Cleveland Cavaliers versus Memphis Grizzlies
This is a matchup featuring two teams heading in opposite directions.
Cleveland enters play having lost eight of their last 11.
They are 12-29 on the season and 6-15 on the road. Although the Grizzlies are under .500 for the season at 19-22 and 11-12 at home, they have won their last six games.
Memphis is an eight-point favorite with an over/under of 229.
Comparing the teams statistically, the Grizzlies have a distinct advantage in two major categories, scoring and three-point shooting.
They are eighth in offense at 113.6 points per game compared to Cleveland’s 26th ranked offense of 104.9 points per game.
Memphis is 11th in three-point percentage, while Cleveland is 24th.
Both teams are near the bottom in turnovers and mediocre in points allowed and rebounding.
The Cavaliers are led offensively by Collin Sexton, who is averaging 18.8 points per game.
Kevin Love is the most consistent overall player, hitting 37 percent from beyond the arc, averaging 17 points and 10.4 rebounds.
Tristan Thompson also pounds the boards at the rate of 10.5 per game, while Darius Garland (12.3 points) and Cesi Osman (11 pounds) round out the top scorers.
For the Grizzlies, 20-year old rookie Ja Morant has been impressive, leading the team in scoring at 18 per game and assists at 6.9 per contest.
Jaren Jackson is the second best offensive option, dropping nearly 18 per game, while Jonas Valanciunas is the top assist man at 9.8 game and also adds 15.2 points.
All told, the Grizzlies have a balanced unit with six players averaging in double-digits scoring.
Cleveland’s only real chance in this one is to put forth a strong defensive effort, since they are clearly outmatched in overall offensive power.
However, they allow 114 points per game and don’t take care of the ball well enough or hit enough three pointers to keep pace.
Memphis will win the game and likely cover, but the game will be on the lower scoring side so taking the “under” is the prudent bet.