Grizzlies at Rockets: Betting odds, point spread for Monday night

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When the Grizzlies last visited Toyota Center in late February, they handed the Rockets an “embarrassing” 49-point defeat in the middle of a 20-game losing streak. By margin, it was the biggest win in Memphis franchise history, and the third-largest loss for Houston.

On Monday, Ja Morant and the Grizzlies will pay their first return visit since that Feb. 27 clunker. The Rockets, however, have new reasons for optimism. After losing 20 straight, Houston has won two of its last four, punctuated by Saturday’s blowout victory at Minnesota.

The Rockets also have several pieces that were unavailable in February: talented second-year guard Kevin Porter Jr.; recent trade acquisition Kelly Olynyk; and, potentially, star center Christian Wood. Just 20 years old, Porter showcased his impressive talent by scoring 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting (66.7%) to lead Saturday’s win.

Even so, the Grizzlies — at least on paper — have a lot more to play for. The Rockets (13-32) are almost assuredly out of the playoff mix this season, whereas Memphis (21-22) is No. 9 in the Western Conference and fighting for one of the spots in the West’s play-in tournament for its final two playoff seeds. The Grizzlies enter Monday’s game coming off back-to-back losses in Utah and in need of a win to get back to .500.

The lines, courtesy of BetMGM

  • Point spread: Rockets +8 (-110), Grizzlies -8 (-110)

  • Moneyline: Rockets +275/Grizzlies -350

  • Over-under: 224.5 (-110 O, -110 U)

  • Player O/U Scoring Props: YBD

Place your legal, online sports bets in CO, IN, MI, NV, NJ, PA, TN, and WV at BetMGM.

Probable starters for Memphis are Ja Morant, Grayson Allen, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, and Jonas Valanciunas. Meanwhile, Houston would like to start John Wall, Kevin Porter Jr., Danuel House Jr., Jae’Sean Tate and Christian Wood — but Wood’s status is up in the air.

As for the official injury report, Houston center Christian Wood (illness) is questionable after missing Saturday’s game in Minnesota, and recently acquired guard Avery Bradley (right calf strain) is questionable. Eric Gordon (groin), David Nwaba (wrist) and Dante Exum (calf) are sidelined by longer-term injuries. For the Grizzlies, young forward Jaren Jackson Jr. remains out after undergoing meniscus surgery on his left knee.

Advice and prediction

The Rockets are playing better basketball over the last week, but the Grizzlies have a lot more to play for and should have a sense of urgency after dropping below .500 following their defeats in Utah. The Rockets are clearly a lesser opponent than the Jazz, who have the NBA’s best record this season, and that should provide an opportunity for Memphis.

Prediction: 114-105, Grizzlies

Get more betting analysis and predictions at Sportsbook Wire.

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