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Grizzlies vs. Bucks Odds, Pick, Prediction: Back Undervalued Memphis on the Road (January 19)

Grizzlies vs. Bucks Odds, Pick, Prediction: Back Undervalued Memphis on the Road (January 19) article feature image
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Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies.

  • The Bucks are favored against the surprising Grizzlies on Wednesday night.
  • Milwaukee is dealing with its fair share of injuries, while Memphis is thriving in the Western Conference.
  • Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup and delivers his betting pick below.

Grizzlies vs. Bucks Odds

Grizzlies Odds +6.5
Bucks Odds -6.5
Over/Under 225
Time 8 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The Memphis Grizzlies are hot, and the Milwaukee Bucks are not. Yet the Bucks are a rather large 6.5-point favorite entering Wednesday night’s marquee matchup. With the Bucks potentially getting some additional reinforcements here, could it be time to lay the points?

Let’s take a closer look at this matchup.

Grizzlies Will Feast on the Boards

The Grizzlies are on some kind of roll right now. They had an 11-game winning streak snapped by the Mavericks over the weekend but managed to regain momentum with a win over the Bulls — and a win against an 8.5-point spread. Memphis is now 9-1 against the spread in its past 10, and enters this game a ridiculous 15-5 ATS on the road. For comparison’s sake, the Grizzlies are 15-10 ATS at home.

The story with Memphis has largely been about Ja Morant. The star point guard has averaged a robust 25.9 points on 50.9% shooting since the start of Memphis’ winning streak, adding 6.1 rebounds and 6.5 assists on average. He’s made some big defensive plays — which he’s not necessarily known for — and been a huge player for the Grizzlies in crunch time.

Something to monitor here will be the rebounding battle. With Steven Adams at the helm, the Grizzlies have the second-best rebounding rate in the NBA. Since Jrue Holiday went down for Milwaukee and it fell into a 2-4 slide, the Bucks are all the way in 23rd when it comes to rebounding. That’s of particular interest considering Holiday isn’t really part of the team’s rebounding success and it also had quite a few guards out of the lineup as well. The Grizzlies should have a clear advantage in this area.

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Will Milwaukee Be Closer to Full Strength?

At long last, the Bucks are almost completely healthy. Grayson Allen, Pat Connaughton, Donte DiVincenzo and others have cycled through the league’s health and safety protocols, and now all are back in the lineup. Now, Milwaukee may welcome Jrue Holiday back from a six-game absence. The point guard is listed as questionable for Wednesday’s tilt, which would seem to indicate he’s trending in the right direction.

The offense took a turn when Holiday was forced out of the lineup. The Bucks wound up going 2-4 over that six-game stretch, ranking all the way down in 22nd in points scored per 100 possessions. While Milwaukee was able to keep it up defensively, it sorely missed Holiday’s creative ability. With the way both these teams have been playing lately, one would assume the Holiday news is already baked into this line.

It may not be completely due to the fact that Holiday is a near-40% shooter from behind the arc, but the Bucks have been lacking from deep over the past six games. This is a team that ranks seventh this season in 3-point shooting at 36.2%, but has seen just 35.8% of its looks fall since Holiday went down. That number’s also slightly inflated by one 43.8% performance against Golden State in a rare winning effort.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up the fact that the Bucks are 2-4 against the spread in those six games, and in general this year are a woeful 8-14 ATS at home. The form and the history at home could be a perfect storm.

Grizzlies-Bucks Pick

Memphis has been so good on the road this season and enters on the tear of all tears. I believe the Grizzlies have the size down low to bother Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks, and they can certainly earn themselves extra possessions on the glass.

Furthermore, while we’re thinking Holiday may return, we have to consider the possibility he doesn’t. While the Bucks have stayed afloat on defense, this offense is not going to take any pleasure in playing one of the best defenses in the NBA over the last month.

I’m inclined to take the points here, but it would be wise to wait on the Holiday news before pulling the trigger.

Pick: Grizzlies +6.5

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