Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers Prediction, Preview, Picks & Odds - 12/15/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Time: 10 p.m. ET
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Where to watch: ROOT-SP, Bally Sports Southeast-Memphis

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: NL
BetMGM: Blazers -1.5
Caesars: Blazers -1.5

Season record (entering Tuesday)
Grizzlies: 17-11 (4th place, Western Conference)
Blazers: 11-16 (10th place, Western Conference) 

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Grizzlies - Blazers preview and analysis


With the struggling Portland Trail Blazers on the second night of a back-to-back, this is a perfect play for the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday in the Rose Garden.

The Grizzlies are on an 8-1 run since Ja Morant went down with a knee injury and have dominated in their superstar’s absence. We’re not going to mention that 73-point win over the Oklahoma City Thunder for the sake of Thunder fans groaning in pain.

But the Grizzlies are coming off a 126-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday, led by Dillon Brooks’ 23 points and Jaren Jackson Jr. posting 22. The Grizzlies held Philadelphia to just 35 points in the second half.

"I think our guys just understood: ‘Gosh, we can play so much better,'" Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. "Sometimes it takes you a minute to get the chemistry and remember all the standards that we talk about. It just doesn't happen when you wake up Day One."

The Grizzlies have dominated with their defense, holding teams to less than 100 points in all but one of their last eight wins. They’ve been shooting just under 46 percent from the floor while holding teams to 97.2 points in the last five games.

At time of publishing, the Blazers are playing at home against the Phoenix Suns and are down six at halftime. The good news is Damian Lillard is back for Portland, but CJ McCollum will be out for the foreseeable future with a collapsed lung.

Portland entered Tuesday on a five-game losing streak, which included a 116-111 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday.

Prediction


It’s such a struggle for the Blazers right now, they can’t be trusted against a well-rounded Grizzlies team. This matchup does not favor Portland even if they’re at home for the SEGABABA. Trust the Grizzlies with how well they’ve bought into defense. Grizzlies by 14

Betting trends


The Grizzlies are 27-15 ATS in their last 42 against Northwest Division teams.

The Grizzlies are 28-33 ATS in their last 61 straight up as a road dog.

The Blazers are 31-33 ATS as a home favorite in their last 64.

The over is 7-1 for the Blazers when playing their second game in seven days.

Projected starting lineup


Grizzlies:
PG: Tyus Jones
SG: Desmond Bane
SF:
Dillon Brooks
PF:
Jaren Jackson Jr.
C:
Steven Adams

Blazers:
PG: Damian Lillard
SG: Tony Snell
SF:
Norman Powell
PF:
Larry Nance Jr.
C:
Jusuf Nurkic

Key injuries


Grizzlies: Ja Morant (knee & COVID, out), Brandon Clarke (knee, out), Zaire Williams (ankle, out)

Blazers: CJ McCollum (lung, out), Cody Zeller (knee, out)

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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