The Memphis Grizzlies (6-19) will hope to end their five-game losing streak when they complete the second night of a back-to-back set Tuesday against the New Orleans Pelicans (16-11). The Pelicans have won their last four games, but will have to contend with the return of star point guard Ja Morant in this game. Morant is back after a 25-game suspension due to multiple incidents where he was seen brandishing a gun on social media. In the last meeting between these teams, the Pelicans won 111-104.
We’ll see what the Grizzlies do in terms of resting players on the second night of a back-to-back set, and we’ll get an official injury report later in the day. The Pelicans remain without Larry Nance Jr., while Naji Marshall is questionable.
The Pelicans are 8.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total coming in at 230. New Orleans is -355 on the moneyline while Memphis is +280.
Grizzlies vs. Pelicans, 7:30 p.m. ET
Pick ATS: Grizzlies +8.5
It’s hard to know what kind of game shape Morant will be in after 25 games off, but the point guard is a huge difference maker for Memphis. The Grizzlies were better on both ends of the floor with him on the court, according to lineup data from basketball-reference.com. He was always an offensive catalyst for Memphis, but his defense picked up last season too. Morant changes the dynamic, and it doesn’t really matter what the Grizzlies have done up until this point.
The Pelicans are 16-10-1 ATS this season, and are an impressive 10-3 ATS at home. They are 5-2 ATS as the home favorite. New Orleans should be able to win this game without much trouble but I like Morant to come back with a fury and keep things somewhat close. I’ll take the Grizzlies to cover.
Over/Under: Under 230
Both these teams trend towards the under this season. The Grizzlies are 10-15 on overs this season, while the Pelicans are 13-14. Even with Morant set to return to the court, I like this game to under the total.