Memphis Grizzlies 2021 NBA Win Total Odds & Pick: Fade Memphis After Surprise Season
Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies.
Grizzlies Win Total Odds
The Case for the Over
Memphis was one of the easiest overs last season. (I bet the under.) The Grizzlies soared over their win total well before play was postponed and lost in the play-in game in the bubble.
Ja Morant returns with a full season under his belt. The Grizzlies didn’t wind up trading any of their key members, despite league sources indicating that both Jonas Valanciunas and guard Dillon Brooks were available.
Jaren Jackson Jr. and Justise Winslow are out to start the season but are expected to be back at least by the end of January. That’s good news since both players are vital for the Grizzlies to hit any over bet.
Memphis went 24-16 vs. teams under .500 last season. If you want to build a winning resume, you need wins in those games. A consistent map of “beat teams worse than you, lose to teams better than you” will always win out over “can beat any team, any day.”
Morant and most of a year with Jackson, Winslow and Brandon Clarke is at least a .500 team.
The Case for the Under
Memphis didn’t add any impact veterans this summer. The Grizzlies added more young dudes in rookies Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman. The advanced metrics and 3-point percentages on Jae Crowder were terrible last season, but down the stretch, in key games, they needed a veteran and didn’t have one.
If Memphis is competing for a playoff spot again late in the season, it’ll miss having someone like that. Kyle Anderson is not it.
Jackson’s supposed to be back early in the season but coming off a meniscus tear, he may not be right for a while, especially without a full offseason of normal recovery and training.
Then there’s Winslow. The entire story of Winslow’s career thus far is “not yet back.” His injuries have not just been intermittent; they’ve been intermittent and prolonged. He’s always out for longer than expected. That’s not his fault, that’s just bad luck. But Winslow is a huge key to Memphis’ potential success. The Grizzlies traded two significant contributors in Crowder and Solomon Hill for him (forget about Iguodala).
Memphis was 21st in offensive rating last season and 14th in defensive. If you move past their exciting young talent, they were the Magic. The Magic are not a playoff team or finishing over .500 in the Western Conference.
The Grizzlies were under .500 in every month but one last season: January, when they went 11-4. That’s 32% of their wins on the season in one month. Memphis is not a slightly sub.-500 team all season; it was a 23-35 (40% win percentage) team that had an excellent month.
The West got better. There’s little reason to believe the Grizzlies did, or that they can replicate last year’s win profile.
Memphis Grizzlies Win Total Bet
The wins in the West have to come from somewhere. The Suns undoubtedly improved. The Blazers improved and got key pieces back. Memphis went 14-13 vs. the East last season. That’s unlikely to repeat and even if the Grizzlies come close, they still have to then pull another 15 wins out of 42 vs. the West. It’s hard to find 15 wins.
Make sure you shop for the best number on this, as the line is sharp, but the range of outcomes leans towards the under.