The Toronto Raptors visit the Memphis Grizzlies looking to continue their trend of dominating the series: six of their last seven games have gone to Canada’s team. Still, the Raptors (8-10) are in the midst of a six-game road trip and may be weary and exploitable. Memphis (9-8) can defend homecourt and Vegas’ NBA odds expect them to do so as chalk.
Memphis is 6-3 at home on both the spread and moneyline. This young and high-flying team is fun to watch and tough to handle on its own court. Only Miami, Charlotte and Phoenix have escaped the FedEx Forum with wins and they are a combined 36-17. But Toronto can buck this trend.
Toronto Raptors at Memphis Grizzlies
- Point Spread: Toronto +3
- Moneyline: Toronto +133, Memphis -155
- Total: Over/Under 217½
OG, Toronto Bad Like They Thought
If Raptors fans were any more sensitive, they would be on the cover of Drake’s new album. This is a bad joke but not much worse than Toronto has been. The Raptors have lost seven of their last nine games and are 3-5 in games decided by double-digits.
What makes Toronto quite terrible is their sloppiness. This is understandable given the injuries and that half the rotation is made up of new faces. But the Raptors, despite having the eighth-best offensive rating, have a 49.8 percent effective field goal rate (EFG%) and are 28th in the league in assists.
On defense, Toronto is getting lit up. The team is allowing opponents to shoot at 54.5 EFG% while getting to the line too frequently. Raptors games are ugly and it may be awhile before it gets good. But bet online against them at your own risk as Toronto has won six of its 13 games as an underdog.
Grizzlies: Take That for Data
As far as fun NBA teams are concerned, look no further than the Memphis Grizzlies. We talked about this team is hard to beat at home, but upon closer inspection, the Grizzlies’ success has come by the skin of their teeth.
Advanced metrics put the Grizzlies record at 6-11 and Memphis’s 3-1 record in single-possession wins prove how “lucky” the team has gotten. Memphis has essentially abandoned defense, ranking last in the NBA in rating.
Memphis has lost five of its eight games by 20 points or more. And yet here is Memphis with a 10-7 spread record. At some point, this team’s defensive flaws will overcome it. But right now, buckle up and enjoy this ride.
Given how bad the defense is, it’s tough to trust the Grizzlies even if they are 4-2 against the spread as a home favorite. Toronto is also just 4-9 against teams with a .500 record or better. But this is one of those games where the stylistic matchup overrules all these “data.”
Toronto is also an offensive team and its weakness, poor shooting, will be alleviated by Memphis’ generous three-point defense: the Grizzlies allow the highest EFG% in the league. Heck, wait and see if you can get the Raptors at longer odds on the online gambling lines this Wednesday.
Pick: Toronto Raptors +135
Our extra NBA free pick is us doubling down on our early report that the Grizzlies are neck-and-neck with Dallas to win the division. And yet Dallas at -350 and Memphis at +225 say anything but that. Dallas is just one game ahead of Memphis. The Grizzlies still have value here.