Emotions should be running high when the Memphis Grizzlies play host to the Chicago Bulls for a Martin Luther Day matinee. The Grizzlies are favored in the NBA betting lines to return to the winner’s circle after their 11-game win streak was snapped. The Bulls have lost a season-high three straight.
Game: Chicago Bulls (27-14) at Memphis Grizzlies (30-15)
Day/Time: Monday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Chicago Bulls at Memphis Grizzlies
Bulls Dealing with Tough Opponents, Injuries During Slide
The undermanned Chicago Bulls nearly pulled off an upset Saturday in Beantown, but blew a six-point lead in the final 1:57. The Boston Celtics scored the last eight points in a 114-112 victory. The Bulls were a 5½-point road underdog while the game sailed over the 214½ total when betting online. Chicago was not at full strength as star guards Zach LaVine and LaMelo Ball did not play. LaVine sustained a knee injury in the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors on Friday. An MRI on Saturday revealed no structural damage. Ball was experiencing knee soreness. The Bulls’ previous losses – both at home – were by a combined 68 points to NBA Finals favorites in the Brooklyn Nets and Warriors. Chicago’s DeMar DeRozan has been held below his scoring average of 25.7 points in each of his last six contests.
Grizzlies To Return To Winning Ways
The Memphis Grizzlies should be a bit hungrier after losing to the Dallas Mavericks 112-85 on Friday. The Grizzlies were a 2½-point road favorite while the game stayed well under the 218½ total in the Las Vegas odds. It appears the schedule caught up with Memphis, which was playing for the fifth time in seven days. The Grizzlies enjoyed a five-point halftime lead before running out of gas and getting outscored 62-30 in the second half. Memphis superstar Ja Morant scores 24.4 points per game but hasn’t hit that number in four of his last five contests. The Grizzlies’ Jaren Jackson Jr. is averaging 16.2 points after recording eight against the Mavericks. He had scored 20 or more in four of his previous six games. Memphis has enjoyed consecutive days off for the first time since Jan. 1 and 2.
Grizzlies Appear To Be in Better Shape Than the Bulls
The Memphis Grizzlies have hosted a game on Martin Luther King Day since 2003. King was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968. The city celebrates the life and times of the civil rights leader with activities leading up to and including the game. The Grizzlies have split their last four on the holiday. Memphis has won two in a row against the Chicago Bulls – straight-up and against the spread – with a pair of 11-point victories last season. The last meeting went over after the previous three stayed under. The last three Bulls’ games have gone over. The Grizzlies saw their eight-game ATS win streak halted against the Dallas Mavericks while their last two contests have stayed under. Memphis remains a big price to win its first NBA title, but its play of late could be a good reason to take a plunge. The line for Monday’s game is 8½. Memphis is -230 and Chicago +190 on the money line, while the total is 225. None of those numbers seem appealing unless the Grizzlies are considered a sure thing. This NBA betting preview recommends siding with Memphis, regardless of what the line winds up being because of the Bulls’ injuries.