Memphis Grizzlies at Sacramento Kings, Thursday, January 10, 2008, ARCO Arena, Sacramento, California, 10:00 pm ET.
by Matt of Predictem.com
The Memphis Grizzlies travel to Sacramento to take on the Kings in a matchup of two struggling teams looking to get their seasons on the right track and back into playoff contention in the NBAs Western Conference.
Memphis is most recently coming off a home loss to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, 117-101, dropping their record to 10-24 on the year. The loss was the 7th in their last ten played and moved them further into the cellar in the Southwest Division. As they travel to ARCO, they bring only 4 wins against 12 losses on the road in 07-08.
Sacramento hasn’t fared much better thus far with a 13-20 overall record although they are coming off a win at home Tuesday night, 104-100, versus the Orlando Magic. They are 4-6 in their last ten and have played better at home on the year where they are one game over .500 at 9-8. The Kings are looking to stay afloat in the Pacific Division where they are currently fourth, ten games back in the loss column.
While the Grizzlies have a clean injury report, the Kings have been bitten often by the injury bug. Mike Bibby is reportedly close to full speed in practice, but has yet to see the floor following thumb surgery. Leading scorer Kevin Martin has been out with a groin injury and will not participate in a full practice until Friday. Sacramentos biggest loss may be Ron Artest, who is out with an elbow injury and will not resume basketball activities until mid-January.
The opening line for the game has the Kings as 3.5 point favorites and the over/under total at 203. The Grizzlies are 16-17-1 against the spread this year and have gone 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games against a Western Conference opponent. The Kings have fared better against the spread going 19-14 so far in 07-08 reeling off 4 straight ATS wins.
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Memphis games are averaging 204.5 points this year and the o/u is even at 17-17 against those totals. Sacramento tips average 198.3 points per with the o/u record standing at 16-15-2. In the last six meetings between these two teams at ARCO Arena, the over has hit in 5 of those games.
These teams have traded punches in recent meeting with Sacramento winning 4 of the last 7 straight up dating back to 2006. The last 4 contests have averaged 219 total points with the over 3-1 in those games.
Rudy Gay leads the way for Memphis, pacing the team with 19.0 points per game. Pau Gasol chips in 17.9 points and a team high 8.3 rebounds per. Mike Miller is the 3 point specialist hitting on almost 43% of his attempts and rookie Mike Conley leads the team in assists per game with 4.6.
Sacramento has relied heavily on backups with all their injury issues. John Salmons and Francisco Garcia average 16.9 and 13.3 points per game respectively. Center Brad Miller leads with 8.7 rebounds a contest, and Beno Udrih has filled in at the point and leads the team with 4.8 assists a night.
As a team, the Grizzlies get to their 100.1 points for average on 45.9% from the field and making good on 36% from behind the arc. Sacramento averages 97.7 points for on 45.2 FG% and 35.2% from three. Memphis holds a two rebound a game edge against the Kings, but gives up four more points a game on average 104.4 against the 100.6 the Kings give up on average.
Matt’s Pick: Take Memphis plus the points.