Memphis Enters L.A. as a Moderate Underdog
Both the Grizzlies and Lakers are having rough seasons this 2023-24. The Grizzlies are 12 games below .500 and are riddled by injuries, including one to returning star Ja Morant. The Lakers are at .500 with reports indicating a growing rift between the coach and players. So even if Memphis has been burned by Los Angeles lately, the best Grizzlies vs Lakers bet might be on the underdog.
Records:(11-23) vs (18-18)
Location: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, CA
Streaming: Live Sports Stream
Morant Can Carry Memphis Amidst Adversity
Things look bleak for Memphis. But there is still plenty of basketball left to play and this team can make moves up the NBA standings for the 2023-24 regular season. Morant is banged up and the frontcourt is aching for Steven Adams and Brandon Clarke. Still, this team has its four best players available.
Morant left the game against Toronto with an ankle injury. However, he’s not listed on the injury report and is “probable” to play against the Lakers. Since returning, Morant has not skipped a beat with averages of 25.6 points, 8.3 assists, and 5.4 rebounds. Memphis is 5-3 when he plays.
“You know everything don’t go your way. In life I’m pretty sure you all had days where you had bad days too. But that don’t mean quit,” Morant said when asked about his journey back to the NBA following his suspension. “That’s just the mindset you gotta keep pushing. Stay consistent, stay confident in yourself.”
Morant will need to instill this same belief in the rest if his teammates as they face an uphill climb to even figure into the NBA playoffs bracket for 2024. It’s not impossible though the odds are against Memphis.
The team can get plenty of its mojo back by finally beating the Lakers, a team that has outscored them by 67 points in their last two meetings. Memphis is just 3-7 on both the NBA moneyline and against the spread (ATS) in its last 10 games against L.A.
And while Memphis is just 5-16 this season as an underdog, the turmoil within the Lakers could be the opening this team needs.
But the Lakers are Feeling the Midseason Pinch
The Lakers are once again facing a mid-season crisis. The team has lost eight of its last 10 games and there is plenty of blame being passed around. Reports indicate that Darvin Ham, the team’s coach, is “losing the locker room” due to his drastic tinkering of the rotation.
We can’t blame him entirely. The team is 26th in offensive rating (111.3) during this span and the team is getting consistently outclassed by any decent team outside of Oklahoma City. So it’s hard to back this team as far as Grizzlies vs Lakers bets.
Maybe a home game against Memphis is just what this team needs. The Lakers are just 1-3 ATS in their last four games in the Crypto.com Arena but they are 6-0 ATS in their last six versus Memphis.
The Grizzlies’ struggling offense could also help reinspire the team’s defense, which could lead to the total going under 228.5 points. Twelve of the Lakers’ 17 home games have gone under. This is a sharp contrast to the team’s road games where 13 of the 19 have gone over.
If the Lakers’ offense continues to sputter, the team better neutralize its opponent. They have held Memphis to no more than 116 points in their last eight meetings. And the Lakers are 13-5 when they give up these few points.
Still, the best Grizzlies vs Lakers bet might just be to abstain from the Lakers. Since LeBron James joined in 2018, the Lakers have the third-worst cover rate in the NBA (46.7%). Either bet against the Lakers or just pass.