Both the Utah Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies are hanging right around the .500 mark this year, and the two are going to hope to take a step in the right direction towards the Western Conference playoffs when they duke it out in NBA betting action to wrap up Sunday night.
The Jazz have been up and down this year, but for the most part, they have been really good at home and really bad on the road. In fact, the reason that they are struggling to stay above .500 is because they only have two wins all season long on the road, as they have a ton of road trips on the horizon to make up for all of the games that were played at Energy Solutions Arena earlier in the year. Right now is a down time for Utah. It has dropped three straight and five out of six, though Al Jefferson, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder has already stated that this is a pivotal three game stretch in which he feels as though the team needs to take at least two out of the three to get back to the Beehive State with a winning record. Jefferson is doing his part, scoring at least 16 points in six straight games since missing a clash with an ankle injury at the end of January. He has averaged 18.6 points and 8.9 boards per game this year, and when he isn’t on his game, the team struggles mightily.
Many thought that the Grizzlies, fresh off of their first postseason series win in franchise history last year, would be well on their way to competing for the Western Conference crown this year. However, things just haven’t worked out that way, and now, we are left to wonder whether last year was just a case of the team catching fire at the right time. When you look at the stats for the Grizz, you just don’t see players that are living up to their potential. Rudy Gay, who was out during the postseason in 2011, is putting up 18.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, while Marc Gasol seems to be down with just 15.0 points and 10.0 board per game. Mike Conley Jr. and OJ Mayo are both having okay years at 12.4 points per game, though neither one is shooting even 43 percent from the field. It hasn’t helped that Zach Randolph has only played in four games this year, but Z-Bo is still going to miss at least another 10 games or so, 10 games which could kill Memphis’ chances of getting into the playoffs once again.
The Final Word: The day off on Saturday should give the Jazz an opportunity to get back in the saddle this for the road ahead, and we think that they are indeed going to play well on this three game ride. Give the nod here to Utah and the points that it will inevitably be getting, because the Grizzlies are still one of these overhyped teams this year that just won’t cut it against some of the best that the West has to offer.
Utah Jazz @ Memphis Grizzlies Free Pick: Utah Jazz
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.