The Miami Heat fell to the Memphis Grizzlies 89-85 in their first meeting of the season but are a different basketball team now. With the acquisitions of Trevor Ariza, Victor Oladipo and Nemanja Bjelica, Miami now has more firepower for another deep playoff run. The Heat will be confident of avenging their loss to Memphis at home but it won’t be easy.
Memphis has quietly gone above .500 and is 7-1 in its last eight games against non-Utah opponents. The Grizzlies 8-2 are ATS in their last ten games and have the third best record in NBA Betting ATS this season. That said, this should be an excellent matchup featuring two elite competitors in Ja Morant and Jimmy Butler.
Memphis Wants to Make it a Track Meet
The Grizzlies are one of the NBA’s youngest teams and play with a fast pace to match it. Memphis ranks sixth in the league with 102.9 possessions per game and first in fastbreak points, with 16 per game. Seven Grizzlies players average double figures and Memphis ranks sixth in assists per game.
Memphis has won its last two games by a combined 28 points with Ja Morant taking just 15 shots. Expect him to take on more of the offensive load against a Miami defense that doesn’t give up easy buckets. Morant shot just 5-15 in the Grizzlies first game against Miami but did score a game-winning layup even as Jimmy Butler picked him up full court.
The matchup between these two teams centers should be interesting to watch. Jonas Valanciunas has been on a tear for the Grizzlies, putting up nine straight double doubles. But, he’ll have his work cut out for him against Miami’s Bam Adebayo.
Streaky Heat back to Winning Ways
Miami has won four straight games and covered the spread in all of them. Prior to these four games, the Heat dropped six straight SU and ATS. The Heat’s recent form is more indicative of their abilities but they do have a difficult stretch of schedule ahead of them.
Memphis is no slouch and the Heat have multiple rotation guys still adjusting to their new team. Victor Oladipo has struggled to score in his first two games after being traded to Miami from Houston for Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk on deadline day. He’s replaced Kendrick Nunn in the rotation, who has been Miami’s second best three point shooter this season.
Miami’s shooting as a whole has been concerning lately. The Heat have shot above 35% from three in just four of their last 17 games. Oladipo might continue to struggle as he adjusts to playing under Erik Spoelstra but Spoelstra’s hope is that his first practice gets him going. As good as Miami can be defensively it’ll definitely take time for things to gel offensively, which is good news for the Grizzlies.
- Miami is 4-1 ATS in its last five games
- The total has gone over in six of Miami’s last eight games at home
- Miami is just 10-15-1 ATS at home this season
- Memphis is 13-8 ATS away this season
- Memphis is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games
- Memphis is 8-0 ATS in its last eight games against Eastern Conference opponents
- The total has gone over the last six times Miami has hosted Memphis
Grizzlies at Heat Pick
I’m going to go against the conventional wisdom here and bet against the Heat. Miami is still toying with its rotations and adjusting to its new additions. Plus, the Heat are one of the league’s worst three point shooting teams and even more so without Nunn in the rotation.
Memphis has exceeded expectations all season and they’re simply a difficult team to beat. Neither team shot well in their first meeting but if Memphis can get out in transition and hit their threes, it’s easy to see them having a path to winning this game, let alone covering. At just a half game above the Spurs in the Western Conference’s eighth slot, the Grizzlies need all of the wins they can get.