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Grizzlies A Strong Cover Play As Underdogs vs. Pelicans

Ja Morant running up the basketball court with a basketball in hand.

Neither the New Orleans Pelicans nor the Memphis Grizzlies have had much success in the NBA regular-season restart – and time is running out for both teams to qualify for postseason play as they meet Monday at HP Field House. Memphis is clinging to the No. 8 seed in the West, while the Pelicans sit 11th and will need a last-gasp surge to have a playoff shot.

Memphis Grizzlies vs New Orleans Pelicans
  • Date/Time: August 3, 6:30 p.m. ET
  • Arena: HP Field House
  • TV Coverage: FSNO, FSSE
  • Opening Odds: Pelicans -3 | O/U 239 (Line History)
  • Pelicans vs. Grizzlies (Matchup Report)

Opening Odds Analysis

The Pelicans kicked off the betting cycle as a three-point favorite, but can now be found between -4 and -4.5 at the majority of sportsbooks. The opening total of 239, on the other hand, has dipped a point and a half to 237.5.

New Orleans Pelicans News & Notes

If the Pelicans have any hope of qualifying for the 8-vs.-9 Western Conference play-in game, they'll need to get their offensive house in order. New Orleans has averaged a paltry 103.5 points over their first two games post-COVID 19 hiatus, a significant dip from the 116 points per game it averaged prior to the break (ranking fifth overall in the league in scoring).

A major part of that offensive drop-off centers around how the Pelicans are employing their sensational rookie forward. No. 1 pick Zion Williamson has played just 29 total minutes in the first two games (and has been predictably dominant over that stretch with 20 points). Williamson himself is frustrated at the minutes limit but should see a few extra minutes Monday night.

Memphis Grizzlies News & Notes

The Grizzlies deserve better after playing back-to-back competitive games but coming up empty, losing both by a combined seven points. Their defense has been the main culprit, allowing an average of 124 points in an overtime loss to Portland and a two-point setback to San Antonio; Memphis ranks a mediocre 21st for the season with an average of 114 points per game allowed.

The Grizzlies' biggest bright spot since the return has been the play of guard Ja Morant. The second overall pick in 2019 has been wonderfully well-rounded over the past two games, averaging 23.5 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. He's a strong player prop play here as he looks to rebound from a 16-point, zero-assist showing in a 28-point loss to the Pelicans on Jan. 31.

Betting Pick: Grizzlies +4.5

Memphis has shown better form than New Orleans so far in Orlando, and with Williamson still on a tight minutes restriction, the conditions are ripe for the Grizzlies to make good on the cover.

Shark Bites
  • The UNDER is 2-0 in New Orleans' two restart games.
  • New Orleans is 3-6 ATS in its previous nine games.
  • The UNDER is 8-4 in New Orleans' last 12 games vs. Memphis.