NBA Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions (Tuesday, Aug. 11): Boston Celtics vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Credit:

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Taylor Jenkins of the Memphis Grizzlies talks with Ja Morant #12

  • The Celtics are 4-point favorites against the Grizzlies in a key Tuesday matchup in the NBA bubble.
  • The Grizzlies are one of four teams in a tight race for the No. 8 seed in the West. Are the Grizz the right side in this game?
  • Matt LaMarca analyzes the matchup including his pick for the matchup.

Celtics vs. Grizzlies Betting Odds

Celtics odds -4 [BET NOW]
Grizzlies odds +4 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -165/+138 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 224.5 [BET NOW]
Time 5 p.m. ET
TV NBSB/FSSE

Odds as of Tuesday at 7:15 a.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


The NBA regular season is winding down, but we’re still looking for the final playoff team in the Western Conference. The Memphis Grizzlies hold a slim half-game lead over the Portland Trail Blazers for the No. 8 spot, and the Blazers are just a half-game up on the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs. Each of these four teams have two games left, so there is still plenty at stake over the final few days of seeding play.

The Grizzlies will take the floor today vs. the Boston Celtics at 5 p.m. ET in what is essentially a must-win contest. The Grizz are listed as 4-point underdogs, and the total sits at 224.5.

Let’s break down everything you need to know about his contest from a betting perspective.

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies have been one of the biggest disappointments from inside the bubble. They’ve gone just 1-5 over their first six games, which has put them in serious jeopardy of falling out of the No. 8 seed.

The No. 8 seed is going to have a huge advantage over the No. 9 seed in the play-in series — the No. 9 seed needs two wins compared to just one for the No. 8 — so that would be extremely detrimental for their chances of advancing.

Overall, the Grizzlies’ odds of advancing to the playoffs have fallen behind the Blazers’ and Suns’.

The injury to Jaren Jackson Jr. obviously didn’t help their chances. He has a very unique skill set for a big man, providing the ability to shoot the 3 on offense and protect the rim on defense. His average of 1.6 blocks per game ranks 10th in the league, and no one who averages more blocks than his has a better 3-point percentage (39.4%).

The Grizzlies initially looked to replace him by sliding Brandon Clarke into the starting lineup, but they have opted to start Anthony Tolliver over their past two games. The experiment worked well in their first game — they recorded a 29-point victory over the Thunder — but they lost a close game to the Raptors in their last outing.

Still, the early results from this experiment have been positive. The Grizzlies have increased their Net Rating by +7.2 points per 100 possessions over 191 minutes with Tolliver on the court.

Tolliver is a 35-year-old journeyman, but the one thing he does provide is 3-point shooting. He’s a 37.3% 3-point shooter for his career, so his presence should open up things in the paint for Jonas Valanciunas and Ja Morant.

Will that change be enough to get the Grizzlies to the postseason? I’m not so sure, but the Grizzlies do seem like they’ve been unlucky in Orlando. They rank 12th in Net Rating, getting outscored by just -0.8 points per 100 possessions.

That’s not great, but it’s not “lose five of your first six games” bad, either. Four of the Grizzlies first six games have been decided by fewer than 10 points, and they’ve lost them all.

Boston Celtics

The Celtics entered the bubble in third place in the East, and that’s exactly where they’ll finish the regular season. They’ve gone 4-2 through their first six games, but they’ve posted the second-best Net Rating over that time frame. That number is a bit inflated by blowout wins vs. the Nets and Raptors, but it’s not like we can completely ignore those games either. Overall, this team remains a legitimate sleeper to win the title this season.

Kemba Walker’s health is the big X-factor for the Celtics heading into the postseason. He’s been limited during the seeding games, but he did get up to 32 minutes in their last contest.

The Celtics need Walker if they’re going to have any chance of making a deep postseason run. Their offense has been at their best with Walker on the court this season, averaging +5.0 additional points per 100 possessions and increasing their effective field goal percentage by +2.8%.

Additionally, the Celtics’ five-man starting lineup of Walker, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum and Daniel Theis has posted a Net Rating of +10.4 over 251 minutes, but replacing Walker with Marcus Smart drops the Net Rating to just +1.4.

With all that in mind, expect head coach Brad Steven to get Walker some rest in one of their final two games. That goes for the rest of the starting lineup as well and might happen vs. the Grizzlies on Tuesday, but the Wizards on Thursday is another possibility.

Betting Analysis & Pick

This is really going to come down to how the Celtics choose to play this contest. If they play their starters their usual complement of minutes, they should be able to take care of business vs. a Grizzlies team that is limping to the finish line.

That said, there is no guarantee that will happen. In fact, it probably makes more sense for them to rest today before getting one final tune-up game in vs. the Wizards.

I’ll be locking in the Grizzlies early at +4 and monitoring the news prior to tip off. If the Celtics are at full strength, I can always hedge out by wagering on the Celtics. If they’re resting players, expect this line to drop and the Grizzlies to potentially become the favorites. Regardless, the Grizzlies +4 ticket will have some value either way.

Apparently, the sharps seem to agree. The Grizzlies have garnered only 29% of spread tickets in the early betting stages, but those tickets have accounted for 57%. Those numbers could change as more bets come in, but the Grizzlies would qualify for a nice trend if it continues.

Teams have posted a 53.2% cover rate when receiving 20-30% more money than tickets during the regular season.

The Pick: Grizzlies +4 [Bet $20+ on the Grizzlies at PointsBet and Win $125 if they make at least one 3-pointer]

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