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The 2nd-half of the NBA season will get underway Wednesday night as the Washington Wizards travel to FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee, for a battle with the Memphis Grizzlies beginning at 8 pm EST. The Grizzlies are currently favored by 3-points, up from 2-points at the opening, while the total stands at 237, down from 238-points.
The Wizards were able to halt a 2-game losing streak just before the All-Star Break as they took out the Los Angeles Clippers at home by 2-points with Bradley Beal once again leading the way with 33 points while Russell Westbrook came a rebound shy of a triple-double. With the win, Washington picked up its 4th home victory in 5 outings while increasing their record to 14-20 on the year, only 2 games behind the Atlanta Hawks for 3rd in the Southeast division. The Wizards have also been red-hot against the number as of late going 8-2 in their last 10, including covering as 6.5-point dogs versus the Clippers.
The Grizzlies ended a 2-game win streak in their 1-point home loss on March 4th to the Milwaukee Bucks as they could not fend off a late rally by the Bucks to drop their 16th of the season to go to 16-16. Ja Morant, however, despite missing 10 of 13 from long-range while committing 4 turnovers, shot 11-25 FG to lead the team with 35 points, his 2nd-straight 35 point performance while Dillon Brooks recorded a huge night on both ends with 23 points and 7 assists while finishing with 3 steals and 3 blocks. Despite the loss, the Grizzlies were able to cover as 6-point home dogs and are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 outings.
The Grizzlies will take the floor seeking their 4th-straight victory over the Wizards, including their 3rd-straight at home. Memphis has also dominated against the number in recent meetings going 7-3, overall, while covering in 4-straight at FedEx Forum.
Beal seeks to resume stellar play
Beal started for Team Durant in his All-Star appearance last weekend and posted 26 points while going 6-12 from long-range while adding to his stellar season to where he is averaging over 30 points per. The Wizards have been able to pick up wins in 7 of the team’s last 10 outings, in addition to picking up victories in 3 of their last 5 roadies. And while the guard is shooting a dismal 33% from 3-point range in 2020-21, Beal has some of the best field goal numbers of his career making over 48% of his shots.
🎬 FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS 🎬
Looking back at some of the best plays from the first half of the season! pic.twitter.com/SZYQxrcHIB
— Washington Wizards (@WashWizards) March 9, 2021
“I think people think I go out and just shoot a lot of shots, and granted, yes, I do have probably more opportunities than a lot of other guys around the league, possibly,” Beal said to the Washington Post. “But when you know that each and every night [opponents] have to game-plan for me and then I still am able, with my teammates, to go out and do the same thing I’m doing? Like, that’s not easy to do. Beal has posted 30+points in 7 of his last 10 starts; However, he ended with 23 points on 8-18 FG (1-4 3FG) at home versus the Grizzlies only a week ago.
And while Westbrook also posted 23 points while dishing out 15 assists, the duo also accounted for 14 of the team’s 22 turnovers as the Wizards shot 51% for the contest. However, Washington was decidedly outrebounded for the contest while also giving up 49% shooting in addition to 13 treys in the 14-point home loss. In fact, the Wizards allowed double-doubles from Morant along with Jonas Valenciunas as the Grizzlies went up by 18 at the half and never looked back.
Grizzlies seek to make a run at 1st-place
At .500 on the year, Memphis has its sights on taking over the top spot within the Southwest Division as they are only 2 games behind the 2nd-place Dallas Mavericks along with 4 games behind the top-dogs in the San Antonio Spurs. They ended the 1st half of the season picking up wins in 3 of their last 5 with Morant (20 ppg, 8 ass) leading the way averaging 29 points per during this time. Important to add that Brooks (16 ppg), despite shooting under 40% from the floor on the year, has really elevated his offensive production scoring 19 points per game in his last 6 starts (including 2-consecutive 20+ point performances).
#𝐁𝐞𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐝𝐆𝐫𝐢𝐭 𝐒𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐨𝐧 𝟑: 𝐄𝐩𝐢𝐬𝐨𝐝𝐞 𝟑
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) March 9, 2021
Finally, Valanciunas (16 ppg, 11 rebs) has continued to be a force in the paint for the Grizzlies posting a double-double in 8 of 10 starts. The center went 5-11 FG for 11 points along with 16 rebounds in their double-digit win over the Wizards March 2nd while Morant recorded 10 assists while scoring 35 points on 11-18 shooting (11-14 FT). Brooks also chipped in 20 points, albeit on 8-19 FG (2-8 3FG) while De’Anthony Melton (10 ppg) came off the bench to post 20 as well while accounting for 6 of the team’s 13 treys as the Grizzlies boasted a total of 7 double-digit scorers.
Memphis has posted 120 or more points in 3 of 4 meetings versus the Wizards with the team shooting 49% or better from the floor in 3 of those matchups.
- Grizzlies are 4-0 ATS in last 4 home meetings.
- Wizards are 1-6 ATS in the last 7 meetings.
- Wizards are 5-15-1 ATS in the last 21 meetings in Memphis.
The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Wizards continue to be hot against the number in recent outings. However, the Grizzlies have not been slouches either going 6-3 ATS in their last 9, overall, including covering in their last 4 meetings versus Washington at home. Again, the season really begins tonight for the Grizzlies as they possess a huge opportunity to stalk the Spurs for 1st in the division. In all, look for the home team to grind out a victory over the high-scoring Wizards in this contest.
Memphis Grizzlies -3
Want another opinion on this pick?
Full-Game Total Pick
With Beal at the top of his game along with Westbrook also posting huge numbers, the road team possesses the ability to put up some huge numbers on a nightly basis. However, versus the Grizzlies, the team has had a tendency to struggle on this end of the floor averaging just 108 points in their last 5 meetings. In fact, the Wizards have only posted 103 on the road versus Memphis in their last 4 matchups. Take the under for this contest.