Last Updated Oct 26, 2021, 08:00 PM
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers Predictions, Odds, Picks
VI Betting Expert
Rip City will be booming Wednesday night, but a couple of concerns still linger with both the Grizzlies and Blazers. Memphis is in Portland for a 10:00 p.m. ET tip on ESPN at the Moda Center.
Grizzlies 128, Blazers 110
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers Predictions
Both teams are waiting for help but in completely different fashion. The Grizzlies are the top scoring team in the league but are seeing Ja Morant handle most of the scoring. Jaren Jackson isn’t where he should be but both Desmond Bane and De’Anthony Melton have been solid contributors. But that’s it. Memphis is still weak off the bench, but incredibly successful relying on Morant to dominate. The good news for Memphis against Portland is that small issues like Jackson not being a great post player – yet – won’t hold back the Grizzlies from torching Portland. The Blazers give up a lot of points and it should be open season for Memphis – especially Morant.
Damian Lillard hasn’t truly arrived yet. Maybe it was the offseason drama holding over him, but the Blazers All-NBA guard is still struggling out of the gate. Portland is surely relieved CJ McCollum has stepped up – and then some – during Lillard’s struggles, but the team still lacks potent offense without domination from Dame. There was a rotating third scorer when both guards were in sync, so no shock the Blazers aren’t themselves right now on offense.
Morant is averaging 35 PPG through three games and is leading the highest-scoring team in the NBA. That’s as simple as it gets in this matchup. Add Lillard’s struggles and how poor the Blazers have looked on defense and it gets even uglier.
While they lack firepower up front, the Grizzlies have been fine defensively with Steven Adams pacing the squad at 13 RPG. If both Bane and Melton are on Wednesday night, it’s going to make it near impossible for the Blazers to keep up.
It hasn’t been easy watching one of the most dynamic scorers in the game struggle like Lillard has, but it can’t last forever. Having McCollum take over games helps but they are still dealing with a knee injury sidelining Norman Powell. Jusuf Nurkic and Cody Zeller just aren’t giving the Blazers enough at the C position – an area of strength against the Grizzlies. Memphis is also without Dillon Brooks, so there’s a little depth issue with both teams.
Key Players to Watch
- MEM: Ja Morant - PG (35 ppg, 8 apg)
- MEM: Steven Adams - C (13 ppg, 13 rpg, 4.7 apg)
- POR: Damian Lillard - PG (17 ppg, 7.3 apg)
- POR: C.J. McCollum - SG (27.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg)
- MEM: Dillon Brooks - SF (Out)
- POR: Tony Snell - SF (Out)
- POR: Norman Powell - SF (DTD)
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers Betting Conclusion
Morant is simply playing on another level. Ironically, it’s the level we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing Lillard play. The difference in this game, why the Blazers get blown out, is consistent scoring. The game should go over its projected total with both teams struggling on defense, so where is the difference?
Backcourt scoring. The Grizzlies are down a player and still adding the necessary support for their superstar. Meanwhile the Blazers must deal with their main superstar barely adding role-player lever support. This key difference will be evident on the court after the Grizz get one on the road.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Portland Trail Blazers Betting Trends