Friday NBA Odds, Picks, Prediction: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Denver Nuggets Betting Preview
C. Morgan Engel/Getty Images. Pictured: Nikola Jokic.
- The Memphis Grizzlies take on the Denver Nuggets in NBA action on Friday night.
- The Nuggets have not impressed against the spread this season, but they've been dominant ATS in the first half.
- Austin Wang shares his top betting angle for this matchup below.
Grizzlies vs. Nuggets Odds
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
|TV||NBA League Pass|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
What goes up must come down. After pulling off an impressive 11-game win streak, the Memphis Grizzlies have cooled off and lost two of their last three games. They’ve also been hit hard with health and safety protocols.
They’ll be visiting the high altitude of Denver to face the Nuggets in the second game of a four-game road trip.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets are playing their fifth game of a long six-game homestand. They should enjoy this because they are about to embark on a seven-game road trip. The Nuggets continue to persevere and battle even with all the injuries they’ve had to deal with.
Can the Nuggets take advantage of the Grizzlies’ battered roster at home? Let’s break down this matchup in the Mile High City.
The Grizzlies have five key rotation players out due to health and safety protocols, including Kyle Anderson, Desmond Bane, Dillon Brooks, Tyus Jones and Killian Tillie. They have a deep rotation, but this is getting out of hand.
Bane has had a breakout sophomore campaign, averaging 17.7 points per game on 47% shooting from the field and 42% from behind the arc. He has really stepped it up lately and was a key contributor behind that 11-game winning streak.
In fact, his Value Over Replacement Player is the second-highest on the roster behind Ja Morant, per Basketball-Reference. What an absolute steal.
Jones being out is also a huge loss. He’s Memphis’ backup point guard and really keeps his foot on the gas when Morant takes a breather. He even kept the Grizzlies afloat when Morant was out for 12 games with a knee injury. If you recall, they went 10-2 during that span.
Their backcourt is going to be really thin, and it will need De’Anthony Melton to really step up. Unfortunately, Melton has been in a huge shooting slump and has not had the breakout campaign many anticipated.
The Nuggets injury report looks rather clean, comparatively speaking. JaMychal Green remains out for tomorrow’s game as he is still in health and safety protocols.
The Nuggets have recently acquired Bryn Forbes to give them some depth in the backcourt. There has not been any indication that he will play just yet, but that adds some much-needed depth to backcourt.
Therefore, they don’t have to rely too much on players like Davon Reed, Austin Rivers, Bones Hyland and Facundo Campazzo.
In their last eight games, the Nuggets lead the league in Offensive Rating (117.2). Their offense, led by reigning MVP Nikola Jokic, is clicking on all cylinders.
Jokic never ceases to amaze me. He has been incredible lately. He put up a 49-point triple-double as he led the Nuggets to an overtime win over the Clippers on Wednesday night. That was the reigning MVP’s 10th triple-double of the season.
Aaron Gordon continues to progressively improve after a slow start as well.
The Nuggets have already played the Grizzlies twice this season. They lost both games in a two-game series in Memphis. Look for them to have some revenge on the mind as they return to the Pepsi Center. They’ve won six games in a row against the Grizzlies at home.
The Nuggets are 18-25 (41.9%) against the spread this season. However, they are 26-16-1 (61.9%) ATS in the first half. This is a huge disparity. They tend to start off fast and have the tendency to implode in the second half.
Denver also sits third in first-half net rating (8.0), whereas it falls to 29th in second-Half net rating (-6.8), per NBA Advanced Stats.
The Grizzlies are a great first-half team, too. However, with all of the injuries they are dealing with and the fatigue building up from a long road trip, I think the Nuggets’ second unit can take advantage of the Grizzlies’ bench and build up a nice lead for a first-half cover.
Pick: Nuggets 1H -2