Pelicans vs. Grizzlies Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bet Zion Williamson & Co. As Road Underdogs (November 25)

Pelicans vs. Grizzlies Odds, Preview, Prediction: Bet Zion Williamson & Co. As Road Underdogs (November 25) article feature image

Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Zion Williamson #1 of the New Orleans Pelicans.

  • The New Orleans Pelicans and Memphis Grizzlies will face off Friday at FedEx Forum.
  • The Grizzlies are short favorites (2.5-points spread) at home in this division battle between Zion Williamson and Ja Morant.
  • Jacob McKenna breaks down why he is buying the road team and gives his betting pick below.

Pelicans vs. Grizzlies Odds

Pelicans Odds+2.5
Grizzlies Odds-2.5
Time8 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

The New Orleans Pelicans will finish off a short two-game road trip on Friday night when they travel to Memphis to take on the Grizzlies.

The Pelicans got their 11th win of the season after defeating the San Antonio Spurs on on Wednesday, a win that moved them into third place in the Western Conference. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies sit in seventh in the Western Conference, largely because they have lost four of their past five games.

The last week and a half has seen Memphis fall into a downward spiral, while the exact opposite has been the case for New Orleans. Will the Grizzlies be able to turn things around and win at home, or will we see the Pelicans continue to stay hot and win their third game in a row?

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Pelicans Are Booming on Offense

The Pelicans are a team that many believe had the chance to compete for the Western Conference title this season, and their last six games have shown everyone why that was the case.

Dating back to their Nov. 12 win over Houston, the Pelicans have gone 5-1 overall in what has been a dominant stretch of basketball. In that six-game stretch, they have posted the second-best Offensive Rating in the NBA at 119.3, up from their season rating of 115.3.

Additionally, New Orleans has improved its efficiency on the offensive end during the last six games. We have seen their overall field goal percentage rise to 51.1% and their 3-point percentage soar to 40.5%. This is one of the hottest offensive teams in the NBA right now.

The offense isn't the only thing that has improved for New Orleans during this hot stretch. In fact, their play on the defensive end of the floor has arguably been more impressive.

In their last six game the Pelicans own the No. 1 Defensive Rating in the NBA at 103.5, That rating is a significant improvement from their season rating of 108.4, which already ranked fourth in the NBA.

Even with CJ McCollum being sidelined for this matchup, Memphis is going to have their hands full trying to stop the Pelicans.

Grizzlies Not Quite Clicking

The Grizzlies were another team that many thought had a chance to once again compete for the Western Conference title, but Memphis has yet to find much of a groove and appears to be trending in the wrong direction.

Through 18 games the Grizzlies are 10-8 overall. Some of their struggles have been due to injuries, but in the grand scheme of things Memphis simply hasn't been playing great basketball.

Memphis enters this matchup with an Offensive Rating of 112.1, good enough for 13th in the NBA. That rating is down from 114.3 a season ago, a mark that ranked the Grizzlies fourth in the NBA.

We have also seen the Grizzlies take a step back defensively this season, as evidenced by their Defensive Rating rising to 112.3 this year after being at 108.9 a season ago. That is largely due to the fact that the Grizzlies are allowing their opponents to shoot 46.6% from the floor overall and 36% from behind the arc, providing most of their opponents with very little resistance on the defensive end.

Although their Defensive Rating has improved to 109.9 in their last five games, Memphis' Offensive Rating has sank to 105.1 and it ranks them 27th in the NBA over that stretch. They will need to improve on some things on that end of the floor if they want to compete with New Orleans.

Pelicans-Grizzlies Pick

Even though New Orleans and Memphis are dealing with some injuries to key players, I think this is a good spot to back the Pelicans as they have proven they can adapt to not having some of their stars on the floor.

Memphis is going to be without Desmond Bane for this game, a guy that is averaging 24.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game while shooting 46.5% from the floor and 45.1% from behind the arc.

Bane was a key contributor on both ends of the floor next to Ja Morant, but he has not played in Memphis' last five games and as previously mentioned that has been a stretch of poor basketball for the Grizzlies. Bane's absence has definitely played a large role in that.

The Pelicans will be without CJ McCollum, but we saw New Orleans dominate in their last game against San Antonio without him in the lineup. They should be able to continue to play solid basketball without him.

All in all I think the Pelicans have the better team and more depth to help make up for McCollum's production. I like them with the points in this matchup.

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