Grizzlies vs. Bulls Expert Pick - April 2nd, 2023
GRIZZLIES VS. BULLS EXPERT PICK - APRIL 2nd, 2023 - Greetings basketball fans. Welcome back to our weekly column where we break down some of the marquee matchups from the weekend’s slate of NBA games.
Yesterday, I correctly picked the Miami Heat to defeat the Dallas Mavericks outright, but Dallas failed to cover the +1 spread. With that in mind, I’m hoping to get it right across the board for our Sunday afternoon game that features the Memphis Grizzlies (49-28) taking on the Chicago Bulls (37-40). Without further delay, let’s dive into this matchup to see which team has the edge.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Chicago Bulls Season Trends
The Memphis Grizzlies are cooking right now. They have posted wins in eight of their last nine games, including a two-game home stand against the LA Clippers.
Following a 141-132 setback on Wednesday night, Memphis got back into the win column with a 108-94 win over the Clippers on Friday night.
Desmond Bane scored a team-high 22 points (on 9-for-18 shooting) along with three boards, nine assists, and three steals. Although they trailed by as many as 20 points in the first half, the Grizzlies held the Clippers to 37.8 shooting from the floor and 31.4 percent from beyond the arc.
While having the second-best record is respectable, the Grizzlies still have a chance to catch the Denver Nuggets, whom they trail by two games for the No. 1 seed.
Meanwhile, the Chicago Bulls have been inconsistent at best the entire season.
But over the last 10 games, the Bulls have emerged victorious in six of those contests. This includes a 121-91 thumping of the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night. In what was one of their more impressive outings of the 2022-23 campaign (51.9 percent from the floor and 41.9 percent from 3-point range), Chicago jumped out to an early eight-point lead and led by 16 at the break.
They never allowed the Hornets to threaten the rest of the way, enabling them to get a much-needed win with only a handful of games left on the schedule. Both Zach Lavine and DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points apiece, while Nikola Vucevic chipped in with 21 points and eight rebounds.
Chicago is currently three games ahead of the Washington Wizards for the No. 10 spot. And barring a major collapse, they should qualify for the play-in round.
However, they trail both the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors by just one game for the eighth and ninth spots. It will be interesting to see which version of these Bulls show up the rest of the way.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Chicago Bulls Head-To-Head and Betting Trends
When these two teams met back in early February, Memphis jumped out to a 26-14 after the first 12 minutes of action and never looked back. The ending result was a 104-89 victory for the home team. It marked the fifth straight time that the Grizzlies have gotten the best of the Bulls. Although both teams have something to play for, hopefully, the Bulls will come out with a greater sense of urgency.
The projected O/U total for this contest opened at 224.5 points. That line has moved to 227 points.
The UNDER has a 20-6 record for Memphis the last 26 times they have faced an opponent with a winning home record. Chicago is 20-18 at the United Center this season.
The UNDER is 11-5 in the Grizzlies’ last 16 road games and 15-7 in the last 22 games in which they’ve played on one day of rest.
The total has gone Under 21 times in Memphis’s last 32 games when their opponent scored more than 100 points in their previous outing. Chicago scored 121 points against Charlotte on Friday night.
The UNDER is 13-4 for Chicago in its last 17 games following an against-the-spread win.
The total has gone under 19 times in the Bulls’ last 27 games against teams with a winning percentage of more than .600. Memphis has a winning percentage of .636.
The Under is 8-3 in Chicago’s last 11 games following a win of more than 10 points. They defeated the Hornets by 30 points on Friday night.
The Under holds a 19-8 mark in the Bulls’ last 27 games following outings in which they scored more than 100 points. The Bulls scored 121 points against the Hornets.
While the two teams are averaging a combined 230.2 points per contest, there is too much data that would suggest going with the UNDER is the way to go in this matchup.
The Grizzlies opened as a consensus 2.5-point favorite. That line has moved to three points (-3).
Memphis is 5-11 against the spread in its last 16 road contests.
The Grizzlies are 2-7 ATS in their last nine road games when facing a team that has a winning home record. The Bulls are 20-18.
Memphis is 1-4 ATS in their last five matchups against teams with a losing record, and 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win.
Chicago is 3-1-1 ATS in their last five games following an outright win of more than 10 points, and they are 5-2 ATS the last seven times they played on one day of rest.
The Bulls are also 31-15-1 ATS in their last 47 home games against an opponent that had a losing road record. The Grizzlies are 15-22 on the road.
Given the trends, I am going with Memphis to win outright, but I expect Chicago to cover the +3 spread.
Player Prop Bet
My player to watch from this contest is Grizzlies’ point guard Ja Morant. He currently has -125 odds of scoring more than 24.5 points and -105 odds of scoring less than 24.5 points.
In six career games against the Bulls, Morant is averaging 23.8 points per contest. However, in his last three outings against Chicago, he finished with 25, 46, and 34 points, respectively.
Morant is averaging 26 points on the road and his overall scoring average is 26.6 points per contest. Simply put, I am predicting that Morant will exceed the 24.5 points threshold.
Under 227 total points
PPB: Ja Morant OVER 24.5 points