The Washington Wizards have been pulling some sorcery and rising from the depths of the NBA basement.
The Wiz are 7-2 SU in their last nine, and just 1.5 games back of a play-in spot for a postseason appearance (albeit in the shallow East).
Tuesday, they host the Memphis Grizzlies – who have similar playoff ambitions – for what sportsbooks see as a very close NBA betting showdown. Find out which side to back with our Grizzlies vs. Wizards picks and predictions for March 2.
Memphis Grizzlies at Washington Wizards betting preview
Grizzlies: Grayson Allen SG (Out), Kyle Anderson SF (Questionable).
Wizards: Ish Smith PG (Out).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.
Betting trend to know
The Grizzlies are 4-0 ATS in their last four games as a favorite. Find more NBA betting trends for Grizzlies vs. Wizards.
NBA sharp money and line movement reportBy Patrick Everson
FanDuel's line for Griz-Wiz hovered around pick 'em since going up Monday evening at Washington -1. The first move was to Wizards -1.5, then the line went to pick overnight and ultimately to Grizzlies -1 a couple of times before returning to Washington -1. As of 4:30 p.m. ET, ticket count and money are both in the 2/1 range on the Wizards. The total opened at 237.5, peaked at 238 a couple of times, bottomed out at 235 late this morning, then rose to 237. The Under is taking 54 percent of bets, while the Over is getting 51 percent of money.Check out the full line movement for this game
Against the spread (ATS) pick
So, the Wizards are no longer a walking punchline, or at least they've been doing a decent job moonlighting as such for the past two weeks. Since massacring the Celtics on Valentine's Day, Washington has gone 7-2 SU, with its only losses coming against the Clippers, and in the Celtics grudge match on a late Jayson Tatum winner. It's an impressive stretch. Is it for real?
At least part of the Wizards' run can likely be attributed to teams not taking them seriously—they were one of the league's three worst teams before this run. It could also be a byproduct of the season's abnormal variance. But give the Wizards credit where it's due: they're playing marginally better defense and their rotation's output, on a base level, doesn't seem unsustainable.
Memphis is a tough team to peg right now, having split its last 10 games both SU and ATS. It's fair to say the Grizzlies have struggled to find a rhythm, with both injuries and a lengthy COVID layoff derailing their season so far.
At their best, the Grizzlies are a competent two-way team with a balanced corps of capable scorers to offset the lack of a single nuclear threat like Bradley Beal. They're also riding high, coming off a 49-point throttling of Houston in which their bench outscored the Rockets by itself.
Ja Morant is crucial to the Grizzlies' attack, and teams will thrive when they can keep him out of the paint and protect the rim—two things the Wizards kind of suck at. Homecourt will also mean little here, since the Wizards are location-neutral on the season, and Memphis is actually better on the road (8-5) than at home (7-10).
Look for the Grizzlies to pounce on a line that seems inflated by Washington's recent play. Memphis has been the superior team this season, has the higher ceiling, matches up well on paper, and, in a vacuum, is better-coached. Spotting one point seems fair.
PREDICTION: Memphis -1 (-110)
The Wizards are an Over threat on any given night, scoring the NBA's seventh-most points, with a porous defense, while playing faster than any team in the league.
But the oddsmakers seem to have fairly assessed them this season, as Washington is just 17-15 Over/Under, and recently hit the Under in six of seven games between February 3 and 14.
A winning score in the 120 range seems like a key number for either team, given this total, and this matchup could very well lend itself to a shootout. The Grizzlies have lots of young legs and can play at a fast pace. Memphis has either scored or given up 120+ points in eight of its last 11 games (in one of which, it conceded 119 points to the Clippers, the other was against the pre-AD-injury Lakers, the NBA's best defensive team).
Memphis' defense has definitely slipped in the past month, and while Washington's has improved, its inability to stop Morant could force it to try and win this game with its guns.
Both us and Vegas expect a close game, so if both teams do their part, this should sneak Over what seems like a fairly high total.
PREDICTION: Over 235.5 (-110)
First quarter pick
The Wizards provide a very soft spot here. At 11-20-1 ATS, they're the NBA's third-worst first-quarter squad.
They've routinely been skunked as of late, trailing by an average of 8.28 points and holding the first-frame lead just once in their past seven games. A similar 10-game stretch from January 27-February 12 saw them trailing by an average of 9.4 points after Q1, while not holding the lead in any of those games.
Taking Memphis to push at-worst with any lead here seems like a gift, and at plus money, we're hammering all day.
PREDICTION: Memphis first-quarter -1 (+107)
Grizzlies vs Wizards betting card
- Memphis -1 (-110)
- Over 235.5 (-110)
- Memphis first-quarter -1 (+107)
Did you know that if you parlayed today’s NBA Grizzlies vs. Wizards picks, you could win $65.44 on a $10 bet?
Use our NBA parlay calculator to create your own parlays and see their potential payouts.