Online betting players should check the total in their sportsbook for Saturday's game between Memphis and New York, two teams that struggle on the defensive end of the floor, but have no problem at the other end.
Grizzlies vs Knicks odds – Saturday, February 27, 7:30 PM ET
The Grizzlies had alternated wins and losses since the All-Star break ahead of Friday's game at home against Charlotte, and after a tough one-point loss to the Lakers, the Grizzlies came away with a 99-94 win in Washington on Wednesday, and they proved that they could play defense when they want to. Zach Randolph led the way with 22 points, while Rudy Gay and Marc Gasol had 20 apiece for the Grizzlies, who are reportedly sending Hasheem Thabeet, the No.2 pick in last year's draft, to the D-League. Thabeet was supposed to come in and help the Grizzlies with their defensive play, given that he was a beast of a shotblocker at UConn, but it hasn't translated to the pros.
The Knicks will also play on Friday, in Washington, and they'll be hoping to have an eight-game losing skid stopped by the time Memphis comes to town. The Knicks fell 110-106 in Boston on Tuesday night, and ironically, it was the first game for Nate Robinson in a Boston uniform after the Knicks traded him to Beantown. David Lee had 28 points and 15 boards for the Knicks, and Tracy McGrady didn't have a good game, going 3-of-8 for six points, although he did add eight assists. We have to remember that McGrady has played sparingly over the last two years because of his knee injury, and he'll be better once he gets his legs back. It won't matter, though, because the Knicks just can't stop anyone on defense.
US sportsbook odds (US sportsbook review) should favor the Knicks at home, and these two have split their last 10 meetings. This is their first meeting of the season, and you have to think the over is a good play based on defensive numbers: as of Thursday, the Grizzlies had allowed 103.1 points per game, while the Knicks have given up 104.2 points. The Grizzlies have shown they can play defense, and not only against teams like Washington, who was missing Josh Howard and have basically thrown in the towel on the season, but they kept it close with the Lakers before a last-second dagger from Kobe Bryant. The Knicks just try to outscore you, and sooner or later, you're going to have to play defense, which this New York team doesn't even seem interested in. The Grizzlies have further to travel after Friday's game in Charlotte, but Madison Square Garden tends to bring out the best in the opposition, and Randolph would love to stick it to his former team.
NBA betting pick: Memphis