The Lakers are coming off what was a hard-fought win over one of the worst teams in the NBA, but now they head down to Beale Street to face a tough and battle-tested Memphis Grizzlies.
Will L.A. keep this momentum going? Let’s break down some NBA odds for tonight!
L.A. Lakers vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Wednesday, December 29, 2021 – 08:00 PM EST at FedExForum
Lakers Tired and Slow Starting
Not only did the Lakers play last night in Houston and play a game they probably should have ran away with early, but they also let the Rockets hang around and were forced to play down to the last second of the game.
The Grizzlies are probably tipping their hats to Houston because of this, so I think it gives Memphis some nice betting value here tonight. The Lakers are in the midst of a three-game in a four-night stretch and even after halting their losing streak on Tuesday, that losing streak will likely start back up on Wednesday.
Although the Grizzlies are without Dillon Brooks due to health and safety protocol, they have proven to be a tough opponent regardless this season. Desmond Bane has turned into a star in the making and with the Lakers coming to town, the building and the Grizzlies young players should be hyped up tonight.
While Memphis has struggled sometimes on offense this season, especially in the first half of games, tonight presents a nice opportunity for them to jump out on a tired Lakers team and not let them get back up.
The Sharp Pick
The Lakers will likely try to speed things up in this game, even after coming off a game last night but that could play right into the Grizzlies’ hands. The Lakers’ defense has been falling apart in first halves on the road this season and being on the second night of a back-to-back won’t help at all.
LA is allowing 111.7 points per 100 possessions in road first halves this season, which ranks near the bottom third in the league. On top of that, things have gotten even worse for their first-half defense as of late.
The Lakers are allowing 120 points per 100 possessions over their last five first halves and 110.8 points per 100 possessions over their last three first halves on the road. Memphis on the other hand has the second-best rated home offense in first halves this season and a net rating of plus-10 in those 19 games.
Furthermore, Memphis’ first-half defense has started to show again lately. They are allowing only 100.8 points per 100 possessions over their last five first halves, which ranks tied for third-best in the NBA over that span.
With the Lakers tired, the Grizzlies’ building loud and the defense for the Lakers starting to fall apart without Anthony Davis, the Grizzlies should be able to build a sizable lead by halftime of this one, for our NBA picks tonight.
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