Memphis Grizzlies (51-31) at Los Angeles Lakers (43-39)
Game Info: Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 10:00 p.m. EST (crypto.com Arena)
Betting Odds: Lakers (-4) / Over/Under (221.5)
Pick: Lakers (-4)
Saturday night brings us a decisive matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers, with both teams looking to secure a key 2-1 lead inside of the crypto.com Arena.
Memphis was able to revenge their game 1 loss to the Lakers by bouncing back in game 2 to tie the series up before heading to L.A. Even though Ja Morant was not able to go in their win, they were able to step their defensive game up and completely shut down the Lakers by only allowing them to score 93 points. On the offensive side of the ball, Xavier Tillman was able to have a career game by scoring 22 points and adding 13 boards to go with his impressive showing. If Morant (who is currently listed as questionable) is not able to go in this vital game 3, the Grizzlies will need another piece to step up big-time to battle against LeBron James and Anthony Davis. In saying that though, Memphis has played well in the past without Morant and will surely be comfortable if they have to play without their star man.
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Los Angeles will have gone into this series hoping that they could be heading into game 3 with at least 1 win on the road in Memphis. Thankfully for Lakers faithful, they were able to do so by demolishing the Grizzlies in game 1 by a score of 128-112. Now with a chance to take a commanding 2-1 series lead on their home floor, we shall see if LeBron and AD can dominate as they have been able to do in the past against Memphis. Although AD did struggle mightily in game 2 which came to many people's surprise, Rui Hachimura has been a force on the offensive end so far this series coming off the bench. In games 1-2 combined, he has scored 49 points on 18-26 shooting from the field, good for a stellar 69.2%. Although the Grizzlies brushed off his game 1 performance as a fluke, the fact that he was able to back it up the following game should give them something to worry about as the series progresses.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Memphis is 2-12 ATS when playing as the road underdog
- The Lakers are 10-5 ATS when getting 2-3 days of rest
- The Grizzlies are 14-26-1 ATS when playing away from home
The Grizzlies were able to bounce back in an immense way in game 2 to avoid a dreaded 0-2 hole before heading out on the road. Nevertheless, even if Morant is able to go in this one, I do not expect him to be at full health which will play right into the Lakers' hands in front of a loud L.A. crowd. Finally, after hearing what Dillon Brooks had to say about him in his postgame interview, I completely trust LeBron to dominate anyone that the Grizzlies throw at him tonight. Give me the Lakers to win by at least a few baskets!
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