Grizzlies vs Pelicans Picks and Predictions: Back Memphis if Morant Suits Up

New Orleans got itself a good deal at the deadline, but CJ McCollum's addition still doesn't level up to what Memphis is doing right now. Our Grizzlies vs. Pelicans picks explain why the road team needs to be backed if Ja Morant plays.

AJ Salah - Publishing Editor/Writer at
AJ Salah • Publishing Editor
Feb 15, 2022 • 13:35 ET • 4 min read
Jaren Jackson Jr. Memphis Grizzlies NBA
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies and New Orleans Pelicans meet again Tuesday night, amid polarizingly opposite routes from their star-crossed encounter at the 2019 NBA Draft. 

New Orleans took Zion Williamson first that night and has been mired in sub-par injury frustration ever since. Memphis took Ja Morant with the next pick, and that has worked out....differently...for them.

But with Morant questionable tonight, find out who's got the NBA betting edge with our Grizzlies vs. Pelicans NBA picks and predictions for February 15. 

Grizzlies vs Pelicans odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Memphis opened between a -2.5 and -4 favorite, currently sitting a -4.5 in most spots. The total hit the book at 227.5 and has ticked up to 228.5 at some books as of Tuesday morning.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right until tip-off and be sure to check out the full NBA odds before betting to ensure you get the best number.

Grizzlies vs Pelicans predictions

Predictions made on 2/15/2022 at 10:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Grizzlies vs Pelicans game info

Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA
Date: Tuesday, February 15, 2022
Tip-off: 8:00 p.m. ET

Grizzlies vs Pelicans betting preview

Key injuries

Grizzlies: Ja Morant PG (Questionable), Dillon Brooks SF (Out), Xavier Tillman C (Out).
Pelicans: Zion Williamson PF (Out), Larry Nance Jr PF (Out), Kira Lewis Jr. PG (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Grizzlies are 14-2 ATS in their last 17 games as a favorite. Find more NBA betting trends for Grizzlies vs. Pelicans.

Grizzlies vs Pelicans picks and predictions

Our predictions are compiled from the analysis of the spread and total and are indications of where we are leaning for this game.
Our best bet is the play that we like the most for this game, which we would actually put some of our bankroll behind.

Spread analysis

What could have been another hyped showdown between Ja and Zion may not end up featuring either. Williamson's obviously been out all season after that media day "oh, ya, our franchise player had offseason foot surgery, we forgot to mention it" snafu. And now Morant is popping up as day-to-day on today's injury report with ankle soreness. 

The question thus becomes if this line is hedged enough for Memphis to clear it in Morant's absence because if he plays, it's a home run. Memphis is 8-2 against the spread in its last 10 games and now owns the league's best overall ATS record at a shimmering 39-19 mark that almost identically mirrors its 40-18 SU record. 

The Grizzlies are stretching their ceiling seemingly by the week, and even with Morant as the clear engine, this is a very deep rotation of capable players who can still easily upend a middling roster like New Orleans on the right night.

The Pelicans were one of the key players in a very busy trade deadline, cashing in on Portland's firesale to land CJ McCollum for what amounted to spare parts from their rotation. The trade undoubtedly makes New Orleans a better team on paper (McCollum's a fringe All-Star when healthy) but there will still be a feeling-out with suddenly many mouths to feed in its lineup.

Either way, theirs is a roster that will likely need all the stars to align to compete with the Grizzlies if Morant plays. As Memphis' defense ratchets up, it's coming dangerously close to being a Top-5 team on both sides of the ball, which in the NBA is as close to a benchmark of elite status as exists in team stats.

The Pelicans' starting lineup isn't awful, but their bench is now laughably thin, and the Grizzlies are liable to slaughter them in second-unit minutes where advanced-stats studs like De'Anthony Melton and Tyus Jones can stretch this game's margins. 

Memphis has been beating the living crap out of teams lately (14.55 avg margin of victory in last nine wins) and is an absurd 21-8 ATS on the road. The Grizzlies can score with any team in the league, and have enough defensive chops to make life difficult for the Pels. 

Keep an eye on Morant's health, and pounce on this spread if he plays. 

Prediction: Memphis -4 (-110)

Over/Under analysis

This total seems a tad low given who's playing. 

With the McCollum trade, New Orleans is clearly going all-in on offense, now with two legit 20+ ppg scorers flanking Zion (in theory). CJ's impact has been felt immediately, with the Pels averaging 117.0 ppg in his two appearances so far, well up from the 105.7 they averaged prior to his arrival. 

The Grizzlies have been one of the top-scoring teams in the league all season, (113.6 ppg, fourth), but especially over the last 10 games at 120.9 ppg. 

This matchup also lends itself to more shootout tendencies, as New Orleans is a Bottom-10 defense that just got worse on paper on that end. It won't be able to clamp down on D or limit the turnovers that fuel Memphis' lethal fast break (21st in TOs), prompting them to likely favor McCollum and Brandon Ingram letting it fly. 

Memphis dictating pace will be the key here, but both these squads have numerous weapons to push this total Over, especially if Morant plays. 

Prediction: Over 227.5 (-110)

Best bet

Morant's status has frozen Grizzlies-based props for most of today, but they're starting to leak out, with Caesars Sportsbook offering some markets as of early Tuesday afternoon.

One such market is Jaren Jackson Jr.'s points, which we find at an un-juiced 17.5. This line tends to suggest that Morant is playing — although no official announcement has been made as of 1:30 p.m. ET — as it's in line with where we've seen Jackson's totals for the past few weeks.

In either case, it's a must-bet. Even with Morant in the lineup, JJJ has averaged 20.6 ppg in February, and has topped this total in five of his past six games, even while playing limited minutes in several blowout wins.

His 3-point stroke is improving back to the mean, and in what should be a fast-paced game against a bad defensive team, he's a great bet to hit the Over again tonight.

Pick: Jaren Jackson Jr. Over 17.5 points (-110)

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