Blazers vs Grizzlies – NBA Pick for March 28th

by Kevin Roberts
on March 28, 2018
All odds that are referenced in this article were taken from BetOnline at 9:08 am CT on 3/28/2018. These odds may have changed since the time of this writing.

I felt like a 203.5 Total was too low for last night’s clash between the Indiana Pacers and Golden State Warriors. I probably should have put a little more stock in Indy’s defense, as well as the fact that the Dubs are completely battered on the injury front.

The loss dropped me to 62-51-2 on the year when it comes to my NBA picks, but things have been going well lately with a 10-6 mark over my last 16 picks.

Wednesday offers up an interesting eight-game NBA betting slate, as five of the games opened with -6.5 point spreads or lower. That could make for some competitive basketball, while it’s possible some gaudy spreads elsewhere will be tough for the favorites to cover.

One spot is in Philadelphia, where the 76ers are at home as huge -12.5 favorites against the visiting New York Knicks. Considering the spark Trey Burke has been providing recently, I’m not so sure that spread is safe for Philly.

As enticing as that game is, I like the showdown in Memphis a bit more.

The Grizzlies are not really going out of their way to rack up wins these days, but they do play their best ball at home and are coming off of a nice win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Memphis still has locked down 14 of their 20 wins on their home floor and will get an edge with Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard out on paternity leave:

The man known as Thrillard flew home last night to witness the birth of his first child, shortly after dropping 41 points on the New Orleans Pelicans.

It’s not the best timing, as the Blazers continue to work toward securing the Northwest Division crown. Every win matters at this stage of the season, even a would-be gimme game in Memphis against the awful Grizzlies.

I’m sure the Blazers still get the win here sans Lillard, but there could be a fantastic opportunity for bettors to snag some value if Memphis can beat a +5.5 point spread at BetOnline.

Let’s take a closer look at this matchup and gauge what the best bet here might be:

Portland Trail Blazers (-5.5)
Memphis Grizzlies (+5.5)
Total: 202

If you were all over this game early when it opened at +8.5, more power to you. That would have been a far more attractive wager, as the Grizz obviously can be tough to trust these days.

There is still a lot working in the Grizzlies’ favor. Portland being without their top guy is pretty big. The Blazers aren’t a bad road team (21-15, 10-5 ATS when favored), but playing away from home is never exactly easy.

Memphis has fought the Blazers hard this year, too. The Grizzlies actually won a close game earlier in the year and lost a second game by eight points.

That’s all worth noting, but the biggest concern if you’re thinking of betting on Portland in this spot is fatigue.

Not only did the Blazers play last night, but tonight will be their third contest in the last four days. The Blazers are on fire (8-2 over their last 10 games), but if there is a trap game to fear, this is it.

Bettors are going to give this game a knee-jerk reaction and see it as an easy win and cover, but I’m not feeling it. Memphis honestly doesn’t match up poorly with the Blazers, either.

The Grizz can be competitive when they try to be. Tyreke Evans gives the Grizz a dynamic lead guard that can score and create, while Marc Gasol remains one of the better two-way centers in the NBA, despite some mild regression.

I’m not at all calling for a Memphis win here. The Grizzlies are an interesting home underdog (+186 at GTbets), but if I’m laying cash down I probably prefer a little more upside.

Fortunately this spread is still alluring enough to take Memphis. I think their style of play could grind Portland down in this one and being tired without Damian Lillard could be enough to keep this one close.

Pick: Grizzlies (+5.5)

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