Ja Morant acknowledges the crowd after a basket

Dec 4, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) looks at the crowd after making a basket in the second half against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Allison Farrand-USA TODAY Sports

  • Memphis is laying 1.5-points to Milwaukee in the Bucks vs Grizzlies odds on Thursday evening
  • Jrue Holiday (illness) will miss his second straight game for Milwaukee
  • Check out the available Bucks vs Grizzlies odds, injury updates and predictions below

Fresh off a convincing victory over one of the West’s top contenders, Milwaukee will look to take down another Western Conference heavyweight on Thursday.

The Bucks (20-7, 7-4 away) blew out the Warriors 128-111 on Tuesday, and now travel to Memphis to face the red-hot Grizzlies (18-9, 12-2 home).

Ja Morant and company enter play riding a six-game winning streak, and sportsbooks expect their scorching-hot play to continue in Thursday’s NBA odds.

Bucks vs Grizzlies Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
Milwaukee Bucks +1.5 (-110) +102 OFF
Memphis Grizzlies -1.5 (-110) -120 OFF

Odds as of December 14 at FanDuel. Claim the FanDuel Sportsbook promo code to bet on the Bucks vs Grizzlies game.

The Grizzlies opened up as 1.5-point favorites, in a contest without a total as of Wednesday night. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 pm ET at FedEx Forum in Memphis, TN, with NBA TV providing the broadcast coverage.

 

 

Milwaukee Bucks Betting Analysis

Milwaukee, who boast the second shortest NBA Championship odds, will once again be without Jrue Holiday. The Bucks starting point guard is dealing with a non-covid illness, but his absence didn’t seem to face Milwaukee against Golden State.

Giannis Antetokounmpo and Co. raced out to an 11-point first quarter lead and were never really threatened afterwards. The team shot 54% from the field, reaching at least 123 points for the third time this season. Antetokounmpo poured in 30 points and grabbed 12 boards, out duelling fellow NBA MVP odds candidate Steph Curry along the way.

Milwaukee took advantage of some sloppy Warriors defense in the rout, while absolutely dominating on the glass. They outrebounded Golden State by 18 boards, creating a plethora of second chance opportunities. The Bucks won’t be able to bully the Grizzlies on the glass however, as Memphis is one of only two teams with a higher rebounding rate than Milwaukee.

In their own end, the Bucks stymied the potent Warriors attack. They held Golden State to 40% from the field, but exceptional defense is nothing new to this team. Milwaukee enters play ranked first in the NBA in defensive rating, and actually allow fewer points per 100 possessions on the road than at home (104 vs 108).

Memphis Grizzlies Betting Analysis

The Grizzlies meanwhile, currently own the longest active winning streak in the league, and their sizzling play has vaulted them into a tie atop the West standings.

Memphis isn’t just winning games though, they’re blowing opponents out. They have an average margin of victory of 13.8 points during their streak, and are fresh off a 128-103 victory over Atlanta. Tyus Jones led the way with 22 points, as seven different players reached double-figures.

Jones was starting for Morant who sat with a leg injury. Morant is off the injury report and will be patrolling the backcourt against Milwaukee.

Not only are the Grizzlies a better rebounding team per the numbers than the Bucks, but they also run a more efficient offense. Memphis ranks eight spots higher in offensive rating (9 vs 17), and have been exceptionally productive at home. The Grizzlies are 12-2 at FedEx Forum so far, averaging 115 points per 100 possessions.

Six Memphis players average at least 10 points per outing, while five haul in at least 5.8 rebounds per contest. As good as they are on offense their defense is no slouch either. The Grizzlies own the league’s sixth highest rated defensive rating, and are yielding an average of only 104.6 points per 100 possessions at home.

On the injury front, starting shooting guard Desmond Bane remains out with a toe injury that’s expected to sideline him another three-four weeks.

Bucks vs Grizzlies Prediction

It’s never comfortable to fade Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. However, don’t underestimate the absence of Holiday. Yes, Milwaukee was able to shut down the Warriors without him, but we shouldn’t expect lightning to strike twice against a similarly talented offensive team.

NBA Net Rating Ranks

Team Rank
Boston Celtics 1
New Orleans Pelicans 2
Cleveland Cavaliers 3
Milwaukee Bucks 4
Phoenix Suns 5
Memphis Grizzlies 6

Not only is Memphis the hottest team in the league right now, but there should be extra incentive against of the NBA’s top title contenders. Just seven of the Grizzlies 18 wins have come against teams with an above .500 record, which is one of the reasons they’re not getting more championship hype.

This Grizzlies team is long, tough and athletic. They’re extremely efficient on offense and have the big bodies to bother Giannis in the paint. Memphis has covered in eight of its past 10 games, and are a strong bet to do so again on Thursday.

Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -1.5 (-110)

 

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Chris Amberley

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