NBA Pick: Lakers +9 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)
The Los Angeles Lakers belong in your NBA picks as 9-point road dogs versus the Memphis Grizzlies this Tuesday. Here’s why.
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Tuesday, February 28, 2023 – 07:30 PM EST at FedExForum
Once upon a time, the Los Angeles Lakers were the gold standard - make that Purple and Gold - for public teams. Everyone outside of Boston loved the Showtime Lakers, and everyone bet on them, moving the NBA lines and making their opponents the sharp pick.
The Memphis Grizzlies used to be the ideal small-market team, too. But here were are in 2023, and now the Lakers (29-32 SU, 29-31-1 ATS) are the right choice for Tuesday’s basketball picks as 9-point road dogs at BetOnline versus the Grizz (36-23 SU, 27-31-1 ATS).
Have the Lakers Turned the Corner?
They’ve turned a corner, although it’s hard to say where they’re headed at this point. Los Angeles has won four of their last five ATS, and they’re 15-11 SU and 16-10 ATS since December 30.
That more recent burst came after the trade deadline, where the Lakers dispossessed themselves of these underperforming assets (Daily Plus Minus stats provided by the people behind DARKO):
- Russell Westbrook (plus-0.38 DPM)
- Patrick Beverley (minus-0.62 DPM)
- Thomas Bryant (minus-0.19 DPM)
- Damian Jones (minus-0.18 DPM)
- Juan Toscano-Anderson (minus-2.01 DPM)
Throw in some draft picks, and in return, the Lakers received the following:
- D’Angelo Russell (plus-0.03 DPM)
- Jarred Vanderbilt (plus-0.04 DPM)
- Malik Beasley (minus-1.49 DPM)
- Mo Bamba (minus-0.19 DPM)
- Davon Reed (minus-2.27 DPM)
Blend of Players
Okay, that might look like a wash statistically, but Russell is a better fit for them at point guard than Westbrook, and he has previous chemistry with Vanderbilt and Beasley from their time with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Don’t forget the earlier trade L.A. made on January 23 to acquire Rui Hachimura (minus-2.15 DPM) from the Washington Wizards for Kendrick Nunn (minus-1.05 DPM) and three second-rounders. Again, not a good look by these advanced stats, but the Lakers needed Hachimura’s defense a lot more than Nunn’s shooting.
This new blend of players has worked out famously, but Russell is doubtful for Tuesday with a sprained ankle, and LeBron James (plus-4.7 DPM) is out indefinitely after hurting his right foot during Sunday’s win over the Dallas Mavericks. Yikes.
Why Not Bet on Memphis Instead?
Because bettors have overreacted to James’s absence. The Grizzlies have already soared from -4.5 to -9 since the first lines hit the NBA odds board, but the projections we’re looking at have them winning by about 7.5 points -including those at FiveThirtyEight.
Early money is sharp money, as they say, and the sharps were clearly right to pounce on Memphis at -4.5. But nine points is a bridge too far, and if these lines keep steaming towards the Grizz, there should be enough room by tip-off for the standard single-unit wager on the other side.
Long-time readers of this space - or really, anyone with half a basketball brain - will recognize the value of supporting a team that’s missing its superstar player. This goes double when it comes to the Lakers and LeBron. They still have Anthony Davis (plus-2.7 DPM), and they still have all those other veteran players to lean on.
The Grizzlies, meanwhile, are missing one of their key players in center Steven Adams, who’s out until early March with a sprained right PCL. What if we told you Adams has been their best performer this year, even better than Ja Morant? Check this out:
- Steven Adams (plus-2.7 DPM)
- Jaren Jackson Jr. (plus-2.7 DPM)
- Desmond Bane (plus-2.5 DPM)
- Ja Morant (plus-2.4 DPM)
Morant is obviously the most talented player of this bunch, but also the worst defender by far. Which brings us to our second NBA pick on the Over. There’s a 230-point total at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review), down from 233.5 at the open (and 238 at other locations) following the LeBron news.
Again, this is an easy call now that the lines have over-adjusted. The range of projections we’re looking at has these teams combining for around 232 points, so consider firing a single unit at the Over as well, and may the sphere be with you.
For Los Angeles residents looking to bet on this game, you can check out our top California betting sites.
NBA Pick: Over 230 (-108) at BetOnline
*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.