Celtics vs. Grizzlies Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bet Jayson Tatum, Boston as Road Favorites (November 7)

Celtics vs. Grizzlies Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bet Jayson Tatum, Boston as Road Favorites (November 7) article feature image

Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images. Pictured: Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics.

  • The Grizzlies host the Celtics on a Monday loaded with enticing matchups.
  • Memphis will be playing the second half of a back-to-back, will that have any impact?
  • Jim Turvey digs into the matchup and shares his best bet below.

Celtics vs. Grizzlies Odds

Celtics Odds-3.5
Grizzlies Odds+3.5
Time9 p.m. ET
TVNBA League Pass
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

All 30 NBA teams are in action Monday and there are numerous tasty matchups.

One of those is a showdown between two of the best young teams in the NBA, as Boston travels to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies. Both teams are off to strong starts this season (6-3 for Boston and 7-3 for Memphis) and even though this is an early-season matchup, there should be plenty of juice to the game.

Let's take a look at how each team has been playing and how they'll match-up from a betting perspective.

Boston Celtics

The Celts last played on Saturday and cruised to a relatively easy win over the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. They did so even without Al Horford, who was out with a back injury, but will likely be back Monday.

The Celtics have looked a little bit different this year, with their offense taking the lead (best offensive net rating in the league). The defensive unit that was historically good last year has dropped off significantly, ranking 24th in the league in net rating through Saturday's games.

The Celtics still have a +3.4 net rating overall, good for eighth in the league. They've done so despite playing the second-hardest schedule thus far (per NBA Reference through Saturday's games).

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have, unsurprisingly, led the way and are averaging a combined 55.6 points per game this season.

The offense also looks a little different structurally under head coach Joe Mazzulla. Boston always liked to take threes, ranking eighth in three-point attempts per 100 possessions last year, but the Celtics are really letting it fly this year.

In fact, no team in the league is taking more threes per 100 possessions than Boston. The Celtics are also hitting those threes at a great clip (39.3%, fifth in the league), which has really driven the offense to its extreme heights early in the season.

However, it's the other side of the ball where the Celtics are struggling. This is notable given how dominant their defense was last season and how essential it was in their run to the Finals. In the 2021-22 season, no team allowed a lower two- or three-point field goal percentage to their opponents.

This season, it appears as though their opponents are simply making more of those shots. Their defended field goal percentage, per NBA.com, has jumped from 43.4% last season to 47.2% this campaign.

Part of that could be the absence of Robert Williams. However, given that the jump has happened on both twos and threes, there's likely something bigger happening.

Memphis Grizzlies

For Memphis, on the surface, things look to have picked up pretty much right where they left off from their breakout season in 2021-22. The team is 7-3, tied for second in the West and their young star, Ja Morant, is averaging even more points and assists than he did in his Most Improved Player season last year.

However, dig a little deeper and things start to smell a little funky. Despite having as many wins as any team in the West (the Sunday night Jazz game is ongoing as of this writing), they really don't have any true quality wins. Here's who they've beaten: the Knicks, the Rockets, the Nets (a win not nearly as impressive as it seemed in the moment), the Kings, the Trail Blazers (without Damian Lillard), the Hornets and the Wizards.

Their strength of schedule is middle of the pack, but that slightly overstates things when just looking at who they've actually beaten.

Their net rating (+1.9) is also notably lower than last season (+5.4) and is also lower than that of the Celtics, despite a much easier schedule. The Grizzlies have been able to score, but their defense, which ranked fourth in the league last year, has also gotten off to a much slower start, ranking in the bottom half of the league in 2022-23 to date.

That makes perfect sense, as they are without their best defender for the first few months of the season as Jaren Jackson Jr. is stuck on the sidelines while he recovers from offseason foot surgery.

Celtics-Grizzlies Pick

This is just a much better Celtics team at this moment in time. Add in the fact that the Grizzlies are on a back-to-back and that Adams could be out Monday, and all signs point to Boston -4.

I was slightly nervous the Grizzlies maybe would be the type of team the market overcorrected for on back-to-backs, but that hasn't been the case. In fact, betting Memphis on back-to-backs has returned a positive ROI since the start of last season (+2.4%), but that has more to do with the market underselling them as a whole.

For player props, the big thing will be to see if Steven Adams is out. If he is, look for Brandon Clarke escalators. He thrives in spot starts.

Pick: Boston -4 (would play to -5.5).

NBA Article Plays: 10-8 (18.2% ROI)
NBA Action Network App Plays: 88-67-3 (16.3% ROI)

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