Chicago @ Memphis
Chicago/Memphis under 216½ +100

Posted at 2:45 PM EST. Odds subject to change.

Pinnacle U216½ +100 BET365 U216½ -110 Sportsinteraction U216½ -105 888Sport U216½ -110

Chicago/Memphis under 216½

Best Odds: +100 at Pinnacle

8:10 PM EST. The NBA is a wild and volatile sport, especially at certain times in the season, and right before the All-Star break is usually when things get really zany. General managers and coaches are mentally taxed as they consider ways to leverage the trade deadline, gossip in the rumor mill eventually gets to rosters and players start to wonder who's staying or going, and teams are exhausted since they've played 60% of their schedules before the break.

Today's total between the Grizzlies and Bulls is a cautious number from the oddsmakers, which might be a result of the unpredictable current state of the NBA. It's low, but not as low as we might typically see between two teams predicated by defense. Of course part of it might be because their last matchup, a 125-96 win for the Bulls on January 20th, eclipsed the listed total (215). In any case, although we must be super cautious at this juncture of the season, today's number is simply too high.

In case you haven't noticed, the Grizzlies' offensive stars are all injured. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Derrick Rose are both banged up, officially questionable, but Memphis remains without Ja Morant, Steven Adams, Desmond Bane, and Marcus Smart. The results have been clear - the Grizz are the worst offense in the association over the last 2 weeks. What's not completely lost is their defense. At home Memphis has been a solid defense all year, and lately they've had to depend on it even more. At FedEx Forum they're better -- ranked 7th in defensive efficiency over their last 10 games. Like their opponent tonight, they're also in the bottom third of the NBA in tempo. Over their last 7 games, Memphis is averaging just 102.4 ppg.

Speaking of defense, the Chicago Bulls are due for some positive regression. In segments of the season they were a top-5 unit, but lately they haven't been as crisp. Injuries to their starting lineup and bench haven't helped, but they remain the #1 team in paint-defense (allowing just 44 ppg), they're 3rd in opponent field goal attempts (86.3 per game), and their methodical, painfully slow pace (30th the last two weeks, aka extremely slow) often frustrates and throws off even the best offenses.

The Grizzlies will need to be extremely efficient from beyond the arc and from outside the paint if they hope to eclipse 100 points tonight. We don't see it. The Bulls, on the other hand, are a mid-tier offense at best, as they've been for a long time, and the Grizzlies play with a lot of pride in front of their home fans. This creates a scenario where it's very plausible that we see one or two quarters fall well-under 50 points. This number has been ticking up for most of the day, so buyer beware, but we disagree with that "sharp money." This is a 107-101 kind of affair.

Farley

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Our Pick

Chicago/Memphis under 216½ +100 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.00)

Atlanta 1H Team Total over 62½ +105
Charlotte +13 -110 over Golden State