Grizzlies vs. Hawks Odds
|Time||6 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Memphis Grizzlies take on the Atlanta Hawks in the second and final regular season meeting between these teams.
The first game was an easy 128-103 Memphis win, but that doesn’t tell us much about what to expect Sunday as Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Trae Young and Dejounte Murray were all absent from that Dec. 12 meeting.
Morant has returned from suspension and came off the bench in his first two games back. It’s unclear if he’ll continue as Memphis’ sixth man against the Hawks, but head coach Taylor Jenkins told reporters Friday that the Grizzlies will manage Morant’s minutes based on recommendations from the medical staff.
Young was himself ejected Saturday after angrily throwing the ball at a ref. His absence didn’t matter as the Hawks went on to win 143-130 thanks to 20 points and 12 assists from Murray and solid contributions from role players.
Let’s see if Atlanta can keep it rolling, or if the Grizzlies can get an elusive road win. I’ll breakdown the odds and give out picks for Grizzlies vs. Hawks.
Memphis has established a clear identity this season. The Grizzlies are a tough, defensive team that likes to get out in transition, but struggles to score in the half court and is terrible on the road.
Their weaknesses are a big reason I’m low on the Grizzlies to make a splash in the playoffs.
What remains necessary to make a deep playoff push, is the ability to execute efficient offense in the half court — something the Grizzlies have failed to do, except recently.
In four straight games, Memphis has a half-court offensive rating of more than 100 points per 100 possessions — something it hadn’t done all season.
Part of that is the competition. Most recently, Memphis played the Rockets in consecutive home games. The Grizzlies also played the Mavericks, who rank 24th in half-court defense, per Cleaning the Glass, and the road Warriors, who rank eighth in half-court defense, but are a completely different team defensively away from Chase Center.
Still, it’s a positive sign that the Grizzlies have been able to score in games that aren’t just a track meet.
The Hawks are coming off a statement win against the Indiana Pacers on Saturday — a win Atlanta desperately needed if it has any desire of avoiding the play-in tournament.
Atlanta has the second-toughest remaining schedule, according to Tankathon, and a home win against Memphis could set it on the right path to the 6-seed. Beating the Grizzlies where they’re vulnerable — away from home — is a great opportunity for Atlanta to notch another win.
When the Hawks win, it’s with more offense than their opponent, not with defense. They’re 10th in Adjusted Offensive Rating (115.6) per Dunks and Threes, but they have a negative Net Rating (-.2). That’s how bad their defense has been.
To start games, it’s been even worse. Hawks first quarters have reached or exceeded 70 points in the past seven games. They’re 8-2 to the first quarter over in their past 10 games with the best Offensive Rating (134) and the third worst Defensive Rating (125.6). In the past five games, the over is 5-0.
I’m looking to play this game a few ways — with a few overs and a play on the Hawks. I normally don’t like having too many bets on the same game, but in this case, my model is completely different than the opening lines.
I’ll play the first quarter over in keeping with the trend that Hawks games have started as barn-burners for nearly two weeks. The Grizzlies are 4-1 to the first quarter over in their past five away games and 6-4 to the over in their past 10.
I’ll take an over to start at almost any number the books put out with the way the Hawks are playing defense.
After all the hate I just lobbed at their defense, I think the Hawks need this game. They’re on the second night of a back to back — never a spot you want as a bettor — but both games are in Atlanta.
With Young’s ejection, he only played 21 minutes Saturday, so he shouldn’t be experiencing much fatigue.
My model favors Atlanta in this game and I have this total significantly higher. Both those numbers fit the game script. If Memphis wins, it’ll do it with defense and pressure and Atlanta seeing some scoring regression.
I’m not one to fade the trends or my model, so I’ll confidently bet the over up to 227.5 and the Hawks at any dog price as I expect them to win outright. If you want to really get crazy and put a half unit on the moneyline, I wouldn’t blame you.
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