Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#575 Houston Rockets -4.5 vs.
#576 Memphis Grizzlies 238
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 8:05pm EST
FedEx Forum, Memphis
Written by Sporty Jordy

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#575 Houston
#576 Memphis
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This article covers a past game!

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When and where: January 14, 2020, Fed Ex Forum, Memphis, TN, 8:00 PM ET

The streaking Memphis Grizzlies will try their hand at unseating the offensive powerhouse Houston Rockets on Tuesday. It has been a rollercoaster ride with the Grizzlies suddenly putting together a five-game winning streak, including a recent 122-102 victory over the Golden State Warriors. They also own a lopsided win over the Los Angeles Clippers in their ongoing run. The Rockets bounced back from a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday by blowing out the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 139-109 victory.

Rockets hit the video game button on the Wolves

The Timberwolves never stood a chance.

Not only did the fearsome offensive combination of James Harden and Russell Westbrook mesmerize onlookers, but other role players chipped in with sensational scoring efforts to pile 139 points on Minnesota. On a night when Harden passed 20,000 career points, the Rockets looked unstoppable on offense.

“To be able to do that on a very, very high level is something we don't take for granted,” Westbrook said after the game, via ESPN.com. “Growing up in L.A. and being able to see him progress over the years to me is just a blessing to see as his friend and I'm truly happy for him.”

They’ll look to continue that offensive dominance in Tuesday’s road trip to Memphis. The Grizzlies are playing their best basketball of the season and allowing only a 43.5 field goal shooting percentage in their last three games. Meanwhile, the Rockets will roll into town with the No. 1-ranked scoring offense and a bevy of weapons.

Houston would do well not to mistake the current Grizzlies for the team they’ve witnessed from afar throughout most of the season. Guys are finally stepping up and making plays in the right moments. Memphis is averaging 125.0 points in their last three outings heading into a game against a shoddy Rockets defense that ranks middle-of-the-road at best.

Westbrook (rest) is expected to sit out against the Grizzlies

An unlikely run for the Grizzlies

The Grizzlies sure picked a good time to come alive.

Ahead of the All-Star break, the rebuilding Grizzlies have posted five consecutive victories and put themselves within four wins of evening up their win-loss record (18-22). They recently handed the Warriors a loss in a game where center Jonas Valanciunas contributed a monstrous double-double with 31 points and 19 rebounds.

Memphis might need a similar performance from him to knock off the Rockets on Tuesday. Houston is currently ranked second behind the Dallas Mavericks in offensive efficiency, and they’ll be taking on the Grizzlies’ 23rd-ranked defense. Teams are shooting 40.5 percent against the Grizzlies from 3-pointer, which is a terrifying statistic for any team slated to face the Harden-led Rockets.

On the offensive end of the floor, Memphis has been playing lights out in recent games. They are averaging a 49.5 shooting percentage in their last three outings. Along with Valanciunas, they’re hopeful Jaren Jackson Jr. and rookie Ja Morant can lead the charge in the scoring department against a vulnerable Rockets defense.

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The Rockets are about to rain on the parade in Memphis.

It has been impressive to see the Grizzlies string together five straight wins, but there is also the fact that the Clippers are the only team they’ve beat during the run with a winning record. This is another test against a legitimate Western Conference contender for a Grizzlies team allowing a 46.3 field goal shooting percentage.

Even without Westbrook on the floor, the bearded daemon, James Harden, will still be too big of a problem to handle. His ability to pile up points, while getting his teammates involved, is a big reason why the Rockets have been so dominant on offense for so many years. This is the sort of game where guys like Eric Gordon and Clint Capela feel compelled to step up on offense.

Capela having a distinct advantage over Valanciunas as a rebounder should lead to a dominant effort from the Rockets on the boards. They are the fifth-ranked rebounding team in the league. Houston has the finesse and the ability to bully the rebuilding Grizzlies. I’m laying the points and taking the Rockets on Tuesday.

Prediction: Houston Rockets (-4.5)

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The last road trip Houston had in Memphis wasn’t the fireworks show some expected it to be. Granted, Harden dropped 44 points and Morant had 23 points, but it was a relatively tame performance by both teams that ended with the Rockets winning 107-100.

Memphis is only allowing a 43.5 field goal shooting percentage in their last three games. So I’m expecting another solid outing from them in a game with no Westbrook. Other players will step up for the Rockets, but there is no replacing the potency the team has with a healthy Westbrook in the lineup. I’m taking the under betting total here.

Prediction: Under (238)
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Written By Jordy McElroy , "Sporty Jordy"

Born in Germany and raised in the beautiful state of Tennessee, Jordy McElroy is a storyteller of sports, a sports betting enthusiast and a semi-deep thinker. Being a New England Patriots fan means he's a six-time Super Bowl winner as well, which means you'd have to be a fool to ignore his advice. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiners, Jordy’s work appeared on CNN.com, FOX Sports, Bleacher Report, USA TODAY and BJPenn.com. There are no beaches where he comes from -- just rolling hills, green valleys and all the Sun Drop you can drink.