NBA Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: 3 Friday Best Bets Jazz vs. Grizzlies (January 28)
Ethan Mito/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images. Pictured: Ja Morant
- There's a full slate of NBA games on Friday night, but our staff has focused on one.
- The Jazz are in Memphis tonight to take on the upstart Grizzlies, who have surprised many this season.
- Check out their picks and detailed breakdowns below.
The fading Jazz travel to Memphis to take on Ja Morant and the red-hot Grizzlies. Two our our analysts are on the spread on this one, while another is targeting a prop with an intriguing escalator.
Here are our three best bets from Friday’s matchup between the Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies.
NBA Odds & Picks
Jazz vs. Grizzlies
Raheem Palmer: The Utah Jazz have been one of the better defensive teams in the NBA over the last few seasons, but that all changes without Rudy Gobert, who is out for tonight’s game with a calf injury.
The Jazz are allowing 107.1 points per 100 possessions with him on the floor vs. 114.3 with him off the floor. It’s no surprise, then, that the Jazz have allowed 112.5 points per 100 possessions over the past two weeks — 17th among NBA teams.
The offense has also slipped as they’ve dealt with the absence of Donovan Mitchell, who missed the last two games with a concussion. While he he questionable to play tonight and looks to be back in action this weekend,
I’m still not buying this Jazz team, especially without Gobert. This season without him in the lineup, they are 1-6 and giving up a defensive rating of 121.1. The Jazz are also 26th in transition defense (3.3), according to Cleaning the Glass, and will have to deal with a Grizzlies offense led by Ja Morant that is fourth in transition points per possession (3.6).
The Jazz have particularly struggled defending the short mid-range, allowing that basket at a 42.8% clip, 19th among NBA teams. Morant’s short floater should be a huge issue for the Jazz tonight given his ability to get into the paint.
The Grizzlies have been dominant at home where they’re 17-9 SU and 15-11 ATS and I think that continues tonight. I’ll lay the 4 points with the Grizzlies, who have a two-game home stand before going back on the road again.
Jazz vs. Grizzlies
Brandon Anderson: These teams are headed in extremely opposite directions.
The Grizzlies’ long winning streak is over, but Memphis is still playing great ball. The Grizzlies have won 14 of their last 17, Ja Morant is the Most Improved Player leader and a sneaky MVP candidate, and Memphis ranks top 10 in both Offensive and Defensive Rating. The Grizzlies aren’t just coming anymore — they’re here.
The Jazz were “here” last season and the start of this one, but it’s starting to feel like they’ve departed.
Utah has lost nine of its last 11, and the Jazz are in free fall. Of course, it doesn’t help that they’ve been missing their two best players recently. Rudy Gobert remains out Friday, and the Jazz are only 1-6 without their stud defender this season. They’ve also lost five of their last six without Donovan Mitchell, who’s also listed as questionable, and they’re 0-3 when both are missing with all three losses failing to cover this line.
Even if Mitchell plays, he’ll probably take a slow ramp up, and you have to like the Grizzlies either way. Memphis is spacing the court well, and Jaren Jackson Jr.’s shooting gave Utah a lot of problems in the matchup earlier this season. Memphis will score on the Jazz, especially without Gobert around, and the Grizzlies are just the better team right now — maybe on both ends.
Jazz vs. Grizzlies
Joe Dellera: Desmond Bane has been an absolute stud this season, and had his teammate, Ja Morant, not been having a transcendent year he’d be one of the favorites for Most Improved.
Bane is averaging 17.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 2.9 3s per game with .469/.419/.893 shooting splits. He’s a knockdown shooter and his involvement helps to spread the floor for Morant.
While the Jazz allow a higher frequency of 3-point shots, they have defended them fairly well, but that’s been with defensive stalwart Rudy Gobert. Gobert obviously does not defend on the perimeter, but he does give his teammates the ability to cheat a bit more and play more aggressive defense because of his presence on the interior.
When Gobert is off the floor, opponents take 3s at an even higher frequency, per Cleaning the Glass. This is something Bane should be able to capitalize on. Bane takes 47% of hit shots from 3-point range and he’s been consistent. On the season, he’s made three or more 3s in 27 of 46 games (56%), four or more in 19 of 46 (41%), and five or more in 10 of 46 (22%).
His prop line today is set at 2.5 3s (+110), 3.5 (+225), and 4.5 (+560). All of these present value based on the implied probability of the listed odds, and considering he already made four 3s against Utah on November 22nd, this is a spot to back Bane and escalate his 3-point prop and I’d split my Wager 60%, 30%, 10% on each of those lines.