The Milwaukee Bucks are the hottest team in the NBA. Milwaukee will go for their 17th straight win when they take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night at FedEx Forum. The big question surrounding this game is the status of Giannis Antetokounmpo. The reigning MVP did not play in Wednesday’s 127-112 win over the Pelicans with a right quad tendon injury. His status remains uncertain for Friday as he tries to avoid missing back-to-back games.
The Grizzlies are playing better of late having won two straight, most recently a 115-108 road win over the Suns Wednesday night. Memphis closed as a 7-point underdog in Phoenix. Earlier this month they won in Minnesota despite being 11.5-point underdogs against the Timberwolves. Rookie Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks have led the way for the Grizzlies offensively. Brooks scored 27 in Wednesday’s win.
ESPN’s FPI gives the Bucks a 85.6% chance of winning this game. We break down the line and offer our best bets and analysis for Friday’s matchup between the Bucks and Grizzlies.
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Bucks vs. Grizzlies Game Details
Date: Friday, December 13
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Location: FedEx Forum (Memphis, Tennessee)
TV: FS Wisconsin, FS Southeast
Spread: Bucks -10
This line opened at Bucks -11.5 and has been bet down slightly to Bucks -10 despite the majority of bets and money on Milwaukee. This line is most likely moving against the market due to the status of Giannis Antetokounmpo. The movement would suggest that Giannis will not play on Friday.
- Bucks are 22-3 SU and 13-12 ATS this season
- Grizzlies are 8-16 SU and 10-14 ATS this season
Analysis & Picks
We’re starting to see this line move towards Memphis, which would lead me to believe that Giannis will not play on Friday night. The Bucks have been absolutely bludgeoning opponents and had no issues covering the spread without Giannis against the Pelicans on Friday, despite a late push from New Orleans. Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton showed why Milwaukee can continue to play at a high level even without Giannis on the floor. The duo combined for 53 points and got the Bucks off to a smoldering 69-46 lead at halftime. George Hill also provided a spark off the bench making all three of his 3-point tries. Hill is 15-for-22 from the arc over the last eight games. The Grizzlies were able to earn a split with the Bucks in last year’s two meetings. Departed players Marc Gasol and Mike Conley combined for 55 points in Memphis’ one victory. Antetokounmpo averaged 29 points in 28 minutes in the two games against the Grizzlies last season. If Giannis plays, this should be a blowout. Either way, I like the over in this game as 228.5 is a fair number for two of the top six pace teams in the league. If both teams shoot to their averages, this should fly over.
PICK: Over 228.5
Follow Jared Smith on Twitter: @jaredleesmith