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The Grizzlies are the best show in the NBA right now, and they get t face one of the league's worst teams. Plus, the Knicks visit the Lakers.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Orlando Magic Prediction: Memphis Takes Their Act into Orlando

We're starting to run out of superlatives for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Now 2.5 games up on the Bulls and Heat for the third-best record in the league and four games up on Utah for the third-best record in the West, the Grizzlies enter this game coming off their seventh double-digit road win of the season and 19th overall. They've surpassed Cleveland and now sit behind only Oklahoma City with the second-best cover rate in the NBA at 65 percent, and their league-leading positive 9.1 net rating over the last 10 weeks stands 1.2 points per 100 possessions better than the second place Suns, 2.4 points higher than the third place Cavs, and 3.8 points higher than the fourth place Celtics in that time span.

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Tonight, they get the benefit of playing the team with the worst record in the NBA and the third worst point differential in Orlando. The Magic deserve credit for continuing to fight though, and have won four of their last six games, beating the Bulls, Pistons and Mavs at home, and most recently, the Pacers on the road.

That hot stretch is the reason this line is what it is, but beware going with the dog here. Orlando has the second-worst mark against the spread at home in the league, while Memphis has covered nearly 70 percent of their games on the road - easily the best mark in the NBA this season.

One other note here: Ja Morant popped up on the injury report with a foot issue and is being listed as questionable. His absence would certainly leave bettors feeling less secure in their wager, but it certainly wouldn't rule out a big win. Look no further than the Grizzlies' stretch of strong play when Ja missed time earlier in the season for proof of that. Even with Morant's presence in doubt, don't overthink this one. Give the points on the road.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Orlando Magic Line Movement

Memphis Grizzlies vs Orlando Magic Pick

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New York Knicks vs Los Angeles Lakers

How bad have things gotten for the Lakers? They're listed as single possession favorites here against a Knicks team that has lost seven of their last nine games and had exactly one road victory in the month of January, against the then reeling Atlanta Hawks.

Then again, LA doesn't deserve the benefit of any doubts. The Lakers have just one win in their last five games, all of which LeBron James has missed, and that came against the Portland Trail Blazers at home. James is being listed as doubtful tonight with the same knee injury that has kept him out for more than a week.

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On the bright side, the other recent losses have all come on the road, and their last one - against the feisty Clippers - was by a single point. You can also point to the fact that the Lakers came back from 25 down to briefly tie things up in their last matchup with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden earlier this year.

This one will likely come down to how much focus the road team is able to bring. Every prominent Knick, including Julius Randle, has seen his name come up in trade rumors over the last week. New York is just a game out of the play-in, so there is still much to play for, but it'll be interesting to see just how together this group will be as they're surrounded by so much uncertainty.

The game should be close, but this line is small enough to feel good about taking the home team, even if it is the maddening Lakers.

New York Knicks vs Los Angeles Lakers Line Movement

New York Knicks vs Los Angeles Lakers Pick

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Article Author


Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.


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