Memphis has won three of its past four games while going 4-0 against the spread. The Grizzlies won back-to-back double-digit blowouts over the Chicago Bulls Friday and Milwaukee Bucks the following night.
Denver has also pummelled two straight opponents but split its past four games 2-2 straight up and ATS. Prior to this four-game stretch, the Nuggets won eight straight and covered the spread in six of those games.
The Nuggets squeaked past the Grizzlies 103-102 in their first meeting this season. They have beaten Memphis in three of four games since the Grizzlies drafted PG Ja Morant in 2019, but Memphis went 2-1-1 ATS in those meetings.
The absence of Valanciunas is extra troubling for the Grizzlies in this spot considering he’s a quality big that can at least make Nuggets MVP frontrunner Nikola Jokic work on both ends of the floor.
Also, Memphis is first in points in the paint per game and second-chance points per game, but Denver is seventh in paint points allowed per game and gives up the fewest second-chance points per game.
While the loss of Murray undoubtedly lowers Denver’s ceiling, Nuggets backup PG Facundo Campazzo is a menace defensively and should be using his full bandwidth to pester Morant.