’s not a good half court orchestrator and that bears out in the statistics. The Grizzlies rank 22nd in half court offense (95.5).

It’s no surprise the Grizzlies are the worst fourth quarter team in the league for that very reason. The game tends to slow down in the fourth quarter as things become tighter and possessions are more meaningful.

As a result, the Grizzlies are the least profitable fourth quarter team in the league. They’re just 20-39 ATS, with a -35.39% ROI in the fourth quarter.

Lakers-Grizzlies Pick

I lean heavily to the under in this game. Both teams have been playing great defensively, but have struggled with efficiency on offense. The Grizzlies are 18th in Offensive Rating in the last five games (114) while the Lakers are 21st (112.4) and both are in the bottom third in Effective Field Goal Percentage (53% and 52.4% respectively).

However, this is a matchup of the best fourth quarter team vs. the worst fourth quarter team in the league. Even with James out, I think the Lakers are a safe bet in the fourth. Chances are they’ll be playing from behind after three quarters, which means they’ll have extra motivation, and as we saw in the 76ers game last Thursday, the Grizzlies are no strangers to blowing late-game leads.

I’ll take the Lakers in the fourth quarter down to a pick‘em. If you don’t want to place any bets pre-game, you could opt to live bet the Lakers after the third quarter.