Wizards vs. Grizzlies NBA Odds & Picks: Find Value on the Total to Open Second Half of Season (Wednesday, March 10)
Will Newton/Getty Images. Pictured: Bradley Beal.
- The second half of the NBA season gets underway on when the Wizards take on the Grizzlies.
- Both teams ended the first half playing very well defensively and are in striking distance to get into the top eight of their conference.
- Matt Trebby lays out where he sees betting value tonight.
Wizards vs. Grizzlies Odds
|Moneyline||+115 / -140|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
Two teams with playoff aspirations start their second half in Memphis on Wednesday night, as the Grizzlies host the resurgent Washington Wizards.
Washington is two games out of the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference while Memphis is just one back of Dallas in eighth in the West. Both teams will hope to get their second halves off to a strong start, so let’s see where the betting value lies on Wednesday night.
I had to triple check this stat was correct, given the Wizards’ terrible start to the season: Over their last 15 games, Washington has a Defensive Rating of 110.4, which is eighth in the NBA. For the season, Washington’s mark is 113.6, which is 27th.
Washington ranks 24th in Offensive Rating over their last 15, so it has been the defense that has managed to get its season somewhat on the right track, although a 14-20 record on the season still isn’t anything to write home about.
It’s a huge turnaround for Washington, which was a sieve defensively to start the season and was seemingly headed toward the top of the lottery odds.
Offensively, the Wizards still go through Bradley Beal, who leads the NBA in scoring this season at 32.9 points per game while shooting 48.2% from the field. Russell Westbrook has also stepped up his game of late, averaging a triple-double (20.5 points, 10.6 assists and 10.4 rebounds) in his last 14 appearances.
The Wizards are 10-17 with Westbrook active this season and 4-3 without him, but regardless of what effect you may think he has on the team, he’s going to be heavily involved down the stretch.
The Wizards are 18-16 against the spread this season (ATS) and also 18-16 to the over. Washington is 4-1 in its last five ATS, with the one loss coming against Memphis.
Memphis does not win how you might assume a small-market team does in the modern NBA. They rank 28th in the NBA this season by getting just 29.1% of their points from 3-point shots.
The personnel might be different, but Grind City is alive in Memphis with head coach Taylor Jenkins’ team. Defense has been the Grizzlies’ bread and butter this season, as their Defensive Rating is 10th in the NBA over their last 15 games at 110.9. The Grizzlies rank eighth in that category over the entire season at 109.4.
Memphis is 17-14-1 ATS this season but 4-1 in its last five. The only game in which the Grizzlies didn’t cover was the second of a back-to-back set against the Clippers. That was a 20-point loss but came one night after beating Los Angeles by 28 points as an eight-point underdog.
Memphis has six players averaging double-digit points this season and is led offensively by Ja Morant, who scored 35 points in each of the Grizzlies’ last two games before the All-Star break. Against the Wizards in a 125-111 win, Morant shot 11-of-18 from the field for 35 points while adding 10 assists and five rebounds.
In that victory, Memphis was lights out, shooting 49.5% (47-of-95) from the field and 13-of-29 (44.8%) from 3-point range. The Wizards attempted just 81 shots because they committed 22 turnovers, including 14 by Westbrook and Beal. Beal posted a -25 on the box score while scoring a mere 23 points.
The most important trend for bettors in this game belongs to Memphis: The Grizzlies have gone under the total in each of their last five games, including the matchup against the Wizards on March 2 that had a mammoth number of 238.5.
Well, that’s exactly the number we find ourselves with for the rematch. A number like that should be reserved for Trail Blazers vs. Nets games, not Grizzlies vs. Wizards, especially with both teams having recently played so well defensively.
We’ll ride two defenses that the market hasn’t quite caught up to yet.
Pick: Under 238.5