Game: Los Angeles Lakers @ Memphis Grizzlies
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Odds: Lakers +8.5, Grizzlies -8.5
The Los Angeles Lakers (29-32, 29-30-2) and Memphis Grizzlies (36-23 SU, 27-30-2 ATS) square off at FedExForum on Tuesday as the visitors attempt to win their fourth game in a row, but without LeBron James.
Memphis started out as a 3.5-point home favorite but with the news of James being out the spread has moved to 8.5. The Lakers have actually had success lately against the Grizzlies, winning eight of their last 12 games despite being the road underdog. The UNDER has a 13-3 record in the previous 16 games between the two sides. The total opened at 238 but has dropped to its current 232.
The Lakers defeated the Dallas Mavericks 111-108 on Sunday thanks to Anthony Davis’ 30 points and 15 rebounds. LeBron James scored 26 points, but he also sustained a right foot injury during the game, which will probably keep him out for a while. With three straight victories and four in their previous five games, the Lakers had just begun to heat up, but James’ absence will undoubtedly hinder the team’s quest for a postseason berth.
Davis, who has his own foot problems, will have to carry the team mostly on his own. Averaging only about 22 points per game since the beginning of the year, the power forward will need to significantly improve if James is sidelined for an extended period of time.
In a matchup between the top two teams in the West on Saturday, the Grizzlies easily defeated the Denver Nuggets 112-94. Memphis made a solid defensive effort limiting Nikola Jokic to just 15 points while Ja Morant led all scorers with 23 points.
Memphis has had a rough month, winning only five of its last 15 games. Despite this, the Grizzlies have recovered, going 4-2 in their last six games. Memphis’ defense, which has allowed just 100.3 points per game during its last four victories, is still a team strength. The Grizzlies are sixth in the NBA in points allowed (111.9) and first overall in opponent field goal percentage (44.8). Memphis harasses shooters all night long and tonight should be no different.
As mentioned, Memphis is just 5-10 SU in its previous 15 games. The Grizzlies have been weak against the number going 5-11 ATS in their past 16 games. What has been a trend for Memphis is the Under. In 12 of their last 15 games, the Under has cashed. The Under is also 6-1 in the last seven Grizzlies home games and we already mentioned that the Under is 13-3 in the last 16 Lakers-Grizzlies games.
The Lakers are 4-1 SU and ATS in their last five games as they attempt to make a move in the Western Conference standings. LA is currently 12th and just a half-game out of the tenth and final play-in spot. The Under is 5-1 in the Lakers’ last six games.
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