The Memphis Grizzlies are one of the 22 teams that were invited to Disney World for the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season. At 32-33, Memphis had the 8th best record in the Western Conference when play was suspended last March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Grizzlies were supposed to be a team on the rebuild but they have been one of the biggest surprises of the season mainly because of the stellar play of 2019 #2 overall Pick Ja Morant who has played like he has earned the 2020 Rookie of the Year award.

Best Basketball Gambling Sites

Basketball Season Summary

The young Memphis Grizzlies team was supposed to be on a rebuild this season and many experts predicted them to finish somewhere in the bottom of the Western Conference team standings after they traded franchise point guard Mike Conley to the Utah Jazz for Kyle Korver, Jae Crowder, Grayson Allen, the 23rd pick of the NBA Draft and a protected 2020 first-round pick. However, 2019 2nd overall Pick Ja Morant turned out to be a gem for them.

Morant won Rookie of the Month honors from November to January and despite Zion Williamson proving his worth since his return, betting odds have Morant as the runaway choice to win the 2020 NBA Rookie of the Year award. The 6-3 point guard from Murray State ranked in the top 2 in rookie scoring and passing at 17.6 points and 6.9 assists per game. Morant also ranked 9th overall in the league when it comes to clutch shooting and he sparked the Grizzlies this year.

Morant is the first NBA freshman in Memphis Grizzlies history to score 1,000 points and issue 400 assists in a season and his rookie year even got cut short. He has broken Antonio Daniels’ rookie record of 339 assists with already 409 and is the main reason why Memphis ranked 2nd in the league in assists this year after being just 19th in that department during the 2018-19 season. The Grizzlies also have a record of over .500 in close games with Morant’s clutch shooting being the main catalyst.

Basketball Odds and Outlook

The Grizzlies were a -1250 to miss the playoffs at the start of the season but right now, Memphis is a -155 to head to the postseason and a +115 to lose the 8th seed. Memphis is currently 3.5 games up on the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, and the Sacramento Kings for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Memphis trails 7th placer Dallas by seven-game and with just eight games booked for each team in the restart, Memphis will have to settle for the 8th seed in the West. However, there is still plenty of work to be done.

If the NBA sticks to its announcement that the schedule won’t deviate too much from the team’s remaining schedule, then the Grizzlies will likely play.

  • Portland Trail Blazers
  • Utah Jazz
  • San Antonio Spurs
  • Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Milwaukee Bucks
  • New Orleans Pelicans (2 times)
  • Boston Celtics

That means that they have to face three of the four teams that are chasing them in the team standings. When you look at the playoff picture, the Grizzlies have control over their destiny.

The restart only has 8 regular-season games for each team and the teams behind them need to outperform them by at least four games to overtake the Grizzlies. If Morant and company will continue to play the kind of basketball that got them to this point, there is no doubt that Memphis will have a good chance of making the postseason for the first time in three seasons. If Memphis makes the 8th spot their likely opponent will be the Los Angeles Lakers, a team that they defeated 105-88 last February 29, 2020. Morant scored 27 points and issued 14 assists in that victory.

Basketball Player Injuries

The season pause should have provided the Grizzlies the opportunity to get back to full strength Before the suspension of the season, Brandon Clarke was out of action due to a quadriceps injury and was targeting a late March return. The 21st pick of the 2019 NBA draft was a solid contributor for Memphis with averages of 12.0 points and 5.8 rebounds per game. Clarke was shooting 62.3% from the floor, 40.4% from the foul line, and 78.5% from the free-throw line before he git hurt. With the long break, Clarke should be ready to go for Memphis.

Big man Jaren Jackson was also listed as day to day with a knee injury and he too should be 100% ready for Memphis. The second-year man from Michigan State was having a breakout season in 2019-20, averaging 16.9 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Jackson was one of the team’s top-scoring options and he should provide Morant with plenty of support.

Likewise, veteran Justise Winslow has said that he is pain-free after dealing with back issues all season long. The former Miami Heat forward was averaging 11.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 4.0 assists per game. His all-around presence should be a big help for Memphis, especially if the team makes the playoffs. Then there is Grayson Allen who was supposed to miss the entire season with hip soreness. There is still no official word if Allen will be available or not but if he is, he should give the Grizzlies more offense and toughness of defense.

Basketball Betting Predictions

As of 6/22/20 at BetOnline, the Grizzlies are a +10000 to win the Western Conference and a +20000 to win the 2020 NBA title. Those are longshot odds and despite Memphis having a great outlook, I won’t advise making any futures bet on this team because while they have been overachieving, I don’t think this team is going deep in the 2020 postseason.

But when it comes to making the playoffs, I think Memphis has one foot inside the postseason already. At -155 to make the playoffs, I think that is a good price already given that Memphis is 3.5 games up on their competition. Whether they make it outright or get involved in a play-in tournament, I think the Grizzlies will be the 8th seed in the Western Conference when the 2020 NBA Playoffs start. I would recommend betting on them to make the postseason.

Similarly, the Grizzlies should be great picks during the 8-game regular season. The regular season won’t be a breeze for any team because the bubble has only selected the 22 best teams in 2020. But given Morant’s ability to play in the clutch and the team’s hunger in succeeding this season, I think Memphis would be terrific underdog picks during the 8-game regular season.

There isn’t an official schedule out yet but once it’s released and you find them as underdogs in any of their games, they are worth taking a chance on.

This is a young team with nothing to lose and unlike the other prominent teams included in the restart, they have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Because they are playing without any pressure, and they are led by a rookie who wants to win Rookie of the Year, I think the Grizzlies are a dangerous team in a regular-season format. However, as I said earlier, I won’t gamble on them in a seven-game series where the opponent can make adjustments from game to game.

Related Articles
Leave Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *