NBA preview and tips: Orlando Magic at Memphis Grizzlies
The Memphis Grizzlies (47-27) have clinched their division and locked in a playoff spot already, but they'll continue to chase down the best in the west, the Denver Nuggets. They'll welcome Orlando Magic (32-43) to FedExForum on Tuesday evening in a game they'll be expected to win handily, but it remains to be seen if they'll be at full strength. Ja Morant has just finished serving a suspension for some well-documented disciplinary issues, and his return is timely as the Grizzlies make their final push. Unfortunately, Ja has been suffering with a thigh issue that will likely see him sit out in the first of a back-to-back.
That will mean Tyus Jones should start with Desmond Bane and Dillon Brooks seeing more minutes, too. The Grizzlies have been absolutely rolling with this line-up, winning their last six games and nine of 10 overall.
They've produced a differential of +10.2 points over those ten games despite losing in blowout fashion to Miami, and they'll be eyeing another high-scoring performance against an Orlando team that is used to being comfortably outscored on their travels.
Suggested bet: Memphis Grizzlies -8.5
The Magic are averaging 108.9 points per game on offence and 113.4ppg against when they're on the road. Memphis have one of the better home differentials in the league, often putting up big numbers while simultaneously shutting their opponents down. The Grizzlies average close to 120 points per game at home, and also manage to hold their visitors to just 108ppg. Memphis have done enough to cover a -7 spread in eight of their last 11 home games. Orlando are fully healthy right now and it shows in their performances. They've gone 6-0 ATS in their last six games, beating Washington, New York, and Brooklyn in a pretty impressive three-game homestand. They've put together an impressive 21-14 ATS record on their travels, which does show they're a little bit undervalued on the road, but we have to note the average spread has been around +10. Memphis are a solid 43-19 ATS on home court, and although we must again acknowledge Orlando are 20-7 ATS against a team with a winning home record, and 11-2 ATS against teams winning 60 per cent or better of their home games, the average spread in the latter scenario has been +10.5. There seems to be some adjustment for Memphis missing Morant and Adams, but also the fact they face a tougher test tomorrow night when the Clippers visit FedExForum. But this is a pretty deep squad, and Ja Morant will almost certainly suit up for that one. When you're winning as often as the Grizzlies are, tired legs do not seem to be a factor. Finishing the regular season with the best possible play-off seeding is important and I don't see Memphis overlooking Orlando in this one.
George Dempsey provides basketball tips as The NBA Tipster on Tipstrr
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