Nikola Jokic will be looking to continue his dominance for the Denver Nuggets as they take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire)
- The Denver Nuggets begin their second half with a matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, March 12th
- Denver is currently on a four-game winning streak, while Memphis is coming off a statement win over the Wizards
- Get our odds, preview, and best bet below
The Denver Nuggets finish up a spaced-out five-game road trip against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, March 12th (tip-off 8pm ET).
This is Denver’s first contest since the All-Star break, having collected four straight wins against the Thunder, Bulls, Bucks, and Pacers prior to the festivities in Atlanta. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have already been in action this week, beating the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.
This is the first meeting between these Western Conference foes this year, with the Nuggets winning two out of three last season.
Nuggets vs Grizzlies Odds
|Denver Nuggets||-3.5 (-112)||-155||Ov 227.5 (-112)|
|Memphis Grizzlies||+3.5 (-109)||+130||Un 227.5 (-109)|
Odds taken March 11 at DraftKings
Denver Looking to Continue Hot Streak
The Nuggets will be seeking their fifth-straight victory Friday, which would match their longest winning streak of the campaign. It was a tremendous way to finish the first half, including a massive 31-point thrashing of Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks.
Nikola Jokic is the talk of the town in Denver, currently one of the frontrunners in the MVP race. The Serb is averaging 27.1 points, 11 rebounds, and an impressive 8.6 assists per night. He’s also shooting over 40% from downtown and 57% from the field.
However, Jamal Murray’s resurgence has played a crucial part in the team’s success. After struggling out of the gate, the former Kentucky standout has really picked it up lately.
Murray is dropping 28.5 points per contest in his last 12 appearances, including a 50-point performance against Cleveland back in mid-February. He’s averaging 21.8 on the year, but that number was significantly lower before Murray’s bubble form came to fruition.
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) February 20, 2021
The supporting cast for the Nuggets has also been solid. They have four other players producing double-digit scoring numbers, with Michael Porter Jr. the next best to Jokic and Murray at 14.6 points.
On both sides of the ball, the Nuggets are a fundamentally sound team. During their hot streak, they’re limiting opponents to just 102 points per game. With a 21-15 record, Denver is just 2.5 games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for third place in the West and if they continue to play at such a high level, it’s only a matter of time until the Nuggets are in the top-four.
Can Grizzlies Build Off Impressive Performance?
Memphis will come into this contest with a sense of confidence after a dominant performance against the Wizards. Although DC is one of the worst teams in the association, they still have two superstars in Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook.
That didn’t stop Ja Morant and the Grizzlies from going to work, though. Taylor Jenkins’ squad destroyed Washington on the glass, out-rebounding them 60-39, much in part to Jonas Valanciunas. The Lithuanian had a night for the ages, collecting a season-high 29 points and 20 rebounds.
Offensive productivity in the paint was the ultimate difference in this contest, with Memphis scoring 78 of their points inside, compared to just 48 for the Wizards. Morant was also in his bag, dropping 21 while dishing out 10 dimes in the victory.
📊: 21 points | 10 assists | 6 rebounds
— Memphis Grizzlies (@memgrizz) March 11, 2021
It was a great way for the Grizz to begin the second half as they currently sit in ninth place in the West and well in contention for a playoff spot. The team also received positive news on the Jaren Jackson front, with the big man aiming for a return at some point this season from knee surgery. If Memphis can stay afloat and secure a top-eight seed, Morant could have his right-hand man back at the best possible time.
Denver hasn’t been great as ATS favorites this season, going just 13-12. On the other hand, the Grizzlies are just 11-9 as the ATS underdogs. The visitors are on a winning streak, but they’ve also been off for more than a week.
The Nuggets will likely be without a few role players such as Gary Harris, JaMychal Green, and Paul Millsap, which could hurt the rotation. Memphis is also on a 4-game ATS unbeaten streak.
Take a chance here on Morant and the Grizzlies to end Denver’s run. Also, expect them to combine to hit the over, considering that scoring hasn’t been an issue for either team lately.
Pick: Grizzlies +3.5 (-109)
Quinn Allen is a sports journalist, with a background and education in broadcast journalism (BCIT ’17). He writes about European Football, Basketball, and Baseball for numerous sites across the globe.