Blazers vs. Grizzlies Odds & Pick (Saturday, Aug. 15): Is the Betting Market Overvaluing Portland?
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard.
- Check out our betting preview for Saturday's NBA matchup between the Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies.
- The Blazers deserve to be favorites over a moribund Memphis squad, but the betting market may be overvaluing Portland in this spot.
- Find Bryan Mears' full game breakdown below, including odds, picks, and predictions for tonight's matchup.
Blazers vs. Grizzlies Betting Odds & Picks
|Blazers odds||-6 [BET NOW]|
|Grizzlies odds||+6 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-305/+245 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||234 [BET NOW]|
|Time||2:30 p.m. ET|
Welcome to the first play-in game in NBA history. Buckle up, friends.
How it works: The Blazers managed to get the 8-seed in the eight-game regular season restart, while the Grizzlies finished in the ninth spot. Because the Blazers are the eighth, if they win today, they’re in the playoffs. If the Grizzlies win, these teams will play tomorrow; the winner of that will make the playoffs. Think of today like a Game 6 with Portland up 3-2.
What’s been going on with these squads? Where’s the betting value? Let’s break it all down.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers finished the regular season restart with a 6-2 record, and they needed just about every point. It seemed like every single game came down to the final possession, with Damian Lillard needing to save the day.
In Orlando, they clearly have a style: Dominate on offense while just being not bad enough defensively to win. In these eight games, they’ve posted a crazy-high 123.4 Offensive Rating (best in Orlando), but they’ve given up 121.3 points per 100 possessions (second-worst in Orlando).
That offensive success has really come from just hot shooting: In Orlando, they’ve hit 41.8% of their 3-pointers, including 51.0% from the corners. They’ve also hit 42.5% of their mid-rangers. Dame has been a big part of that: This eight-game shooting streak is about as good as any you’ll find in NBA history.
The question, of course, is whether that is sustainable. The answer, to be fair, is easy: of course not. But when will they come down to earth? Will it be today against the Grizzlies or perhaps once the playoffs hit?
The Grizzlies, conversely, have gone 2-6 in the Orlando restart, barely hanging onto one of the top spots to make the play-in situation today.
They’ve also lost a couple valuable players along the way. Stud young big man Jaren Jackson Jr. tore his meniscus, sidelining him for the rest of the season, and backup PG Tyus Jones has been out with a sore knee. He’s doubtful to suit up in today’s play-in game.
The metrics are a bit mixed on those players. Per Cleaning the Glass, the Grizzlies have actually been better with Jackson Jr. off the court. They’ve been neutral with Jones on vs. off.
But that overstates things: Jones is quite underrated and provides incredible stability on the second unit. Jackson Jr. has already become one of the best floor-spacing bigs in the league, so his absence just really changes what the offense looks like. The Grizzlies also play much slower without him, which means they’ve been getting less efficient shots more often.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Today is an example of why records aren’t super predictive of future results sometimes. In the bubble, the Blazers are 6-2 with the seventh-ranked Net Rating of +2.1. The Grizzlies are 2-6, but their Net Rating is just 11th at -0.4. The difference between these teams isn’t as drastic as their records suggest.
The Blazers are clearly the more talented team, especially now that they’re healthier with Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins back in the rotation. But they’ve also been playing way over their heads offensively, and that’s bound to regress at some point. It could be today.
I do think the Blazers win this one and make it into the playoffs, but I’m not sure this spread should be at -6 in their favor. I’d lean the Grizzlies covering, along with the under. The Blazers have actually played a lot in the halfcourt, so if the efficiency drops, this could be lower-scoring than expected.
Based on my numbers, I have this game at Blazers -4.3, so there’s definitely some value on the Grizzlies side.
Betting Lean: Grizzlies +6, Under 234