I don't want to make a blanket statement in saying that you should totally bet against the Memphis Grizzlies and go under their totals for the next six weeks or so because it obviously depends on the opponent. But I'm certainly going to be leaning that way most nights with the news that Grizzles point guard Mike Conley is likely going to miss that much time with a transverse process fracture in his vertebrae suffered Monday against Charlotte. A lot of people snickered when Conley got a five-year, $153 million extension in the offseason, the richest deal in NBA history in total dollars. But he's having a career year, averaging 19.2 points. 5.7 assists and 3.6 rebounds. The Grizz were slaughtered in their one game earlier this season at Minnesota without him and were way below .500 last year when he was hurt. Memphis has no one remotely capable of replacing him.
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Mavericks at Hornets (-11, 193)
Dallas hosted San Antonio on Wednesday without Dirk Nowitzki again. Charlotte lost 112-89 at home to Detroit on Tuesday. The Hornets had nothing left in the tank in playing their fourth game in five nights -- teams only do that a couple of times per year. Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 23 points. Jeremy Lamb left on the first possession of the fourth quarter after banging knees with another player. He had just returned from a long injury absence. These two teams split last year. Charlotte has lost the past two meetings at home.
Key trends: The underdog is 5-2 against the spread in the past seven meetings. The "over/under" is 5-2 in those.
Early lean: Hornets and under.
Bucks at Nets (+4.5, 217)
Milwaukee upset visiting Cleveland 118-101 on Tuesday. Giannis Antetokounmpo was the best player on the floor with a career-high-tying 34 points to go with 12 boards and five assists. Brooklyn upset the visiting Clippers 127-122 in double overtime on Tuesday to end a seven-game skid. Sean Kilpatrick scored 31 of his career-high 38 points after the third quarter. Brook Lopez added 27 points for the Nets, who trailed 86-68 with two minutes left in the third. Milwaukee has won 12 of the past 16 meetings vs. Brooklyn. That includes 110-108 at home on Oct. 29. John Henson had a buzzer-beating tip-in of a missed Jabari Parker layup to win it. The Nets' best player, Lopez, was out for the game to rest.
Key trends: The Bucks have covered 11 of their past 13 at the Nets. The over is 8-2 in the previous 10 meetings.
Early lean: Bucks and over.
Magic at Grizzlies (-1, 185.5)
Memphis began life without Conley on Wednesday in Toronto. Orlando got an unlikely 95-83 win in San Antonio on Tuesday to end a four-game losing streak. Serge Ibaka had 18 points and seven rebounds as the Magic ended a 10-game skid in the series. Orlando held San Antonio to 36.8 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers. These two teams split last year, with Orlando's win on April 3 at home snapping a nine-game losing streak in the series.
Key trends: The favorite is 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings. The under is 11-5 in the past 16.
Early lean: Magic and under that really low total.
Clippers at Cavaliers (-5, 213)
First of the TNT doubleheader and certainly one of the best matchups of the season thus far. L.A. clearly was looking ahead to this one Tuesday night in Brooklyn as Coach Doc Rivers decided to rest Blake Griffin, assuming a win over the Nets. But the Clippers blew a 16-point third-quarter lead and were upset 127-122 in double OT, the team's third straight loss to start a six-game road trip. Chris Paul had 26 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, while DeAndre Jordan had 21 points and 23 boards. I'm sure you've seen the video by now of Rivers going nuclear at a referee in the game. He'll be looking at a nice fine. Cleveland also got caught looking ahead Tuesday in losing 118-101 in Milwaukee to end a four-game winning streak. The Bucks outscored Cleveland by 14 points in the third quarter and led by 22 in the fourth. The Cavs' hearts just weren't in it. Channing Frye missed his second straight game following the death of his father but is expected to play Thursday. Los Angeles lost both games last year by double digits and has dropped its past three in Cleveland.
Key trends: The Clippers are 0-4 ATS in the past four meetings. The under is 5-2 in the previous seven.
Early lean: Cavs and over.
Heat at Jazz (TBA)
Miami was in Denver on Wednesday without guys like Dion Waiters and Justise Winslow. Utah won a fourth consecutive Tuesday, 120-101 over visiting Houston. Gordon Hayward scored a season-high 31 points. Derrick Favors missed his seventh consecutive game with a left knee bone contusion, and Rodney Hood left in the third with a right hamstring strain, so monitor those guys. Doesn't seem likely Favors will go. Utah won in Miami 102-91 on Nov. 12. Hayward had 25 points and Rudy Gobert 12 points and 12 boards. Hassan Whiteside scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Miami.
Key trends: The Heat are 0-4 ATS in the past four meetings. The over is 8-0 in Utah's past eight vs. teams with a losing record.
Early lean: Jazz and under regardless.
Rockets at Warriors (-10.5, 230.5)
Second TNT game. It would not surprise me to see both these teams reach 130 points with how good they are offensively (and Rockets bad on defense). Houston lost 120-101 in Utah on Tuesday. James Harden scored 26 points to go with seven assists and five rebounds. The Rockets made 11 3s and have hit at least 10 3-pointers in their last 17 games, an NBA record. Golden State won its 12th in a row Monday in a rare close game, 105-100 over Atlanta. Kevin Durant had 25 points and 14 rebounds, his sixth 20/10 game this year. Draymond Green was back after missing Saturday's game with a minor ankle injury. Houston has lost eight straight in the series, its longest-ever skid to Golden State.
Key trends: The Rockets are 1-4 ATS in the past five in Oakland. The under is 4-1 in the past five meetings.
Early lean: Warriors and over.
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