NBA Monday Picks ATS: Memphis Grizzlies at Denver Nuggets

Zach-Randolph-grizzlies-51Memphis at Denver
Time: 9 PM ET, Mar 31, 2014
Spread: MEM -4.5
Total: 201

Betting odds courtesy of Bovada

Things are pretty critical for the Memphis Grizzlies. The team has lost two straight games and still sits one-half game out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

The Grizzlies had won six of eight before the two-game skid, and it will travel to Denver to face the Nuggets in a game NBA oddsmakers are setting the line 4.5 points in favor of the Grizzlies.

Memphis fell 105-98 to Portland on Sunday (Mar 30) night, despite 21 points and seven rebounds from forward Zach Randolph. Randolph allowed LaMarcus Aldridge to score 28, however, as Portland notched its third straight win. The Grizzlies are 20-16 on the road this season and though Denver is typically a tough home team, the Nuggets have faltered under a slew of injuries this season. The Nuggets were romped by the Spurs 133-102 on Friday (Mar 28) night.

Denver has one of the deepest benches in the league, but injuries to Danilo Gallinari and JaVale McGee have been too much for Brian Shaw’s team to overcome. Point guard Ty Lawson also battled injuries, but has put together a nice season amidst the turmoil. The North Carolina product is averaging 17.8 points and 8.8 assists per game this season and is one of only two Nuggets posting an above average PER (the other is Kenneth Faried).

The primary problem for the Nuggets this season has been its porous defense. Without shot blocker JaVale McGee to protect the rim, the Nuggets have just been pitiful inside. J.J. Hickson is known as one of the worst defending power forwards in the league, and the Nuggets are allowing 106.3 points per game (third-worst in NBA). The offense has been good for 103.7 points per game, but when the Nuggets defense is that bad, it’s going to result in a team that is nine games below .500.

Memphis closes out its season with some tough games. The Grizzlies will face Minnesota after tonight’s game, before the Nuggets and Grizzlies rematch on April 4th. Four of the Grizzlies’ final six opponents are in the playoff picture, with the season finale against Dallas having the potential to be a play-in game to the playoffs, for all practical purposes.

MEM Trends: 0-5 ATS in last 5 road games; 0-4 ATS in last 4 road games; UNDER 5-1 in last 6 when opponent allows 100 points or more in previous game.

DEN Trends: UNDER 5-0 in last 5 following SU loss of 10 points or more; OVER 4-0 in last 4 after allowing more than 125 points in previous game; UNDER 5-0 in lat 5 vs teams with winning SU records.

Head-to-head: UNDER 5-2 in last 7 meetings; Grizzlies 7-15 ATS in last 22 meetings in Denver.

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