Grizzlies vs. Suns NBA Odds & Picks: Keep Backing Phoenix Against the Spread (Monday, March 15)
Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Chris Paul.
- The Suns welcome the Grizzlies, who are playing their third game in four nights on Monday.
- Phoenix is 17-4 ATS in its last 21 games, although it did lose on Saturday night to the Pacers.
- No problem, though, according to Phillip Kall, who explains why bettors should back the Suns to get back on track.
Grizzlies vs. Suns Odds
|Moneyline||+230 / -300|
|Time||Monday, 9 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via BetMGM|
After dropping their last two games, the Memphis Grizzlies need to turn things around if they hope to make the playoffs. They will need to change their fortunes on limited rest though in their third game in four nights against the red-hot Phoenix Suns.
After a slump in the middle of the season, Phoenix has righted the ship by winning 17 of its past 21 games. Despite their recent success though, the Suns still sit 2 1/2 games back of the No. 1-seeded Utah Jazz in the Western Conference.
Given each teams’ recent performance and Memphis’s lack of rest, the large spread is appropriate. Let’s dig deeper and see if the Grizzlies have enough in the tank to at least cover as road underdogs.
Memphis sits as the third-best team against the spread (ATS) this season with a record of 19-15-1 after its loss on Saturday night to the Thunder.
The Grizzlies’ success comes from utilizing their youth and athleticism to force steals and create points off turnovers. They have done this so well that they sit a full steal per 100 possessions ahead of second-ranked 76ers, according to Basketball Reference.
Unfortunately, as Memphis thrives on defense, its offense suffers producing an Offensive Rating of only 110.5, according to NBA Advanced Stats. A major reason for their struggles is their inefficiency when shooting from on 3-pointers. Among Memphis’s starters, only Kyle Anderson shoots above the league average from deep.
Having their struggles from outside forces the Grizzlies to shoot over two-thirds of their shots from 2-point range per Basketball Reference. As the 3-point revolution continues to show us, the ability to count by three instead of two is a major advantage.
During their current hot-streak, the Suns have made sure to assert their dominance over their opponents. Per NBA Advanced Stats, their 11.2 Net Rating in the past 15 games is over three points ahead of the second-place Nuggets.
This annihilation of opponents has been very profitable for Suns’ backers too, as they have gone 17-4 ATS in their last 21 games, during which they’re 17-4 straight-up, as well.
A transformed offensive attack has been the leading force to the Suns’ recent force. Their Offensive Rating tops the NBA over their last 15 games at 121.9, according to NBA Advanced Stats. The offensive improvement came from playing with patience and taking the best shot instead of the first shot.
Playing during a busy stretch like this, with little rest and a lot of travel, makes every game more difficult for the NBA, and it’s where Memphis finds itself. The Grizzlies can only hope to avoid matchups with the league’s elite, which they unfortunately find themselves with on Monday night.
Playing on short rest could have an even larger effect on a team with the Grizzlies’ style. Utilizing defense and forcing pressure takes effort and commitment from the entire team, something that is more difficult to produce every night while playing stretches of three games in four nights while traveling.
Phoenix, on the other hand, has the typical day of rest and even had no traveling leading into this game. With their extra rest, they should be ready to avenge their loss to the Pacers.
The player with the most on his shoulders in this matchup will be All-Star Chris Paul, whose presence as a floor general has been one of the driving forces for the Suns’ offensive improvement. If he can set the pace for Phoenix and protect the ball, he will single-handedly counter Memphis’ potential defensive pressure.
Playing that style is right in Paul’s wheelhouse too as he guides Phoenix to only 13.3 turnovers per 100 possessions and a pace of just 97.2, according to Basketball Reference. These both rank among the five fewest in the NBA.
With Paul playing the perfect counter to Memphis’ style and the Grizzlies lacking rest, Phoenix should be able to continue their dominance against the spread.
Pick: Suns -7