Grizzlies at Wizards Picks and NBA Betting Odds
by Trevor Whenham - 3/25/2013
Memphis has clinched a playoff spot already. Really all that is left for them to decide is whether they will have home court advantage in their opening series. They currently sit in fifth place in the Western Conference, but they are just a half game behind the Clippers and a game back of the Nuggets. With plenty of games left, they have a good chance of hosting a series, and that’s certainly something worth fighting for.
Washington clearly isn’t fighting for anything resembling the playoffs. Those hopes were all but dashed before Christmas. They have little left to play with other than the number of balls they’ll have in the draft lottery, yet they are playing some surprisingly solid basketball lately — 6-4 in their last 10.
The pairing of these teams doesn’t make for the sexiest matchup of the year — or even the night. From a betting perspective it’s somewhat compelling, though.
Grizzlies at Wizards Betting Storylines
Washington is particularly comfortable right now in the Verizon Center. They have won five in a row there. Of course, that’s more impressive if you don’t look at the teams they have beaten during this streak — Phoenix, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Charlotte and Philadelphia hardly represent the NBA’s elite. Memphis is a step up from that level of competition. Washington is coming off a road trip on which they won two of three, including a nice win at the Lakers, though, so they are playing with some confidence. In other words, they are certainly not the team right now that their record would suggest. In fact, after starting 3-13 at home, the team has gone 15-4 at home since.
Washington is winning despite all sorts of issues trying to field a consistent roster. Bradley Beal hurt his ankle last Wednesday and is unlikely for this game after missing the last two. A.J. Price has missed the last six games with a groin injury and will likely be out here again. Trevor Ariza is battling a flu that could keep him out of this game as well. Emeka Okafor has been sick lately, too, but he is back to his old self. John Wall is healthy, but he got in a skirmish with Klay Thompson in the last game and was ejected for the second half. It all adds up to a team that is winning despite playing different lineups all the time. The success is owed in part to the unlikely contributions of fringe players — Cartier Martin had a career-best 23 points last time out. That’s only 14 more points than he had scored in all of 2013 up to that point.
While the Wizards are thriving at home, the Grizzlies are not exactly enjoying being on the road right now. They have lost their last three road games, and they are looking to avoid their first four-game road losing streak in two years. Those three road losses are their only three losses in their last 12 games, though, so they aren’t struggling overall.
The Grizzlies are continuing to adjust to an unfortunate reality — the absence of Marc Gasol. He re-injured his abdomen on Friday, and he is expected to be out for an extended time. He’s averaging 14.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game, so he will certainly be missed on this team. Things could be worse, though — Gasol only played 65 games last year, so this is not their first experience playing without him for an extended period of time. That will leave it to Zach Randolph to carry more of the rebounding load, and the red-hot Jerryd Bayless needs to continue his torrid scoring pace -- he’s averaging just 8.1 points per game but 22.2 over the last five games.
Grizzlies at Wizards NBA Odds and Betting Trends
The Grizzlies have gone “under” in each of their last four road games and in six of seven games overall. Washington is 9-1 ATS in their last 10 home games against teams with a winning road record. The Grizzlies are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight games against the Wizards.
Grizzlies at Wizards Picks and Betting Predictions
The Grizzlies are clearly the better team overall. Their road issues, the confidence of the Wizards at home, and the fact that the Wizards are getting points, though, means that the home team is the attractive one here. The Wizards are the pick.
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