Clippers vs. Grizzlies Odds, Pick, Prediction | NBA Betting Preview (March 29)
Justin Ford/Getty Images. Pictured: Luke Kennard
Clippers vs. Grizzlies Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
The Los Angeles Clippers head to Memphis to face the Grizzlies Wednesday night in what could end up being a first-round playoff preview.
Memphis is on the second night of a back-to-back. The Grizzlies have won seven in a row and 10 of 11 and are now sitting comfortably as the 2-seed at 48-37, with a three-game cushion in the standings on either side.
This Clippers have won seven of 10 to bounce back after a five-game losing streak, but this one means much more to Los Angeles in the standings, trying desperately to stay above the fray and out of the play-in. But they'll have to do it without Paul George, at least for now.
These teams played earlier this month, their only meeting of the season. Memphis shot the ball really well, hitting 18-of-34 3s (53%), but the Clippers lived at the line with 35 free throw attempts and absolutely dominated the glass, more than doubling the Grizzlies up with a 53-26 rebounding advantage to get the win.
That game was in LA. Can the Clippers repeat the feat in Memphis?
Los Angeles Clippers
The Clippers won't have George in this one, nor Norman Powell. They were also without usual starter Marcus Morris on Monday, though he was out with an illness and could return.
This is a deep roster, though, and there are plenty of bodies to step in and get minutes. Russell Westbrook is always ready to soak up some more usage, and guys like Eric Gordon and Bones Hyland are always a threat for a big game.
Lately it's been another name that's surprised. Nic Batum has really stepped up his 3-point volume these last three games with PG on the shelf. He's scoring 16.3 points per game with at least 12 in each of them, and he's hit 16-of-22 3s during that stretch.
Batum obviously won't shoot 73% forever, but the increase from 3.9 to 7.3 attempts per game is notable. Look for a Batum 3-pointers over, especially if Morris sits again.
This game means more to the Clippers, but there's one split that should really make you think twice before backing LA to win this one. The Clippers have been dominant this season against teams below .500 at 29-10, but they're an awful 11-26 against teams above .500.
In other words, the Clippers play like a 61-win team against the bad teams and a 25-win team against the good ones. Yikes.
The Grizzlies are shorthanded, too — but the question is just how much. Brandon Clarke and Steven Adams will be missing, and that's left the Grizzlies really short — quite literally — on bigs. Remember, the Clippers out-rebounded Memphis 2-to-1 earlier this month. That's a pretty tough math problem to solve.
Watch the injury report to see whether Ja Morant will be in the lineup. He's back from suspension now but didn't play Tuesday night with a thigh injury and is listed as day-to-day, though it's possible he just sit the first night of a back-to-back with the bigger game coming Wednesday. The Grizzlies are 11-8 without Morant this season, including 6-3 in this recent stretch — but one of those losses came in that game against the Clippers.
If Morant does sit, expect another good game from Tyus Jones in his place. Jones is averaging 15.5 points and 8.2 props/assists">assists per game the last 10 games without Morant with a double-double in half of those games. That includes 25 and 12 with five steals against these Clippers. He looks like a good props target if Morant is out — perhaps an assists over or double-double. Jaren Jackson Jr. is another potential prop target, averaging 22.3 PPG from March 5 forward.
This could be a Luke Kennard revenge game spot, though. Kennard has really found a home in Memphis and is shooting the cover off the ball lately. He's scored double-digits in eight straight, averaging 15.5 PPG during that stretch, and he's an ungodly 35-of-56 on 3s that span. That's 63% from deep on seven attempts a game, with at least four makes in six of the eight games.
Kennard also went 5-for-5 against the Clippers a few weeks ago. The volume usually isn't huge with Kennard, but when he's shooting this hot from deep, you have to look at his odds to hit 4+ 3s as a top play. His line has been set at 2.5, so you can play the traditional over if you prefer or go for an alternate line.
Memphis has been a home fortress for the Grizzlies. They're nearly unbeatable there at 33-5 versus just 15-22 on the road. Be careful, though. Like the Clippers, Memphis has rolled up wins against poor competition at 30-9 against sub-.500 teams, so that gaudy home record shrinks without those easy ones.
Remember, you'll need to wait to get clear Morant news before making any decision here.
If Morant sits, Jones props look like a good play, particularly any double-double at plus odds. If Morris sits for LA, a Batum 3s over could play. I still like riding Kennard's hot hand best, especially in a revenge spot against his old team, and even more if Morant sits and frees up more shots. I'll look to play Kennard's 3s over and maybe go with 4+ or more on an escalator play.
If you're looking for a side, the Clippers are in the more desperate spot but have struggled against top teams, and Memphis has been so good at home, with or without Morant. I'd lean toward a home cover but prefer the props.
Pick: Luke Kennard 3-point overs