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NBA Betting: L.A. vs. Memphis Preview/Predictions

Kobe Set To Return Tonight Against Grizzlies As Road Favorite

Kobe Bryant has been MIA for most of February but that hasn’t stopped the Lakers from being a decent bet at all. With his anticipated return to the hardwood tonight after rehabbing a severely injured ankle, the Lakers are going to need him to perform well against a riley Grizzlies team that is built to contend with the Lakers in the playoffs.


Earning a victory over the Lakers and the spread could be what legitimizes the Grizzlies late in the season as we gun towards the post season.

It’s no secret that the Lakers desperately need Kobe Bryant to be a contender. While their only loss since losing him has been a one-point hear breaker to the rival Celtics, the Lakers are 4-1 SU in the past five games without Kobe. Overall they’re just 3-5-1 ATS but on the road they’ve simply been reliable. With a 5-1-1 ATS and 6-1 SU record in their past 7 roadies, the Lakers will hope that the return of Kobe can be the difference maker against a team which beat them 95-93 in their last meeting.

Of course, the other big element of tonight’s game is the battle of the Gasol brothers. Averaging 17.2 points and 11.1 rebounds this season, Gasol has been everything you’d want out of a power forward. Yet his little brother, Marc Gasol, is having a great surge this year averaging 15.0 points and 9.4 boards. His immense 7-foot-1, 265 pound frame and his desire to outplay his big brother has fueled him to be a serious competitor this year and in the last matchup against big brother, Marc had 11 point and 13 rebounds.

And while the Lakers’ trio of Bynum, Odom and Gasol brings height, finesse, scoring and defense to the table, the Grizzlies are surprisingly one of those teams that can match them underneath. Marc Gasol is much better than you think he is, but Zach Randolph is the linchpin for the Grizzlies. With 20.4 points and 11.7 rebounds, Randolph’s redemption year has a strong chance of continuing when the Grizzlies host the Lakers tonight.

Los Angeles Lakers (42-14) vs. Memphis Grizzlies (28-27)
Tuesday, February 23rd — FedEX Forum — 8:00pm EST
NBA Betting Line: Lakers -5 (199)

Expecting a win out of Memphis with a well rested Kobe coming back is a lot, but I love that betting line for them. This game will be closer than most think because of Gasol and Randolph. The Grizzlies are 10-4 ATS when playing the Lakers at home, though they’re just 1-4 SU in the past five games under those circumstances. Scoring hasn’t been a problem for either team as the game has gone in the OVER in 4-of-6 when Memphis hosts L.A.

Do not sleep on Memphis. The Grizzlies haven’t been playing well lately, but against he Lakers they’ll bring everything that they have to prove that they’re a dangerous team. Expect a tight dog fight tonight and while the Lakers will walk away with the win, the Grizzlies will cover the spread.

NBA Free Picks – Memphis +5 (OVER)

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  1. The Lakers expect to get Kobe back for this game, but they have done pretty well without him going 4-1 in the five game stretch. Either way I taking the Lakers in this one as Memphis will not be able to keep it that close.