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NBA Handicapper Free Betting Pick: Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies

02.19.2016     10:30 AM     Teddy Covers     Printer Friendly

Submitted by Teddy Covers blog entry.
Minnesota at Memphis -4.5 O/U 205 
Recommendation: Over

Remember when the Grizzlies were a grind-it-out, halfcourt team that won games with elite defensive efforts?  The betting markets remember those days too!  Heck the Grizz were one of the slowest paced teams in the NBA on offense and one of the most efficient NBA teams on defense for the better part of the last five years.

But all that has changed here in 2016, and it changed even more at the trading deadline.  A sluggish halfcourt offense has transformed into a push-the-pace-in-transition offense.  A dismal three point shooting team that ranked 29 out of 30 NBA teams in three point shots made last year has suddenly become willing to jack up all kinds of shots from downtown.

The Grizzlies have lost low post defensive stud Marc Gasol to injury.  After dealing away Jeff Green and Courtney Lee at the trading deadline, embattled head coach Dave Joerger must adjust his defensive rotations, rotations which have underachieved throughout the course of the 2015-16 campaign – the Grizzlies are a middle of the pack defensive team, currently ranked #15 in the advanced metric efficiency charts.

Minnesota hasn’t played much defense in any recent season, and this year is no exception.  The T-Wolves rank #24 in the NBA in defensive efficiency, allowing more than 106 points per 100 offensive possessions.  This young squad is loaded with upper echelon talent, but that talent has not meshed together on the defensive end of the court, not even a little bit!

In two previous meetings this year, we’ve seen two games go flying Over the total by a combined 42.5 points; no sweat winners for Over bettors.  Memphis has been riding one of the more under-the-radar trends regarding their totals at home: 18-9-1 to the Over this year, cashing Overs at a 67% clip here at the FedEx Forum.  Minnesota’s long term trend points in the same direction, a team that has only cashed eight Under bets in 26 road games this season.

Minnesota is loaded with offensive talent, averaging more than 110 points per game in their last five before the All-Star Break.  Memphis, waaaay under the radar, has gone 13-2 to the Over in their last 15 games, and they are likely to play even faster post-trade deadline.  Even with some modest upwards pressure on this total this morning, an Over bet sure looks like a positive expectation wager to this bettor!

Tags: NBA Minnesota Timberwolves Memphis Grizzlies Teddy Covers

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