Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies Picks and Predictions: Memphis Prevents Blaze

The Grizzlies stopped the bleeding of their five-game skid at home, and should be poised to keep the winning ways intact against a Trail Blazers squad that isn't ready for what awaits it. Find out more as our NBA picks preview for this West showdown.

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2023 10:33 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Dillon Brooks Memphis Grizzlies
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies look to build some more positive momentum Wednesday night as they host the Portland Trail Blazers in NBA betting action. 

Memphis won its last outing 112-100 over Indiana, after dropping five straight on the road. Meanwhile, Portland has been putting up gaudy box scores against crappy defenses — but that's not what it faces tonight. 

Find out more as we break down our NBA picks and predictions for Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies on February 1. 

Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies best odds

Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies picks and predictions

Sometimes, there's no place like home. 

Such is the case for Grizzlies, who won their FedExForum homecoming Sunday night after going 0-5 on a preceding road trip in what was — and will likely remain — the team's most dubious stretch of basketball this season. 

The short-term trend reflects Memphis' season-long dynamic, going a disappointing 9-16-1 against the spread on the road, but a much different beast at home: 15-8-1, the third-best mark in the league. 

Now, that obviously doesn't automatically mean the Grizzlies are going to cover tonight, but there are several other factors working in our favor with the spread, sitting at -5.5 as of Wednesday morning. 

The first and most obvious is unavoidable recency bias with Memphis, who has been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons (everything from a sideline fracas with Shannon Sharpe to a now-debunked Reddit conspiracy theorist claiming their statistician was cooking Jaren Jackson Jr.'s defensive numbers) while playing its worst basketball of the season.

The market is likely valuing the Grizzlies at an all-time low, which is dangerous given their penchant for defiant blowouts.

It's natural that a young team on a long road trip in the middle of the NBA's January doldrums would start to show some cracks, especially when said team is simultaneously "playing for May" while having what seems like the entire NBA slowly turn on their brash, flamboyant ways. Now back in Memphis, with two days off under their belt to simmer down, it's entirely likely we see the Grizzlies we're used to tonight. 

Those Grizzlies — in the 31 games between Jackson's November return from injury and the start of their five-game road skid — owned the NBA's best net rating (+7.6), and played a good chunk of those contests without Desmond Bane. Bane's listed as questionable tonight, which is obviously a big dice roll when handicapping this matchup. Memphis is a more dangerous team offensively with him, especially when considering a defense's ability to collapse on Ja Morant in the paint. 

But relying on Portland for any kind of defensive competence is asking a lot. This unit ranks 26th in D-rating on the season, sinking to 29th over the last 10 games, with only the plummeting-without-a-parachute Spurs beneath them. It's entirely likely that Memphis can have its way with such a feeble resistance, with or without Bane. 

And while the Blazers have human flamethrower Damian Lillard leading an attack that's put up some pretty impressive numbers of late, they've been beating up on terrible defenses (Hawks, Jazz, Spurs), and should be in for a rude awakening against what's effectively the league's No. 1-ranked D.

This line seems more than fair just given homecourt, Memphis' motivation/public perception angle, and the Blazers' current form. Take a freeroll on Bane suiting up and lay the points with the home side. 

My best bet: Grizzlies -5.5 (-105 at bet365)

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Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies spread analysis

Memphis comes into this game looking to continue its redemption effort, and shouldn't see too much trouble from a Portland side that's been thoroughly exposed for the bad defense it is.

Since their red-hot 9-3 start (one of the three losses happened to be to Memphis), the Blazers have gone 15-23, notching just one win against a plus-.500 team in January (I'm totally not counting its Jan. 15 win over Dallas in which Luka Doncic sat).

Portland can only bank on its offense in this game, which could be in for a serious letdown spot after acing several test runs against some of the worst defenses in the NBA. Memphis can keep human chastity belt Dillon Brooks on Lillard, hide Morant on either Josh Hart (if he plays) or Gary Payton II, and rely on Jackson to protect the rim better than anyone, bar none. 

The Blazers are just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 games, underscoring a team whose perception was inflated by its hot start. They've also failed to cover in eight straight road games, and face by far the toughest test of their three-game trip tonight.

Memphis, conversely, is 36-14-1 in its last 51 home games, has the rest advantage, and will be motivated to show out for its recently-discouraged fans, while reminding the rest of the NBA that it's very much still a threat.  

Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies Over/Under analysis

As you may have gathered above, I don't see the Blazers turning this into a firefight, especially when Memphis knows it's the far better defensive team and will be incentivized to lock down, control tempo, and give Lillard & Co. as few opportunities to catch fire as possible. 

While Portland averaged a comical 136.6 ppg in three recent victories over Bottom 10 defenses, those wins were sandwiched by losses to the Raptors and Sixers — quality defensive units — in which the Blazers managed just 100 points per. 

Now, pit that attack against the league's very best defense, and it's unlikely we see the Blazers put up such a crooked number unless Memphis goes full track meet and decides, somewhat counterintuitively, to lean into the advantage that Portland can match.

There's plenty of potential for fireworks given the weapons on both sides. So while the season's cadence and this particular game script would have me leaning towards the Under, I'm not entirely confident enough to suggest firing on it, especially with Bane's status uncertain.

Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies betting trend to know

Trail Blazers are 0-8 ATS in their last eight road games. Find more NBA betting trends for Trail Blazers vs. Grizzlies.

Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies game info

Location: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
Date: Wednesday, February 1, 2023
Tip-off: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: ROOT SPORTS PLUS, Bally Sports-Memphis

Trail Blazers vs Grizzlies key injuries

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