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Surging Grizzlies, In The Midst Of A Long Western Road Trip, Face Sliding Jazz

Posted by Craig Parsons on 3/14/2013 10:14:24 PM

The Memphis Grizzlies have reshaped their roster with the Rudy Gay trade, but will the Utah Jazz manage to mount an uprising in the midst of a very bad patch in early March?

Memphis Grizzlies @ Utah Jazz – Tuesday, March

Sport betting line: No line

Why Memphis Will Win

Even if you don't care for online casino games, you have to feel confident about putting your cards on the table right now in Memphis. The Grizzlies have moved up to third place in the conference, overtaking the Los Angeles Clippers thanks to a commanding 11-point win on Wednesday night in Los Angeles in the midst of an extended road trip through the Western United States.

That win for Memphis was huge because the Grizzlies - despite winning 13 of their previous 14 games - had not beaten many formidable opponents in that stretch. Of the 13 teams Memphis disposed of over the past four weeks, only Brooklyn and Golden State owned winning records. The Grizzlies needed to show that they could take down a big-time foe, especially on the road. Now that they've done that, they can feel that much more confident and optimistic about their prospects in the coming months.

Memphis' trade of Rudy Gay to Toronto in exchange for Tayshaun Prince from Detroit (in a three-team deal) is paying off. The Grizzlies are a much more effective team at both ends of the floor.

Utah, though, is a different story. The Jazz are losing just about every close game in which they play, and last Saturday, they got blown out by the New York Knicks, losing by 29 points despite the fact that the Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony. Utah is reeling, having lost whatever confidence it might have possessed earlier in the season. The Jazz have been passed by the Los Angeles Lakers in the West’s playoff pecking order, and will find it hard to sustain a quality effort for 48 minutes against the Grizzlies.

Why Utah Will Win

When football betting gurus with relatively minimal basketball expertise assess the chances of the Jazz, they will acknowledge that Utah is struggling. Yet, the Jazz will now have more of a spring in their step, since they've learned - along with everyone else in the NBA - that Los Angeles Laker superstar Kobe Bryant will be out indefinitely with a severe ankle sprain. The Jazz's fading playoff hopes just received a boost, and this could give the team confidence heading into this tilt with Memphis.

One also has to realize that the Jazz, terrible as they are in road games, are very strong at home, owning a 23-8 record in Salt Lake City. Moreover, Memphis will be playing the second end of a back-to-back road set, having played on Friday night, March 15, in Denver against the Nuggets. Memphis is playing much better basketball, but Utah is getting every possible break from the schedule maker in this contest, and that could lift the Jazz over the top.

Who Will Win

It’s true that Memphis is playing the second end of a back-to-back and could be tired, but the Grizzlies are confident, which means that they will relish taking the court on Saturday. Utah can't just flip the "on" switch; the Jazz have not held up well under pressure over the past month. Take the Grizzlies on the road.

NBA Basketball Betting Pick: Memphis

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