Grizzlies vs Knicks – NBA Pick for December 6th

by Kevin Roberts
on December 6, 2017

I kept my hot run going on Tuesday night, as the Suns and Raptors combined for well over their 225.5 Total. That handed me my fourth consecutive win, lifting my season NBA picks record to a blistering to 26-10-2.

Things have been going great this year (and recently) and tonight I’ll aim for win number five in a row. There are certainly a lot of options to help me get there, as Wednesday produces a nice 10-game NBA betting slate.

One of the best games to target figures to be a battle between the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden. Kristaps Porzingis is set to return after battling an ankle injury and an illness, and is currently listed as probable for this matchup:

That restores some optimism for bettors wanting to target the Knicks, while New York will try to improve upon an elite 10-5 record at MSG.

Memphis is still down star point guard Mike Conley and has a new coach running the show, but they are otherwise healthy and could be an interesting underdog. The Knicks won’t be at 100% either, as Tim Hardaway Jr. is still on the mend and could be out another 1-2 weeks.

Does that make the Grizz an upset pick worth targeting, or are the Knicks a safe play on their home floor? Let’s break this matchup down further to find out:

Memphis Grizzlies (+2)
New York Knicks (-2)
Total: 196.5

The return of Zinger boosts the Knicks a bit here, so I think bettors have to consider New York as a -2 spread favorite at Intertops or at -130 at 5Dimes. Of the two, the Money Line is the most attractive if you’re favoring New York.

Before latching on with the Knicks, though, it’s important to note that THJ’s absence is going to put a lot of scoring pressure on a likely less than 100% Porzingis. That may not be ideal as he prepares to face a Memphis team that still has Marc Gasol anchoring the league’s 12th best defense.

Memphis is still without their best player (arguably) and are reeling with 9 losses in their last 10 games. This has not been a great team against the spread (8-14-1) and their record away from home (3-7) leaves a lot to be desired.

That being said, the Grizzlies are the better defensive team and could have an edge if they can slow this game down. Tyreke Evans has also been a monster for Memphis lately, while JaMychal Green has even picked up his offensive contributions.

This is an interesting matchup down low. On paper, Porzingis could lure Gasol out of the paint, which would limit his rebounding and overall effectiveness on defense. There is also the possibility that an aggressive Porzingis could get Gasol in foul trouble and help eliminate the Grizzlies’ best option in this game.

On the flip-side, I’m not seeing a Knicks defender that will silence Gasol. Gasol is a man-eater down low and can also consistently knockdown mid-range shots. Enes Kanter is a defensive sieve and in the game where Zinger played in this matchup last year, Gasol still put up 20 points and got to the line at will.

At best, the interior matchup is a wash. With THJ down and Memphis keying in on Porzingis, it’s likely that Courtney Lee will be tasked with some heavy lifting on offense and he’s not a guy I’d put much faith in.

Ultimately, the Grizzlies hold the defensive edge, are getting healthy and could come in with a chip on their shoulder. They’ve been better than expected (4-4) as road underdogs this year, while this is a matchup they’ve grown accustomed to controlling.

This has been a series long dominated by a better Memphis team. These two sides split the season series last year (1-1), but the Grizz have otherwise owned the Knicks, winning 9 of the last 11 meetings.

New York might be trending in the better direction as a whole, but Memphis carries the value into this one. With the Knicks not quite 100% and bettors not knowing where Zinger is at from a health perspective, I see this as a great opportunity to go slightly against the grain and soak up some value.

This is a tight spread, so I’m not crazy about it, either way. I like Memphis as a straight up winner tonight and at +120 at 5Dimes you’re getting solid value.

Pick: Memphis Grizzlies (+120)
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