Even though the Lakers pretty much stink compared to the normal level of play we have come to expect from this team, they still are getting the benefit of public lines. And we think that is definitely the case for Wednesday.
Memphis is a much better team than the Lakers right now, and we think this line should be closer to seven points. Are the Lakers “due” for a good game? Probably. But handicapping a team that is due to play well is a strategy to take you straight to the poor house.
LA has lost nine of its last 11, and neither of those wins are what we would call “quality”. They beat both Milwaukee and Cleveland at home. That they have only covered four lines during this stretch really shows that the betting public is still backing this team because of the “due factor” and that the bookies are setting the lines appropriately as a result.
The Lakers are having all sorts of trouble scoring against strong defensive teams, and Memphis is second-best in that category, allowing less than 90 PPG this season. They managed only 83 points last time out against the Bulls, and this Memphis team might be even better defensively then Chicago.
The Grizzlies have not been playing like a NBA Finals contender lately, but they have had a super tough schedule, and we think that this is the type of game that they will take seriously in a bid to get back on track (Memphis has lost four of six, but three of those losses were to potential high NBA Playoff seeds). They also completed a trade on Tuesday that will limit their depth in this game, but the Lakers are very thin for depth as well, and we don’t think this will be a big factor in this game.
Everyone loves kicking the Lakers when they are down, so even though they are playing bad they still get a top effort from their opponent every night. We expect that from Memphis tonight. This Grizzlies team has excelled as a small favorite and is 13-5 ATS as a chalk of under 7 points. They have also won and covered the last two meetings in this series.
#712 Take Memphis -4 over LA Lakers (8 p.m. ET, Wednesday)
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