Two teams heading in opposite directions clash when the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies visit the reeling Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. Here’s a complete preview, including betting odds and free NBA picks.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Wednesday, December 15, 2021 – 10:00 PM EST at Moda Center
The Grizzlies opened at -1.5 at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review) and FiveThirtyEight have them at +1, giving them a 47 percent chance to win. For support, we turn to USA Today’s Jeff Sagarin’s projections; he has the Grizzlies at -0.23 using his Rating numbers and at -2.06 using his eigenvector analysis. Bovada (visit our Bovada Review) set the total at 219.5 in their NBA odds board and Sagarin projects these two teams to combine for 222.98 points.
A Tale of Two Teams
The Grizzlies (17-11 SU and ATS) have won eight of their last nine games, including three in a row, all without star point guard Ja Morant (plus-5.3 Offensive Box Plus/Minus), who’s out with a left knee strain. Memphis is 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS since Morant went down. Dillon Brooks, Jaren Jackson Jr.
The Trail Blazers, on the other hand,
To make matters worse, there’s no update yet on how long McCollum and Zeller are expected to be out. McCollum’s defense (minus-2.2 DBPM) is poor enough to make him worth just plus-0.2 Box Plus/Minus overall, or 1.8 points per 100 possessions better than his backup Nassir Little (minus-0.9 Offensive Box Plus/Minus, minus-0.7 Defensive Box Plus/Minus). These are just stats, of course.
Jaren Jackson Jr. vs. Larry Nance Jr. and Robert Covington
Jaren Jackson Jr. is averaging 20.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 27.8 minutes in his last nine games and the Trail Blazers have to at least contain him if they want to keep up with the Grizzlies. Larry Nance Jr. and Robert Covington will likely guard him in intriguing matchups that can determine the outcome of this game. Nance Jr. and Covington combined for just 17 points on Tuesday’s 111-107 overtime loss against the Suns at home and they need to play much better on defense as well.
I’m putting the Under in our NBA picks for Wednesday’s matchup. Both teams run the floor at a relatively fast pace but the Under is 4-2 in Memphis’ last six games and 4-2-1 in Portland’s last seven games. The Trail Blazers will play the second game of a back-to-back after last night’s tough overtime home loss against the Suns and Brooks, Jackson
*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.