Suns vs. Grizzlies Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via <!–BetMGM–>BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
So much for the No. 1-seed vs No. 2-seed marquee matchup we were all waiting for.
The Memphis Grizzlies have a laundry list of names on their injury report with Ja Morant still out and Desmond Bane, Tyus Jones, Jaren Jackson Jr. and Steven Adams all listed as doubtful.
The Suns have ballooned out to 7-point favorites after opening at -2.5. They come into this game having won nine straight games, which has gotten them to an impressive 62 wins for the season.
At this point of the season, neither have much to play for as they are essentially locked into their current seeding. Nonetheless, let’s break down this matchup and see if there is an angle that presents some value.
Suns Getting Healthier
The Suns received a pleasant surprise last week when Chris Paul returned to the lineup much earlier than the originally anticipated timeline of 6-to-8 weeks for his fractured thumb.
The Suns didn’t miss a beat with his absence, going 11-4 without him. It could turn out that getting Paul some rest before the playoffs will be crucial.
Phoenix has been incredible and looks poised to take care of unfinished business and win avenge its Finals loss from last season. The Suns are ranked third in Offensive Rating and second in Defensive Rating, per NBA Advanced Stats. They are a well-oiled machine and are well equipped at all positions, featuring a perfect mix of stars and role players.
It was not pretty, but the Suns squeaked out a 107-103 win against the Golden State Warriors sans Stephen Curry. After a hard fought battle, I can see the Suns in a potential let-down spot against the Grizzlies.
The Suns could welcome back Cameron Johnson and JaVale McGee, as both crucial bench players have been upgraded to probable in tonight’s game.
Grizzlies Sitting Key Pieces
The Memphis Grizzlies are Southwest Division champions for the first time in franchise history. They have had an amazing season, blowing past their regular season win total of 41.5 with ease.
The Grizzlies have a lengthy injury report for Friday’s game. It is definitely a logical choice given their schedule and current standing. They have the second seed locked up and are unlikely to catch up to the Suns for the first seed, so they are using this opportunity to get their guys some rest. They have a three-day break after this game against the Suns, so it will give their rotational players a five-day break to get a breather.
If all of the doubtful players sit, they Grizzlies will be missing most of their usual starting lineup: Morant, Bane, Jackson Jr. and Adams.
However, much of their success has been predicated by their excellent depth. Even without their usual starters, De’Anthony Melton, Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke and Kyle Anderson are all starter-caliber players.
Melton has been playing especially well recently. In their previous six games, Melton is averaging 19.8 points per game, five 3-pointers per game on 58.3% shooting from the field. In addition, he was only averaging 22 minutes per game during this timeframe. An increased workload has me looking at his props for tonight’s game.
Brooks is another player who I foresee having a big game. The fourth-year swingman is an excellent scorer and will get plenty of usage. He has quickly played himself back into shape after missing 27 games with an ankle injury.
The Grizzlies are a perfect 6-0 straight up and against the spread as underdogs at home, per our Bet Labs tool. In addition, they are 21-12 ATS against teams over .500.
I understand the line movement; however, I think it is a massive overreaction. The Grizzlies have a deep, talented roster, which made them so successful in the first place.
The Grizzlies have been very forthcoming with their injury report, but the Suns don’t have much to play for either. It is simply speculation on my part, but I would not be surprised if the Suns sat a few of their players closer to game time, which could give this some upside.
Nonetheless, I am taking the Grizzlies here at +7.5. This team has embodied the “grit” that has defined this franchise over decades. They continue to impress, and I think they keep it close against a Suns team that could be complacent.
Pick: Grizzlies +7.5 (down to +7)