Lakers vs Grizzlies Game 5 Odds, Picks, and Predictions: Memphis Tries to Dodge Hibernation

The Lakers have been stifling on defense, and with the Grizzlies back at home, they're likely to lean into desperation on D as well. See why our NBA picks are backing a war of attrition in Memphis.

Apr 26, 2023 • 16:04 ET • 4 min read

The Los Angeles Lakers look to deliver the knockout blow in their Western Conference quarterfinal, holding a 3-1 series lead over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

Oddsmakers have Los Angeles as a 4-point road underdog against a desperate home team in Game 5 tonight.

The Lakers won both meetings in L.A., including a thrilling overtime finish to Game 4, thanks to their smothering defense. However, Memphis has been one of the best home teams all season, losing only seven times inside FedExForum.

I analyze the action on the spread and Over/Under total for Game 5 and give my best NBA picks and predictions for Lakers at Grizzlies on April 26.

Lakers vs Grizzlies Game 5 best odds

Lakers vs Grizzlies Game 5 picks and predictions

The opening total for Game 5 hit the board as low as 219.5 points, which is well below the closing Over/Under numbers of the past four games. That market has since puffed that up to 222 points, with movement to 221.5, but make no mistake: Game 5 will be a grinder.

The Lakers and Grizzlies were locked at 104-104 after LeBron James’ last-second layup forced overtime in Game 4 and even with the added period, these teams cleared the closing total of 224 by just four points.

Since erupting for 128 points with the help of 16 triples in Game 1 — a glitch in the Matrix for an otherwise bad outside shooting L.A. offense — the Lakers have posted regulation outputs of 93, 111, and 104 points.

Wednesday’s team total for Los Angeles was as big as 109.5 points once the game total moved up, but has since slimmed to as low as 108 points at some sportsbooks with highs of 109.

Getting 110 or higher seems like a stretch considering the lack of pop from Los Angeles’ perimeter players. Take Game 1’s 16-for-37 performance from distance out of the mix, and the Lakers are a combined 24 for 90 from 3-point range (26.7%). That includes a 10-for-36 count from outside in Game 4.

The Grizzlies are just as stagnant from the perimeter in this series and are having a tough time cracking an L.A. defense that has been tops in the league since the Purple and Gold swapped out their roster in mid-February. But if the Grizz can’t fight fire with fire, they’ll trade icy defensive stops on their home court.

Memphis owned the best home-court defensive rating (107.4) in the regular season while limiting visitors to just 109.3 points against per contest. Those metrics get a potent dash of desperation tonight, with L.A. looking to close out the quarterfinal set on the road.

The last time we saw the Grizzlies play desperate ball, it was without Ja Morant in Game 2. They clamped down on LeBron & Co., leaning into their defensive prowess. Los Angeles was limited to 93 points on 41% shooting from the floor, along with just seven makes from beyond the arc, and the pace of the game dropped from 100.5 in Game 1 to 95.5 in Game 2.

I don’t see the Lakers’ outside shooting getting right on the road and the Grizz are going to be extra stingy with their backs to the wall in Game 5. Maybe the Lakers grit out another low-scoring win, but they won’t get to 110 points to do it.

My best bet: Lakers team total Under 109 (-110 at SIA)

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Lakers vs Grizzlies Game 5 spread analysis

Following Los Angeles’ 117-111 overtime victory in Game 4, bookmakers opened Memphis as short as 3.5-point home chalk for Game 5. That line jumped to as high as -4.5 at some shops before coming back to a market consensus of Grizzlies -4 on Wednesday morning.

Los Angeles won and covered as a 4.5-point home favorite in the past two games of the series. It was a closing 5-point underdog at Memphis in Game 1 and closed as a 1-point road chalk with Ja Morant sidelined in Game 2, with the Grizzlies stunning the Lakers 103-93.

Defense remains the key for L.A. after the past two games at home. The Lakers checked the Grizzlies to a collective 38.7% shooting in those matchups and for the series, the Memphis offense is averaging only 105 points per game in regulation.

The Grizzlies hope home court can get something cooking with the basketball. Memphis did open the series with 112 points as a host in Game 1 and finished the season with the fifth-highest offensive rating at home, which fueled a league-best net rating of +10.6 inside FedExForum. The Grizz are 24-18-1 ATS as hosts on the season.

Outside of a 128-point eruption in Game 1, in which L.A. was uncharacteristically hot from outside, the Lakers offense hasn’t been sharp either. The frontcourt duo of James and Anthony Davis is anchoring Los Angeles’ presence in the paint but beyond Austin Reaves, the L.A. backcourt is inconsistent in its scoring efforts.

Los Angeles is doing the bulk of its damage off turnovers and in transition, but struggling to make shots in the halfcourt sets. Despite playing at home the past two games, the Lakers were a collective 17 for 64 from beyond the arc (26.6%) and that inability to hit 3-point buckets doesn’t allow L.A. to go on bigger runs and blow games open.

Lakers vs Grizzlies Game 5 Over/Under analysis

The Game 5 Over/Under opened as low as 219.5 points at some books but has since risen to 222, with highs of 222.5 out there as of Wednesday morning.

As it stands, this is the shortest total of the series with the Lakers flexing their defensive muscles the past two outings and Memphis owning a league-best 107.4 defensive rating at home.

If not for the added overtime frame in Game 4, the past three contests in this series would have stayed Under the total following a high-scoring 128-112 series opener. The first four games were played with a pace rating of 99.17, with the two stops in Los Angeles running at a collective tempo of 100.28 points per 100 possessions.

Both teams run a similar approach to their offense, with a dedication to getting the ball in the key for high-percentage looks and pushing pace in transition, especially off of turnovers. However, the Lakers do have an advantage inside with Davis beating up on a Grizzlies frontcourt missing two pivotal bigs — including the indomitable Steven Adams.

Beyond the Lakers’ second-half hot streak from distance in Game 1, neither team has been especially strong from beyond the arc. Memphis returns home shooting just over 30% from deep on the series (making 11.5 triples per game) while L.A. enters Game 5 with a 31.5% clip, which has been good for just 10 3-point buckets per outing.

Lakers vs Grizzlies betting trend to know

The Under is 10-3 in Grizzlies last 13 games versus a team with a winning record. Find more NBA betting trends for Lakers vs. Grizzlies.

Lakers vs Grizzlies Game 5 game info

Location: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Tip-off: 7:30 p.m. ET

Lakers vs Grizzlies Game 5 key injuries

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