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LA Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies NBA Playoff Odds, Picks & Predictions

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com

Mark Strotman  | 4 mins

LA Lakers vs Memphis Grizzlies NBA Playoff Odds, Picks & Predictions

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You want storylines? This is the place to be. Grizzlies-Lakers is about as far from your typical 2 vs. 7 matchup as you’ll find—maybe in NBA history. When the season began, we thought this might be a Western Conference Finals matchup, but now we get it to kick off the NBA postseason’s first round.

We wouldn’t read too much into their records—the Grizzlies were eight games better in the regular season. A lot has gone on since the All-Star break, and here’s what their advanced numbers look like since then:

Lakers: 116.2 offensive rating, 111.3 defensive rating, 54.9% eFG, 16-7 record

Grizzlies: 116.9 offensive rating, 112.8 defensive rating, 56.0% eFG, 16-9 record

RELATED: Best NBA Prop Bets To Back Tonight

This is an incredibly even matchup, and the Grizzlies’ depth is negated by the LeBron-AD championship pedigree that they’ll bring to the series. 

Is Ja Morant all the way back? Is the Lakers’ resurgence for real or will they come back to Earth after just scraping by the shorthanded Timberwolves in the Play-in Tournament? We’ll get those answers in the next few weeks. We break down the game and makes our NBA picks on sports betting apps.

Lakers vs. Grizzlies Game 1 Odds

Lakers vs. Grizzlies Betting Tips

Which Ja Morant will we see?

Ja Morant was suspended and later stepped away from the Grizzlies in the wake of his viral video brandishing a firearm in a strip club, and his numbers since returning have been a mixed bag: 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 7.4 assists on 49/22/80 shooting in 28.4 minutes. 

Not bad, of course, but a far cry from the 27.1 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 8.2 assists he averaged prior to the incident. Morant tallied 39 and 22 points against the Lakers this season, and his output could be a deciding factor in the series. For what it’s worth, Morant has averaged 28.2 points and 9.2 assists in 14 career playoff games—so we know he’s built for the moment.

Sit back and enjoy AD vs. JJJ

Two of the best initial nicknames in the game will square off in this series, and both are red-hot right now. Anthony Davis finished the year averaging 25.8 points on 57% shooting and 12.9 rebounds after the All-Star break. In that same span, Jaren Jackson Jr. averaged 21.6 points on 51% shooting, 6.9 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. 

These are two of the best bigs in basketball, and both will go a long way toward deciding the series. In terms of NBA odds to back on prop markets, we love AD’s points (he had 30 and 28 in two games against Memphis) and JJJ’s blocks (he had 10 in three games against the Lakers).

Don’t take LeBron James for granted

OK, this is more of a viewing tip than an NBA betting tip. But let’s never take for granted what we witness on a nightly basis from the greatest basketball player to ever live. In his 20th professional season, 38-year-old James averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 6.8 assists. You never know when the last time he’s on the national stage, so soak it in. 

And hey, throw a few bucks on some of his props while you’re at it—James’ rebounds per game go from 7.5 to 9.0 in the postseason, and he grabbed nine against Memphis the only time he played them this year (and averaged 9.5 against them in four games last season). That’s where we’ll be leaning on his props this round.

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Lakers vs. Grizzlies Best Bets

Over the course of two decades, it’s been a good idea to not bet against LeBron James. Of course that hasn’t played out each of the last two postseasons—but it feels different this time around. The Lakers head into the postseason as one of the league’s hottest teams (they’re sixth in net rating since the All-Star break) and have really turned it up on the defensive end. That’ll be important against a potent offense in Memphis with elite scoring options in Morant, Jackson, and Desmond Bane.

Speaking of, bad teams don’t win 51 games. Memphis has dealt with tons of injuries, the Morant fiasco, and a few lulls—and still finished second in the West. They have homecourt, basically their entire arsenal (minus Steven Adams), and have postseason experience from a year ago to lean on.

This one will go the distance. It’s so evenly matched that overtime in Game 7 wouldn’t surprise us. The fact that seven games has the lowest odds speaks volumes. And we’re not betting against LeBron James in a seventh game. LBJ turns back the clock once more and delivers an epic performance to push the Lakers onto Round 2.

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About the Author

Mark Strotman for Bookies.com
Mark Strotman
Mark is a veteran sports betting journalist who has covered the Bulls and the NBA since 2012. His work has appeared on ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, The Chicago Tribune and Yahoo Sports. He regularly provides NBA betting picks, as well as in-depth sportsbook reviews and the latest promo codes for all the major sports gambling operators, including Caesars Sportsbook, BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel and more.