NBA Game Preview: Memphis Grizzlies at Indiana Pacers

Mar 15, 2022

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Game: Memphis Grizzlies @ Indiana Pacers  

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET 

Odds:  Grizzlies -7, Pacers +7 

Total: 233.5 

It’s the first meeting of the season between Memphis and Indiana. The Grizzlies have won three straight and six of their last eight games heading into tonight. The Pacers have just one win in their last five games. The big news going into tonight’s game is the status of Grizzlies star Ja Morant. Memphis’s leading scorer is listed as doubtful for tonight with back soreness. That could take some of the life out of Memphis and give some to Indiana, which has won the last five straight games against the Grizzlies at home. 

In addition to being 1-4 SU over their last five games, the Pacers are just 4-13 over their last 17 games. The season really took a downturn when the organization decided to trade Domantas Sabonis. The Pacers did get two very good scorers in Tyrese Haliburton and Buddy Hield. In fact, Indiana has scored 123 or more points in three of its last four games. The Pacers’ problem is on defense. 

When you score 123-plus, one would think you would have more than just one win in four games. However, Indiana’s defense is a big issue. They rank as the fifth-worst NBA team in terms of defensive efficiency. Teams score an average of 113 points against Indiana and the Pacers are a team that just doesn’t produce many turnovers. That’s not a good recipe when playing a team like Memphis. 

Yes, the Grizzlies will likely be without Morant, but Dillon Brooks, the team’s second-leading scorer, is back in the lineup. Memphis averages 114.4 points per game and in their current three-game winning streak the Grizzlies are scoring 125 a game. Despite the recent scoring surge, Memphis has only covered the spread twice in its last six games. Five of those six-point spreads were between -8 and -15. 

The Pacers have covered in each of their last two games and, interestingly, they have covered in 15 of their last 20 games against a team from the Southwest Division. In the series with Memphis, Indiana has covered the spread in each of the last four games and is 7-3 ATS in the last ten. 

With all of the offense being produced by both teams and each team’s struggles on defense recently, it’s no surprise that both teams have seen their fair share of Overs recently. The total has gone Over in 12 of Memphis’s last 17 games. The total has gone Over in 15 of Indiana’s last 20 games. Nine of the Pacers’ last ten home games have gone Over and each of the last five games against Memphis has produced an Over.  

The last three games in this series have seen the Pacers win all three games. Indiana averaged 127.7 points and the Grizzlies 115 in those three games. That’s a combined total of 242.7, which is well over tonight’s projected total of 233.5.