Mavericks vs. Grizzlies NBA Odds, Preview and Prediction

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Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies goes to the basket. Justin Ford/Getty Images/AFP

It’s tempting to put the Dallas Mavericks in Friday’s NBA picks, but the Memphis Grizzlies might be too good to fade.

Dallas Mavericks vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Friday, January 14, 2022 – 10:00 PM EST at FedExForum

Maybe one day, Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis will finally show the world what they can do for the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs struck gold when they made that swap with the Atlanta Hawks at the 2018 NBA Draft, acquiring Doncic for a first-round pick and the rights to Trae Young.

Then they liberated Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr. from the New York Knicks the following year, as part of a larger trade that looks like a steal now. But injuries and illness have made it rare to see both Doncic and Porzingis on the court at the same time.

Sadly, that will apparently be the case again this Friday when the Mavericks (22-18 SU, 21-19 ATS) visit the Memphis Grizzlies. Porzingis has been in league protocol since January 3, and he’ll reportedly miss this matchup, too – as will head coach Jason Kidd.

But maybe that’s exactly what we need for our NBA picks: The Mavs are 4-1 SU and ATS since Porzingis last played. They’ve opened as 3.5-point road dogs on the overseas lines. Does that leave enough profit margin for us to bet on Dallas?

Ursine of the Times

Maybe not. FiveThirtyEight project the Grizzlies (30-14 SU, 29-15 ATS) to win this game by exactly 3.5 points, although that projection was made before Memphis beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-108 Thursday night as 3-point home faves.

Nothing untoward seems to have occurred in that matchup; despite Minnesota keeping the game reasonably close into the fourth quarter, the Grizz didn’t lean too heavily on their starters – Jaren Jackson Jr. led the way at 33 minutes.

Memphis has been absolutely killing it this year. They’re fourth in the Western Conference with a plus-4.4 point differential, 2.5 points better than Dallas in fifth. Home-court advantage has been worth just 1.44 points this year according to Jeff Sagarin at The USA Today, but if you add that to those 2.5 points, we’re almost at Memphis –4 already, and we haven’t even factored in the strength of schedule or any of that nerd stuff.

Kristaps That

Back to Porzingis for a moment. Yes, he’s playing better than ever, posting a plus-4.3 Box Plus/Minus at Basketball Reference – only Doncic (plus-5.0 BPM) is higher on this team. But look at those On/Off stats: The Mavericks are 0.6 points per 100 possessions worse with Porzingis on the floor compared to off.

Yeesh. Of course, that stat also says something about the strength of the Mavericks bench, which has kept the whole team above water thus far. But it also hints at how they’ve been able to beat the NBA odds since Porzingis went into the protocol.

So we’re going to do the smart thing here at the ranch and chicken out on the spread. Take the Under instead; the total opened at 218.5 points overseas, and the Under also happens to be 4-1 for Dallas and Porzingis, and 6-3 for Memphis in their last nine. Delightful.

NBA Pick: Under 216 (-110) with BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 216 (-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.