Grizzlies vs. Warriors Odds & Expert Picks: Best Bets for NBA Christmas on ABC (December 25)
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images. Pictured: Ja Morant (Grizzlies)
- The Golden State Warriors are home underdogs on Christmas day against the Memphis Grizzlies.
- Will the Grizzlies get revenge on the Warriors after Golden State eliminated them in the playoffs last season?
- Jacob McKenna previews the game and shares his best bet below.
Grizzlies vs. Warriors Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
After a dominant win against the Suns on Friday night, Memphis finds itself in second place in the Western Conference with a record of 20-11.
Meanwhile, Golden State owns a record of just 3-7 in its last 10 games and is 15-18 overall this season.
Steph Curry has missed the last few games for Golden State, an absence that has caused the Warriors to go into a downward spiral.
Will returning to their home court after a six-game road trip help fix things, or will the Grizzlies string together another dominant performance and handle this short-handed Warriors team?
Grizzlies Still Unstoppable in Paint
The Grizzlies come into Christmas Day as one of the hotter teams in the NBA, and now that they are back to being fully healthy, they have a great opportunity to position themselves as the top team in the Western Conference.
Desmond Bane was forced to miss more than a month due to injury, but he returned to the lineup in Memphis’ last game against the Suns.
The Grizzlies won that game by a score of 125-100, and although Bane didn’t have his most efficient night shooting, that matchup showed how good this team can be now that he is back on the floor.
Even without Bane in the lineup, the Grizzlies still dominated almost every team they faced, especially on the defensive end of the floor. With Bane sidelined, the Grizzlies posted a Defensive Rating of 106.4, a rating that was tied for first in the NBA with Philadelphia during that time.
Much of that was a result of holding their opponents to just 43.5% shooting from the floor overall and dominating the paint, which has been a consistent trend for Memphis all season.
According to Team Rankings, the Grizzlies allow the fourth-fewest points per game in the paint with 46.5, and in their last three games, we have seen that average fall even further (42.0).
That defensive play is complimented by an offense that scores the most points per game in the paint (58.3), showing that the Grizzlies dominate the inside on both ends of the court.
Warriors Seem Lost Without Steph
Curry has been sidelined for Golden State’s last four games, a stretch where the Warriors have gone just 1-3 overall. They’ve played some miserable basketball during that time, and getting back on track against Memphis might be a tough ask.
As one might expect, Golden State’s offense has fallen off a cliff without Curry on the floor. According to NBA.com, the Warriors own an Offensive Rating of 110.0 in their last four games without Curry, a rating that ranks 25th in the NBA during that time and is down from their season rating of 112.8.
However, the biggest issue for Golden State over the last week and a half has been its play on the defensive end of the floor, a part of its game that has been consistently exposed this season.
Before Curry’s injury, the Warriors owned a Defensive Rating of 112.7, good enough to be ranked 19th in the NBA. Golden State was by no means a good defensive team before he was sidelined, but in its last four games without him, that rating has soared to an abysmal 124.8.
That has allowed opponents to run up the score on the Warriors recently, leading to a point differential of -64 in their last four games.
The Warriors look lost without Curry in the lineup, and as a result, I expect the Grizzlies to continue their dominant play in this one.
Golden State’s bread and butter has always been its shooting from behind the arc, and not having Curry in the lineup affects that tremendously.
Additionally, the Warriors will be forced to go up against a Grizzlies team that has held their opponents to 35.4% shooting from 3 this season and 32.5% in their last five games.
This isn’t exactly a great matchup to get back to their old ways.
I think the absence of Curry is too much offensive production to replace, and running into the Grizzlies right now is a worst-case scenario for a team that can’t seem to defend the perimeter or the interior right now.
I like the Grizzlies to cover the spread here, and I would play it to -6.
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