Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 2:30 PM EST odds are subject to change.
Memphis -3 -101 over Toronto
7:35 PM EST. For many in the market, Christmas Day is the de facto start to the NBA betting season. The NFL is winding down and with two months of games under these team's belts, there is plenty of information for one to use in their NBA handicapping. Since that blessed day, the Grizzlies are 0-2 after getting Molly walloped in back-to-back games against the Warriors, 123-109 (on Christmas in front of the basketball world), and Phoenix (125-108) on Tuesday night.
The Grizzlies have now fallen to third in the West, as there is a log jam with just five games separating the first place Pelicans and the 10th place Dubs. If we look back before Christmas, the Grizz dropped two of three, which means they’ve won just one game in their last five, which matches their season worst five game stretch (Memphis went 1-4 from November 13 to 22). That suggests that the Grizzlies’ stock is down heading into this game in Toronto tonight. Despite the recent run of futility, the Grizz have been able to maintain a Defensive Efficiency rating in the top 10 (eighth) over their last three games. As long as a team takes care of business on its own end, everything else will fall in line.
This play is less about fading the Raptors than it is about getting behind the undervalued Grizzlies, who were favored by 7½ in those games against the Suns and Warriors, but Toronto does provide the perfect backdrop to cash this ticket.
The Raps have seen a slight uptick in their stock, as they’ve won two out of three games. Although the results have been positive, the Raptors have been playing with fire, sporting just a middling Defensive Efficiency rating of 17th in those three games. Those chickens may have come home to roost in the Raps 11-point loss to the Clippers on Tuesday night. Even though Toronto hit better than 50% of its field goals, it wasn’t enough to match the Clippers. With the league average in that department being around 47%, it would not be out of line to expect some regression to that mean tonight. If that happens, the Raps are going to be in for a long night at the office against this short priced, and very dangerous invader. Even if the Raps are hot again, the Grizzlies have the horses to go with them stride for stride and then some. Swallow the points.
Memphis -3 -101 (Risking 2.02 units - To Win: 2.00)