Grizzlies vs. Nuggets Odds
|10 p.m. ET
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.
The Memphis Grizzlies and the Denver Nuggets — the top two teams in the Western Conference — will face off Friday for the second time in a week as the NBA barrels into its stretch run.
The Grizzlies will likely still be without Steven Adams, and Vlatko Cancar is questionable for the Nuggets, but otherwise this should be a showdown with both teams near full strength.
Memphis put the smackdown on Denver when they played Saturday, trouncing the Nuggets 112-94, though Aaron Gordon didn’t play. Denver will also get to play host this time around, a factor that has been key for both teams.
There’s a lot of noise swirling around the Grizzlies, but let’s try to cut through that and focus on how these two teams match up, and where there could be real edges for hungry bettors.
After a run of eight losses in nine games, the Grizzlies appear to have stabilized the ship a bit, going 6-2 since (3-1 since the All-Star break).
The narrative during that losing streak was just how much Adams means to this roster, and I tend to agree. He is central to the way Memphis plays on both ends of the floor.
With Adams around, the Grizzlies ranked second in second-chance points, second in fastbreak points and first in points in the paint per game. They also limited opponents to the fourth-fewest points in the paint and the seventh-fewest fastbreak points.
So, what are the differences over the past six weeks?
The Grizzlies have dropped to 24th in second-chance points per game, but still rank second in fastbreak points per game and first in points in the paint per game. That drop in second-chance points has been negated in part by a big jump in their points off turnovers per game, as they have gone from 14th to first in the NBA in that stretch.
On the flip side, their defense has slipped a bit, dropping to sixth in the NBA in terms of limiting points in the paint and 14th in opponent fastbreak points.
The Grizzlies offense looks a little different, but it’s running at about the same level without Adams. The defense has slipped a bit, particularly in limiting fastbreak points, but that’s a smaller number per game, so the changes are mostly a point or two.
Are the Nuggets built to take advantage of these Grizzlies?
Exhibit A would seem to be Denver’s 18-point loss last week, a game in which the Nuggets were down by 32 going into the fourth. However, we’re never going to weigh one game too heavily.
Denver was without one of its top fastbreak threats in Aaron Gordon, and both the Grizzlies and Nuggets have been far superior at home this season. In fact, the Nuggets 21-10-1 home record against the spread is the best in the league (+28.4% ROI).
One might assume Nikola Jokic would have had a field day against the Grizzlies without Adams, but he scored only 15 points in under 27 minutes because of the blowout nature of the game. He had only three assists as well, making for one of his worst games of the season.
There is no play that jumps off the page in this game. These teams played recently and, as I laid out here, that can make for some sharp lines and totals, even at opening.
There is one trend that has been steady this season, however, and it could be relevant Friday night.
Fourth quarter unders have gone 1092-788 this season (58.1%), per EV Analytics. The Grizzlies and Nuggets have been at the top of that trend too. Denver has gone 44-19 (69.8%) to the under, while Memphis has gone 40-21 (65.6%) to the under. That return hasn’t dropped with Adams out, either.
Fourth quarter unders can be a little tricky because they are a bit context dependent, so bettors could look to bet this pre-game at half a unit, and also have it in their back pocket for live betting if they plan on watching the game.
There’s no line for the fourth quarter total as of writing, but based on last week’s game and the full-game total, it will likely start around 56. I would take that under to 55 (-110).
Lean: Fourth Quarter Under 56