Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 12:30 PM EST. Odds subject to change.
Memphis 1st Half ML (+115) over Dallas
8:00 PM EST. The Memphis Grizzlies are feeling the loss of their star, Ja Morant. They're also feeling a gaping hole in their front court without veteran and tough-guy center Steven Adams, who's out for the season. He might actually be a more integral missing piece for the flailing Grizz. His versatility and playmaking ability on offense proved to be a game-changer for Memphis' offense in season's past, but they'll need to grab wins and compete in the West without him for the next eight months. In response to their early woes and lack of front court depth, the Grizzlies signed former Suns' center Bismack Biyombo one day ago. We'll see if it makes a difference, but this isn't about one missing piece or Ja Morant, this is about a playoff-caliber roster in desperate need of a win.
The Grizzlies will embark on another long road trip after Monday night's game at home, so this checks out as the ideal spot for them to finally get a W on their record. Since Morant joined Memphis in 2019, the Grizzlies were seen as one of the most tenacious up-and-coming young teams in the NBA. Starting 0-3 likely wasn't part of their plans heading into this season, even without their star, but it's important to remember that this is still a well-coached, unified roster with plenty of capability to win games. That's especially true at home. The Grizzlies were 37-7 straight up, 58% ATS at home last season.
The Mavericks are 2-0 but we wouldn't advise anyone to get too excited. They faced two forecasted bottom-feeders in their first two contests, and barely eked out wins in both games. The Kyrie Irving-Luka Doncic combo was a clumsy affair after the trade occurred last season, losing more than they were winning and sitting out the postseason because of it. They lost some depth during the offseason, too, deciding to turn a page with some new younger talent while bringing on veterans like Grant Williams (the former Celtic) and Derrick Jones Jr. (the former Bull). The new week marks a bunch of weird scheduling spots for Dallas, who returns home after this game only to head back on the road in a big battle at Denver later in this week. We could see this game being treated like an afterthought, even against a division rival.
The Grizzlies will care about this contest, no doubt about all that, and since they're usually so good at home we love them to come out with aggression early. Full game, because of their current lack of depth, we feel less secure. The Mavs could end up gaining the edge, especially if Luka continues on his tear (82 points in two games), and he usually comes alive in the second half. We'll look at the Grizz to take an early lead in the first 24 minutes.
Memphis 1H ML +115 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.30)