NBA Odds & Betting Picks: Our Best Bets for T’Wolves-Blazers, Cavs-Grizzlies (Thursday, Jan. 7)
Steph Chambers/Getty Images. Pictured: Damien Lillard
Nothing says NBA betting like targeting the two worst games on the slate when there are a pair of national TV contests featuring some of the league’s best players.
So that’s what we’re doing, betting totals in Cavs-Grizzlies and T’Wolves-Blazers. Let’s dive in.
NBA Odds & Picks
Cavs at Grizzlies
Memphis is 2-5 right now, and the Grizzlies sit dead last in the Western Conference standings. The Grizz are missing their two best starters with Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. sidelined, and really, they’re still missing a third presumed starter since Justise Winslow is still out too.
Right now Dillon Brooks and Kyle Anderson are leading the Grizzlies in minutes and field goal attempts, and as you might imagine if you have ever watched basketball before, it’s not going well. Memphis ranks near the bottom of the NBA in Offensive Efficiency and is one of the worst teams in the league from behind the arc. The spacing is cramped, and the offense is a mess.
Memphis has scored 107, 108, 94, and 92 points in four games without Morant, and that’s in order from longest ago to most recent, so it’s getting worse. I’m not even confident they should be favored here against the Cavs, though Cleveland is also quite shorthanded with Darius Garland and Kevin Love sidelined and their offense maybe in even worse shape than Memphis.
What’s in surprisingly good shape, though, is Cleveland’s defense, which somehow ranks third in the NBA and can really only be helped by the absence of Garland and Love. The Cavs also grind things out at one of the league’s slowest paces, and Cleveland hasn’t scored 100 points itself in any of its last five games.
I’m tempted to roll the dice on a Cavs moneyline here, but I’m just going to fade both teams by taking the Memphis team under. This looks like a slow, ugly, low-scoring game with too many back of the roster guys in outsize roles.
Memphis under 107.5 is a chance to bet against the Grizzlies winning or, even if they do, putting up a big number if this is just an ugly defensive dud. I’ll play the Grizzlies under to 106.5.
Timberwolves at Blazers
This game pits two teams that are a collective 6-8 for the over, but I expect that to change here. The Wolves are ranked dead last in defense over the last two weeks and give up 125.5 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass. Additionally, the Wolves play at the third fastest Pace in the league (103.94), per NBA Advanced Stats.
Compare this to the Blazers, they play at the 13th fastest Pace (101.17) and score the ninth-most points per 100 possessions (114.3) while having the third worst defense over the past two weeks and give up 117.2 points per 100 possessions, per Cleaning the Glass.
This game screams points. Without Karl-Anthony Towns, Nurkic should have a strong performance and D’Angelo Russell stands no chance at containing Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
There’s always a chance that the Minnesota’s offense can’t do its part but I think they will against the Blazer’s weak defense.
Additionally, our Action Pro Signals have tracked sharp money coming in on the over. While the line opened at 233.5, it dipped down to 232.5 and is now being bet back up to 233 at some books.