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Grizzlies vs. Lakers Pick NBA – March 22nd

We accomplished a rare and dangerous feat last night.  We bet AGAINST the San Antonio Spurs and escaped unscathed and with some more money in our pockets.  Trust me, I don’t plan on making a habit of it, and was already mentally writing the “sorry guys, I am SUCH a dope” column after the Hornets insane 28-7 first quarter deficit.  Seriously, WHO scores SEVEN points in the first quarter against the Spurs and ends up covering the game?  Even more so – WINNING?!?

Hats off to the surging Hornets who are looking like real contenders in the East over the last seven weeks and hats off to us for notching a daring straight-up underdog winner.

Let’s see if we can keep the mojo going tonight on a pretty limited NBA schedule.  There are only four games to choose from, but here is my favorite play on the slim board.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Memphis Grizzlies -3 at Los Angeles Lakers

This is an interesting game.  The Lakers are on television primarily because you (maybe not you but the more general “you”) want to see Kobe on television.  But it looks like Kobe might be sitting this game out.

And that makes it harder to handicap because in a cruel twist of Father Time’s wrath, the Lakers are actually a better bet at home without Kobe than with him.  Kobe wants no part of Tony Allen, the closest thing to a “Kobe Stopper” in the many years of that fruitless boast, that the NBA has seen.  Kobe has called him the best defender he ever faced (though Kawhi Leonard is gotta be right there, only he got to the party far later).  If Kobe plays, it is a 4 of 17 from the floor waiting to happen.

Let’s assume he won’t play.  That levels the field a bit, but I still like the Grizz on the road as the numbers are overwhelming.  The Lakers are 3-14 in their last 17 games, and if you purge the Warriors miracle from your mind, the Lakers have been simply awful.  They are 1-4 ATS in their last five games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.  Meanwhile, Memphis, despite the devastating rash of injuries, are still 5-2 ATS in their last seven games, despite losing four of them straight up.

Playing the Lakers is a pretty nice way to get back on track.  The Grizzlies have won five straight in Los Angeles and are 9-1 against the Lakers in their last ten games overall.  They are playing without Gasol, Conley, Chalmers and a few other role players, but even without these guys they have still been able to handle both decent and inferior competition.  They have won their last two games, dispatching both the Clippers and Suns.  Tonight would constitute “inferior competition.”

I’ll take the Grizz, and their MASH unit, on the road tonight against the Lakers.

Free Pick: Memphis Grizzlies -3