NBA Betting Preview Lakers vs. Grizzlies – December 29th, 2021

The Los Angeles Lakers visit the Memphis Grizzlies in an attempt to rectify the crushing defeat they suffered last time they were there. They had Davis back then, and he won’t play in this one, so can they, do it? Find out below. 

Los Angeles Lakers Betting Preview:

The Los Angeles Lakers have not been playing very good basketball in the past several weeks. Their record has been slowly eroding to a below .500 record which they will carry over to this matchup. They lost 5 games in a row against some solid teams, but still, this team’s problems are evident. Injuries, old age, the inability to keep up with opposing teams. All of that combined is a huge issue, and they simply don’t have enough to overcome it. LeBron James is playing very well, but it’s simply not enough again. It’s not good either, because LeBron really should not be carrying as much as he is forced to at this point in his career. Davis got injured, once again, and it seems like their season is very quickly falling apart. 

Obviously, it’s not as grim as that, because the Lakers simply need to get into the playoffs and see what they can do, and that’s still on the table. When they had a fully healthy team, they looked pretty good. The only problem is that they haven’t had their full lineup available for most of the season. Offensively it’s been okay with the team slightly better than average, but defensively it’s been atrocious. They rank 26th on defense in the league, and that’s a huge problem. They are giving up tons of points, and younger teams just fly past them. That’s the problem, if they commit to playing lockdown defense, their stamina will suffer, and with major young pieces out, that won’t work out in the long run. 


Memphis Grizzlies Betting Preview:

Whatever the Laker’s problems are, the Grizzlies don’t have them. The team has a nice mix of young pieces and veterans that have gelled quite well this year. The coaching staff is doing great work, and that was clearly visible when Ja Morant was out. The Grizzlies kept a positive record during his absence, which nobody predicted. When Morant returned, they dropped three games in a row but got back on track with some solid wins over Sacramento and Phoenix. The team just plays fairly well; they do nothing extremely well, and there is nothing they are completely bad at. The defense was an issue early on in the season, but they’ve also tightened that up. They tend to play high-scoring games, so they take advantage of a weaker defensive team whenever they are presented with a weaker defensive team.

They took down the Lakers not long ago without Morant, and it’s hard to argue against them doing that once more. They are the better defensive team, they are a similar offensive team, and they are much younger. A couple of guys will be out like Melton and Brooks, so their defense might take a hit with that.

Key matchups

Westbrook – Morant

One has to start with this one because Ja Morant is catching fire slowly after returning. The youngster possesses the tremendous athletic ability and is well versed in going to the paint. Westbrook can defend but opts out of it on most nights. He will need to step up his game against Ja because the Lakers are in trouble if Morant outplays him. 

James – Jaren Jackson Jr. 

James is playing heavy minutes lately, and most of those minutes have come at the 4. Technically, Jaren Jackson Jr. will guard him most of the time, but it depends on whether he has the quickness to do it. Whether it’s him or anybody else, they will need to limit him and force the rest of the Lakers to beat you. If they do, they should be in a good position.


Lakers vs. Grizzlies betting lines  

As predicted, the Memphis Grizzlies are favored in this one, and it’s 4,5. It’s a pretty solid line overall, considering the Lakers are playing on the 2nd night of a back-to-back. They got to beat the last time they played in the Forum, so keep that in mind.

The line is set at 225, which can be explained, but it’s a bit too high for me. I would stay away from it.

Free Betting Pick

I’m taking the Grizzlies here. When I put everything into perspective, I think they are the way to go. They are better; they are younger, have better chemistry, and can exploit the Lakers’ defensive woes. I don’t see anybody stopping Morant, and if he goes for 30, it’s game over.

The line gives me pause a little bit at 4,5, but I think they can cover it. I’m certainly more comfortable playing that than either the over or under on the 225. I can see it go both ways, especially how the first one went under easily. Take Memphis. 

BetUSASports Free Pick: Grizzlies

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