NBA Predictions: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston Rockets

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Houston Rockets
Friday, 1/24/14, 8:00 PM EST
Opening Point Spread:  Houston -6.5
Current Betting Line:  Houston -6
Opening Total:  199.5
Current Total:  198
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Memphis Grizzlies are much better team with center Marc Gasol in the starting lineup
The Memphis Grizzlies are much better team with center Marc Gasol in the starting lineup

Memphis had its five-game winning streak snapped last time out, as it suffered a 95-92 defeat to the New Orleans Pelicans as 7.5-point home favorites, while going UNDER the betting total for a fourth consecutive contest.  The Grizzlies have three probable starters averaging in double figures, with point guard Mike Conley leading the way at 18.1 points a contest.  He has scored 10-plus points in all but two games during the 2013-14 NBA campaign, which can’t be ignored when making your NBA predictions.  Memphis is 0-10 SU and 1-9 ATS versus division opponents.

The Grizzlies are 9-7 SU when playing away from the FedExForum, including a 5-6 mark versus Western Conference opponents.  Memphis is 10-6 SU this season in games that starting center Marc Gasol has played and finished healthy, which is important to consider when looking over the NBA betting lines.  The team’s bench is averaging 36.9 points in its last 19 games, while it has won 18 of 22 games when outshooting the opponent.  Power forward Zach Randolph is averaging a double-double for the eighth consecutive season.

Houston has won its last three games, including a 119-98 victory over the Sacramento Kings as 9.5-point home favorites Wednesday, while pushing up against the betting total of 217.  The Rockets have four probable starters averaging in double figures, with shooting guard James Harden scoring 24.3 points a contest.  The team is 18-6 SU at the Toyota Center, including a 9-6 mark versus conference rivals.  Houston is 2-1 SUATS as home favorites of 3.5 to 6 points this season.

The Rockets have won their last four games against division opponents, while they’ve combined to score 261 first-half points over their current five-game homestand.  Houston ranks third in the NBA in scoring 105.9 points a contest, which is just under its 106.0 mark from a season ago.  It all starts in the paint for this roster, as it sits behind just two teams in averaging 51.0 points inside, while also ranking third in blocking 6.05 shots a contest.

Sports bettors will likely play the total, as the UNDER is 5-2 in the last seven meetings in this series.

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