Grizzlies vs. Nuggets Betting Preview for Friday Night: Denver To Essentially Clinch West’s Top Seed

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Nikola Jokic of the Nuggets shoots a layup over Steven Adams of the Grizzlies on April 7, 2022. Ethan Mito/Clarkson Creative/Getty Images/AFP

NBA Pick: Nuggets ML (-180) at BookMaker (visit our Bookmaker Review)

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Nuggets ML (-180)
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Picks Summary:

  • Nuggets ML (-180)
  • Under 234 (-108)

The top two teams in the NBA’s Western Conference face off Friday night as the Memphis Grizzlies visit the Denver Nuggets.

Which side of the moneyline at the top-rated sportsbooks has the best value as your top NBA pick? We also have a total play. 

Remember, fans from the Centennial State who want to wager on this game should check out our top-rated Colorado betting sites.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets 

Friday, March 3, 2023 – 10:00 PM EST at Ball Arena 

Terrific matchup from the NBA’s Western Conference on Friday as the first-place Denver Nuggets host the second-place Memphis Grizzlies in the second game of an ESPN doubleheader. The first game is Brooklyn at Boston, which we also previewed here at BMR. 

This is the last regular-season meeting between the clubs.

They split the first two, each winning by double digits at home. The last meeting was on Feb. 25 in Memphis and the Grizzlies rolled 112-94 – Denver’s only loss overall in its past seven games. The Nuggets’ starters were an ugly 17 of 47 from the field, and the 94 total points scored were a season-low. The Grizzlies finished with 19 fast-break points and 60 points in the paint. 

“I felt like going into this game that (the Grizzlies) were going to approach this as a playoff game. We approached it as a game 61 or 62,” Denver coach Michael Malone said. I actually think that loss is a big motivating factor tonight. 

Memphis has covered the betting spread against NBA odds in just two of its past nine games in Denver. 

No Morant Distractions Yet 

The Grizzlies have been able to tune out some recent concerning off-the-court news about superstar Ja Morant. He has been accused of repeatedly punching a teenage boy in the head and threatening him with a gun last summer as well as threatening the head of security at a Memphis mall.

No league discipline is imminent since these both took place months ago, but it’s not a good look for one of the NBA’s most exciting players. 

Memphis comes off its third straight win Wednesday, 113-99 at tanking Houston to snap an eight-game road losing streak for the Grizz – although I’m not sure a win over the Rockets should count. Desmond Bane had 30 points (first time with 30 since November) and Morant 20 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds. He had a spectacular triple-double Tuesday vs. the Lakers and is (+572) for one tonight at BMR’s top-rated books. 

“Our focus was just trying to right the ship,” coach Taylor Jenkins said of the Houston win. “And any time you can start a road trip with a victory, it just gives you a different mentality for the rest.” 

Memphis Banged Up But Well Coached

The Grizzlies remain without starting center Steven Adams, one of the NBA’s best rebounders, due to a sprained right PCL. Xavier Tillman has been starting in his spot but he’s only 6-foot-8. Tillman is shooting an excellent 59% from the field overall this year.  

Perhaps consider a third-quarter ATS wager on the Grizzlies here? Memphis has outscored opponents by an average of 13.0 points in the third quarter in their last two games and is averaging 42.5 third-quarter points in that span. The Grizzlies are the league’s leading third-quarter scoring team (31.2).

That’s a sign of good coaching. In that most recent Denver game, the Grizzlies outscored the Nuggets 28-20 in the third. 

  • The Grizzlies are 7-19-1 ATS in their last 27 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. 
  • The Grizzlies are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games. 
  • The under is 13-3-1 in the Grizzlies’ last 17 overall. 
  • The under is 7-2 in the Grizzlies’ last 9 road games. 

Nuggets Running Away In West 

Denver can’t clinch the top seed in the Western Conference with a win, but for all intents and purposes, it will, as it would take a six-game lead over Memphis and also own the season tiebreaker. The Nuggets are (-10000) to earn the top seed. The books might take that prop down for good after tonight. Who wants to bet $10000 to win $100? 

The Nuggets also come off an easy win at Houston, 133-112 on Tuesday so they are well rested. Nikola Jokic had the 100th triple-double of his eventual Hall of Fame career with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists for his NBA-leading 24th triple-double this season and his 15th in the last 20 games.

He’s (+104) for one tonight and that’s a solid value. However, (-1100) for a double-double is not.  

Jokic’s Triple-Doubles Lead the Way

Russell Westbrook holds the record for most triple-doubles in a season with 42, and Jokic isn’t getting that record but could join Russ and Oscar Robertson as the only players to average a triple-double in a season as he’s currently putting up 24.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 10.0 assists. The Nuggets have won each game in which he has had a triple-double this year and 28 straight dating to last season.  

Jokic has shot at least 50% from the field in 49 straight games, the third-longest streak in NBA history. The record is 74 in a row by Boston’s Robert Williams III.  

Jamal Murray broke out of a bit of a slump with 32 points vs.  Houston. When he scores 30 this season, the Nuggets are 7-0. Injury-wise, starters Aaron Gordon and Michael Porter Jr. are probable and reserve Vlatko Cancar is questionable.  

Really, this pick is simply where the game is being played as Denver is 28-4 at home and also a league-best 21-10-1 ATS on its own court – we’ll play the moneyline to rule out a bad beat.  

  • The Nuggets are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. 
  • The Nuggets are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games overall. 
  • The under is 19-7 in the Nuggets’ last 26 vs. a team with a winning straight-up record. 

NBA Pick: Under 234 (-108) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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Under 234 (-108)
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