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NBA Odds & Picks for Grizzlies vs. Nets: Will Bench Depth Give Brooklyn the Edge? (Monday, Dec. 28)

NBA Odds & Picks for Grizzlies vs. Nets: Will Bench Depth Give Brooklyn the Edge? (Monday, Dec. 28) article feature image

Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Caris LeVert #22 talks with Kyrie Irving #11 of the Brooklyn Nets.

  • Unfortunate injuries and a rest have completely changed the outlook of Monday night's Grizzlies-Nets matchup.
  • With Kevin Durant/Kyrie Irving sitting out and Spencer Dinwiddie nursing a knee sprain, the line has fallen considerably from Nets -7 to -2.5.
  • Malik Smith previews the matchup and where the value lies after the injury news.

Editors note: Kyrie Irving has been ruled out of this matchup as of 3:20 p.m. ET to rest on the second leg of a back-to-back.

Grizzlies vs. Nets Odds

Grizzlies Odds +3.5 [BET NOW]
Nets Odds -3.5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline +145 / -175 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 230.5 [BET NOW]
Time 7:30 p.m. ET
TV NBA League Pass
Odds as of Monday at 2 p.m. ET and via BetMGM. Get an INSTANT $500 deposit match at BetMGM today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.

After starting the season looking unbeatable, the Brooklyn Nets fell victim to a trap game on Sunday against the Hornets. They will need to quickly forget it as they are set to face the Memphis Grizzlies on the second night of a back-to-back at Barclays Center Monday night.

Can the Nets get back to their winning ways, or will they find themselves in another tough battle with a young team?

Let’s take a look at the matchup and break it down.

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Memphis Grizzlies

There are two things we know about the Grizzlies in the very short sample size we’ve seen this seen this season: They rely heavily on Ja Morant and defense is almost certainly optional. Morant’s Usage Rate (34.7%) already ranks third through two games and while that may immediately seem like an overreaction based on two games, it’s not likely that number will go down any time soon.

According to our NBA Insiders tool, back-up guard De’Anthony Melton has been ruled out for tonight’s game due to health and safety protocols. Justise Winslow, whose injury list is longer than a CVS receipt, won’t play due to an injured hip.

That has forced Morant to be a one-man show. He has already created more total points off his assists (45) than any of his individual teammates have scored through two games (Dillon Brooks is the closest with 35 total points this season). Morant can only do so much, as the Grizzlies are middle of the pack in terms of Offensive Rating (107.9).

As for the defense, the Grizz have allowed 118 points per 100 possessions to the Hawks and Spurs, the third-worst rate in the league behind the Warriors and Bulls. Morant makes this team a league pass darling with his talent alone, but so far that clearly hasn’t translated to wins.

Brooklyn Nets

Seeing the Nets blow the doors off the Warriors on opening night and the Celtics on Christmas Day has some people penciling Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in or award possibilities and a spot in the NBA Finals. After a loss to the young Charlotte Hornets (as double-digit favorites, no less), everyone was reminded that this season is indeed a marathon and not a sprint.

What’s worse is the Nets lost Spencer Dinwiddie to a partially torn ACL, according to reporting from Shams Charania of The Athletic. Without Dinwiddie, the Nets will likely have to move Caris LeVert or Landry Shamet into the starting lineup for the foreseeable future. Durant has also been ruled out of this matchup for rest.

The loss of Dinwiddie will have an impact on the defense. With Dinwiddie off the court, the Nets’ Defensive Rating is 10.7 points worse compared to when he’s on the court. The offense takes a huge dip when Durant hasn’t been on the court this season — the Nets score 124.6 points per 100 possessions with Durant on the court and 86.2 points per 100 possessions with KD off the court.

Grizzlies-Nets Pick

The total for this game opened at 235 and has dropped as many as five points depending on the book and the spread has gone from -7 to -3.5 since the Durant news. According to our Action Network public betting pages, the under is getting 55% of the betting tickets and 90% of the money in this matchup.

While the total looks appealing, I’m actually looking at a prop in this matchup. Outside of Kyrie Irving, Caris LeVert is the next most likely player who will see his usage jump with Dinwiddie and Durant out — our FantasyLabs On/Off tool expects his usage to jump 9.9 points with both players off the floor.

LeVert ranks third on the team in Touches per game (50.0) and is tied with Irving for the highest rate of Unassisted Field Goals (66.7%) so far this season, according to NBA Advanced Stats.

His scoring prop of 20.5 shouldn’t be tough to clear against one of the worst defenses in the league and two starters on the bench. I’m taking the over on him here.

Pick: Caris LeVert Over 20.5 points (-110)

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