Memphis Grizzlies vs Utah Jazz

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The Memphis Grizzlies have won three straight and improved to 21-20. The Grizzlies are third in the Southwest Division 1 ½ games behind first-place Dallas. The Grizzlies defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-107 on Wednesday in their most recent game played, with Dillon Brooks leading in scoring for Memphis with 25 points. Wednesday’s game against Oklahoma City was the first of four consecutive games for Memphis on the road. Memphis continues to play well defensively allowing an average of 110.9 points per game which is 10th in the NBA.

Utah has settled back into a winning groove as the Jazz have won three straight and four of the last five. Utah is first in the Northwest division at 32-11 and holds a game 6 ½-game lead over the second-place Denver Nuggets. Utah’s most recent outing resulted in a 118-88 lopsided victory over the short-handed Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday. Donovan Mitchell was the leading scorer for Utah with 27 points. Utah leads the Western Conference by three games over the Phoenix Suns and is four games ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Defense is Grizzlies Strength

Memphis is 10th in the NBA in points allowed at 110.9 points per game and a big part of that is the Grizzlies’ strength on the boards as Memphis averages 46.0 rebounds per game which is sixth in the NBA. The Grizzlies average 34.8 rebounds off the defensive boards and 11.2 rebounds off the offense of glass per game. Jonas Valanciunas is the leading rebounder for Memphis with an average of 12.4 per game. Memphis averages 9.8 steals and 4.5 block shots per game, with Dillon Brooks the leader in steals with an average of 1.3 per game and Brandon Clark the swat leader with an average of 0.9 blocked shots per game.

Memphis is 20th in the NBA in scoring with an average of 111.5 points per game. The leading scorer for Memphis Ja Morant with an average of 19.1 points per game and the point guard is shooting 43.7% overall but only 22.9% from 3-point territory. Besides Morant, four other players are averaging double-figures in scoring for Memphis. Morant is also the dish king for Memphis averaging a team-high 7.5 assists per game. Memphis as a team averages 26.6 assists and 13.0 turnovers per game for a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Injury Report: Jaren Jackson Jr is out indefinitely with a knee injury

Utah Balanced at Both Ends of the Court

Utah is 3rd in the NBA in scoring with an average of 116.8 points per game. The Jazz are shooting 46.7% overall and 39.7% from beyond the arc. The leading scorer is Donovan Mitchell with an average of 25.4 points per game followed by five other players for Utah averaging double-figures in scoring. Mitchell is also the dish leader with a team-high 5.5 assists per game. Utah is averaging 23.7 assists and 13.5 turnovers per game for a 1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Utah also is strong at the defensive end of the Court as the Jazz are allowing an average of 108.0 points per game which is fifth in the NBA. The Jazz are averaging 48.0 rebounds per game which is second in the league and receive several second look opportunities due to averaging 11.0 offensive rebounds per game. The leading rebounder for Utah is Rudy Gobert with an average of 13.4 boards per contest. The Jazz average 6.5 steals and 5.5 block shots per game with Mike Conley the steals leader with an average of 1.4 per game and Gobert the swat commander with an average of 3.0 per game which is second in the NBA.

Injury Report: Udoka Azubuike is out indefinitely with an ankle injury.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet

Utah will win this matchup on Friday at home over Memphis, but the Grizzlies will play well enough behind a strong defensive effort to cover the spread. Memphis has covered the spread in nine of the last 12 overall and in six of the last seven against a team from the Northwest division. Utah has struggled somewhat of late and the Jazz have failed to cover the spread in six of the last nine overall. Memphis is holding opponents to 111.0 points per game and 46.7% shooting. Utah will play well enough to win, behind its third-best scoring offense and sixth-best defense in points allowed, but Memphis behind Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks and Jonas Valancinus will cover the spread.

Memphis Grizzlies +10

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Full-Game Total Pick

Both the Memphis and Utah defense are in the top 10 in points allowed. The total has finished under in 11 of Memphis’ last 15 and in four of the last five that Memphis has played on the road. Utah has scored well all season, but of late, the total has finished under in four of Utah’s last five. Each of the two defenses will make their opponent work for good shots and the 24-second shot clock will be used up on each position creating fewer possessions during the course of the entire game.

UNDER 227.5