Grizzlies vs. Nuggets Expert NBA Betting Analysis and Free Pick

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Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets. Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/AFP

The Denver Nuggets are available at a bargain price on Friday’s NBA odds board. But can they stop the mighty Memphis Grizzlies?

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets

Friday, January 21, 2022 – 09:00 PM EST at Ball Arena

There must be some kind of disturbance in the Force. The projections say the Denver Nuggets are the right NBA pick for Friday’s home game against the Memphis Grizzlies, even after moving from –3 to –4 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review). But these are the Grizzlies (31-16 SU, 30-17 ATS) we’re talking about here. They’re the most profitable team in the Western Conference. They just rattled off eight straight ATS wins starting on New Year’s Eve.

Maybe it’s indeed time to sell high: The Grizz have dropped two of their last three SU and ATS. Sadly, Denver (23-20 SU, 18-25 ATS) are still struggling to cash in themselves, going 5-2 SU and 3-4 ATS in their last seven. It’s going to take some intestinal fortitude to open up those wallets and/or purses and throw any money at the Nuggets. Let’s see if those numbers make it worthwhile.

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Grizzly Fiendish

Our friendly friends at FiveThirtyEight are on the case. They’ve got Denver winning Friday’s game by 5.5 points, which would have made them a very tasty bet indeed at –3. Not so much at –4. As a rule of thumb, we want at least two points between the projections and the NBA odds before we fire anything more than a fun-size bet.

Nate Silver’s crew might also be giving Denver a bit more credit than other quants – in particular, Jeff Sagarin at The USA Today. He has Memphis rated 2.59 points better than the Nuggets, so even with home-court advantage (which Sagarin has pegged at 1.44 points), the Grizz “should” be the favorites here, at least according to Sagarin’s computers. Why can’t the world agree on anything?

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Tillie’s Punctured Romance

Actually, it should be noted that the Memphis mini-slump started not long after center Killian Tillie went into league protocol, where he’s since been joined by shooting guard Desmond Bane, point guard Tyus Jones and power forward Kyle Anderson. Swingman Dillon Brooks (ankle) is also out until February at the earliest. Tillie was due to clear protocol on Thursday, but he’s the least important of these five gentlemen, at least at this point in their careers.

This is why you need to keep a close eye on that COVID-19 list. Even though the omicron wave appears to have crested, there are still tons of guys jumping on and off this list. We can’t say for sure what’s up with all those missing Memphis players, especially when the league keeps changing their protocols, but the Grizz will be especially weak if Bane (plus-2.3 BPM at Basketball Reference) doesn’t play Friday. Bet accordingly once you get the health updates you need, and may the sphere be with you.

NBA Pick: Nuggets –4 (–110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Nuggets -4 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.