NBA Betting Preview | Grizzlies vs. Bucks Odds, Pick, Prediction
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Pictured: Bucks guard Wesley Matthews.
- The Memphis Grizzlies head to Wisconsin on Friday night to take on the Milwaukee Bucks.
- With both teams likely to rest their starters, this matchup could come down to the benches.
- Check out Chris Baker's full betting preview and pick for Grizzlies vs. Bucks on Friday night.
Grizzlies vs. Bucks Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Grizzlies travel to Milwaukee tonight to take on the Bucks — or at least some of them. Will the Bucks’ bench have what it takes to defeat the Grizzlies?
Let’s break down this matchup and find the best betting pick.
The Grizzlies have completely locked up the No. 2 seed in the West, so I would expect most of their key starters and role players to rest here.
We should see some sort of rotation of Kenneth Lofton Jr., David Roddy, Kennedy Chandler, Jake LaRavia and John Konchar. They’re the Grizzlies’ deep-bench players, and I doubt they want to risk any more injuries to rotation players considering they’re already down Steven Adams, Brandon Clarke and Ziaire Williams.
Roddy has struggled throughout his 1,089 minutes this season, as he has a net rating swing of -7.9 (17th percentile). The Grizzlies are -7.9 points worse per 100 possessions with Roddy on the court this season.
LaRavia has also struggled with a -5.9 mark in 326 minutes.
It’s tough to draw any conclusions from these sample sizes and apply them to this game, as most of these minutes occurred against starter/rotation-level NBA players. The Bucks, however, will likely rest all of their key players as well, after clinching the No. 1 seed in the East.
It’s very difficult to project how this Grizzlies team will look, but I would look to Lofton for offense. At 275 pounds, Lofton may not look explosive, but he certainly knows how to put the ball in the basket. Lofton led the G League’s Memphis Hustle in scoring this season, averaging 20.8 points on 54% from the field. He’s a very skilled big who will likely see a usage rate bump given all of the projected absences for the Grizzlies.
Factoring in that the Bucks and Grizzlies both rank top-10 in pace, I think over on his points prop could be an intriguing look here.
The Bucks will also probably rest most of their significant rotation players given that they have clinched the Eastern Conference’s top seed. We should see a steady diet of Joe Ingles, AJ Green, Wesley Matthews, Meyers Leonard and Goran Dragic tonight.
This is a much different bench rotation than the Grizzlies, as the Bucks are a much deeper, veteran-oriented roster. The Bucks’ bench is filled with proven NBA contributors, while the Grizzlies have a bench of young G League players.
That makes for an interesting clash, as we get to see whether the Grizzlies’ youthful athleticism will win out over the Bucks’ veteran IQ. I tend to lean toward Ingles, Dragic and the Bucks because these veterans certainly aren’t completely washed.
This is tough to project. We should see heavy usage of players who haven’t seen the floor a ton this season, but I lean toward the home-team Bucks having the edge.
The Bucks will be resting their key guys, but they still have arguably the deepest bench in the NBA. The Grizzlies’ bench is unproven, to say the least, and I expect them to struggle tonight.
As of writing, the Grizzlies haven’t announced any starters sitting out, but I would expect announcements to pop up throughout the day, as they have nothing to play and risk injury for.
Given my expectation of rest and the respect I have for the Bucks’ bench, I will confidently grab Milwaukee at +7.5.
Pick: Bucks +7.5 (-110)
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