February 4, 2015 (Posted at 5:00 PM ET)
February will turn out to be a good month! All that is required is patience.
After 7 consecutive lucrative weeks, it'd be only natural to finally have a losing week but we aren't throwing in the towel and fully intend on making it 8 in a row!
Meanwhile, despite the recent setback, our NBA profit sits at an enviable 32 units.
Take Memphis Grizzlies at -6.5 spread against Utah Jazz risking 3%
The Grizzlies travel to Salt Lake City to take on a tired Jazz squad as they look to avenge a rare home loss from earlier this season.
The Grizzlies are unequivocally one of the best teams in the NBA! However because Memphis is a smaller market and lacks the household names that casual NBA fans love such as the Cleveland Cavaliers, they have flown under the radar this season. They have quietly put together wins in 10 of their last 11 games and come into this contest riding an impressive 7 game winning streak! They not only have the third-best record in the entire league but are second in the competitive West and lead the most competitive divsion (Southwest) in the NBA!
Memphis scored the last 8 points of the game to come away with a morale boosting 1 point victory against the Suns and while some may see that as lucky, we view it as something different. Every team that has gone on a lengthy winning streak (namely the Hawks and Warriors) can pinpoint their success to the confidence gained by winning those closely contested games. It's that type of victory that builds momentum and team unity. It uplifts the entire club and at the same time serves as an important wake-up call. The Grizzlies won't want to have another game come down to the wire and that will motivate them to get off to a fast start and maintain a double digit lead.
Utah has shown its ability to upset teams that are caught looking ahead such as when we backed them against Spurs earlier in the season or judging by their recent upset of the Golden State Warriors! You can be sure however that the Grizzlies are well aware of what can happen in Salt Lake City and won't fall victim to a look ahead situation like the Warriors did. Memphis' next contest is against a struggling Minnesota Timberwolves team that has the worst record in the league and in 2 days. They will not be caught looking ahead to that matchup. The Grizzlies were surprised once already by the Jazz this season at home so we expect them to exact a bit of revenge in this contest and repay the favor.
The Jazz may also head into this game deflated since they are coming off a narrow 1 point loss at Moda Center. They gave the Blazers everything that they had left in the tank but fell just short and that can be downright demoralizing! To come that close to a victory over a quality team on the road, only to lose it by giving up 59 points in the second half can truly hurt the confidence of a young team and often causes problems in the following contest. That is what we believe will happen tonight as they will be physically and mentally tired.
Utah hasn't been an offensive juggernaut this season and has often struggled to put points on the board. They currently rank 23rd in the league in scoring averaging just 95.9 points per game. Tonight they will be taking on a Grizzlies team that has been known for its suffocating defense and one that has held its previous 7 opponents to an average of just 85 points! They are also tied for 9th in field goal percentage defense as they allow just 44.2% shooting. The Grizzlies have seen their offense improve this season and score over 101 point per game. This has been a nice turnaround from years past and has been pivotal in their success. Memphis is finding ways to put points on the board while their defense has been limiting opponents’ possessions.
Memphis is simply on a roll at the moment on both sides of the ball and has had great success against Western Conference opponents this season going 22-7 while the Jazz are just 8-18 in those contests. The addition of Jeff Green to their roster has brought an expected improvement to their offense and adds another dimension to their attack. They are currently leading the extremely competitive Southwest division which is considered the toughest in the entire league with teams like the Mavs, Rockets and Spurs all in contention to take the top spot. With those teams all capable of making a run, the Grizzlies know that they need to continue to win games such as this to create further separation. Memphis is also hot on the heels of the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the West and can continue to put the pressure on them by winning games such as this. It's worth noting that Zach Randolph was missing on Dec 22nd when the Jazz caught Memphis off-guard but he's playing with great efficiency right now and is recording double-doubles on a nearly nightly basis. The combination of Randolph and Gasol will present matchup problems for the young Jazz on the second night of back-to-back games! The Grizzlies are a physical team that likes to wear out its opponents and we believe they are in a prime spot to do that tonight. We believe fatigue will become a factor for the Jazz and that will allow the better team to not only win but cover the spread.
Other notable trends tonight:
- Grizzlies lead the NBA in scoring defense and have held their last 7 opponents to just 85 points!
- Grizzlies have won 11 of 12, including seven in a row by an average of 13.4 points!
- Jazz are just 7-15 ATS in their last 22 games when they played the night before.
- Grizzlies are 15-7 ATS in their last 22 when their opponent scores +100 points in their previous game.
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