The NBA season rolls on and we go straight in early on this time with a pick in order to try and take advantage of some poor lines early on.
MEM Grizzlies -1.5 to beat SAC Kings @ 1.78 (Pinnacle) – 3 points
The Memphis Grizzlies head into the game against the Sacremento Kings after a string of good defensive performances that has seen them jump out in front as the leaders in the NBA with a 14-2 record. The Grizzlies have kept opponents to under 93 points per game; the second best defense in the NBA. They are now on a 4 game winning streak beating some good teams like Lakers, Clippers, Boston and Portland. Grizzlies have relied a lot of their performances on from a talented group of individuals led by Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph, Courtney Lee, Tony Allen and Mike Conley. Gasol in particular has been in ripe form leading from the front averaging 25 points per game in his last 3 outings, and looking to repeat similar performances tonight.
The Sacramento Kings started out the season well, but have been found out because their bench has been really bad. They are scoring an average 29 points per game, which is in the bottom 7 worst teams in the NBA. The Kings have Rudy Gay slowly getting back from an ijury, Cousins is doubtful and they are now on a 2 game losing streak after getting beaten by good teams such as Spurs and Houston Rockets.
The Grizzlies will want to continue their good run to end of this month, and I expect them to take it, especially with Cousins looking doubtful to start tonight.
TOR Raptors -5 to beat LA Lakers @ 1.67 (MarathonBet) – 2.5 points
The Toronto Raptors have lost one of their backcourt players in DeRozan indefinitely with ruptured tendons, and will count on their top bench scorer Lou Williams to step in for him to make amends in the scoring department. After going on a winning streak, the Raptors lost last time around to the Mavericks and will be eager to change their fortune against the Lakers who have been struggling for most of this season. They still have a pretty deep bench including the likes of Landry Fields, Vasquez, Hansbrough, Patterson, Johnson and Hayes to help out them to share the work load.
The Lakers have been struggling no doubt about it and are on a 4 game losing streak dropping games to Minnesota, Memphis, Denver and Dallas. The Lakers are the worst defensive team in the league conceding over 111 points per game and have only looked at Kobe Bryant’s play as their decent contribution to their team. Xavier Henry who only recently made a comeback looked like a player that was helping Kobe and Lin in the back court to create an impact, is now out for the remainder of the season with an achilles injury. The confidence in this team is not at an all time low, and even tanking the season will not help as their draft pick is going to Phoenix unless top 5 protected.
The Raptors look like they will take their confidence from their recent run of games, and have found the perfect opponent to resume that to build confidence in the player who will replace DeRozan as well as some bench players who will now see more minutes.