Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#549 Denver Nuggets -7 vs.
#550 Memphis Grizzlies 212
Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 6:05pm EST
FedEx Forum, Memphis
Written by Chris Kubala

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#549 Denver
#550 Memphis
8-3
5-7
49-47
39-42-1
44-52
36-45-1
110
103
106
106

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It’s a battle of Western Conference teams battling down in Grind City. The Denver Nuggets are on the road as they travel to face the Memphis Grizzlies Sunday evening. Denver comes in off a 101-93 home victory over Brooklyn Thursday night in their previous contest. Memphis edged Utah 107-106 at home Friday night in their last game. The Nuggets lead the all-time regular season series 54-35 and took two of three meetings last season. In the most recent meeting, it was Denver taking a 95-92 road win on January 28, 2019.

Denver Nuggets Try to Maintain Northwest Division Lead

Denver took down Brooklyn at home Thursday night for their fifth win in six games. The Nuggets entered Saturday holding the top spot in the Northwest Division, half a game ahead of the Jazz. Denver trailed by seven after the opening quarter and by 12 at the half before rallying to get back in the game. The Nuggets tied the game after three quarters and used a 13-4 run in the fourth quarter to take a 96-87 lead with 4:45 to play in the contest. Denver didn’t see their lead drop below three the rest of the way. The Nuggets shot 42.6 percent from the field, including 10 of 31 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 62-51. Paul Millsap (nine boards) and Nikola Jokic (10 rebounds) each had 18 points in the victory.

The Nuggets enter this contest 27th in the league by averaging 104.7 points per game on the year. Denver is tied for 8th in rebounding by collecting 47 boards per night and 9th in assists by dishing out 24.8 dimes a night. The Nuggets are 4th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 101.9 points per contest this season. Jamal Murray leads the team with 17.4 points plus 4.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per contest this season. Nikola Jokic contributes 17.1 points, 9.1 rebounds and 5.8 assists a night. Will Barton (15.8 points, 7.7 rebounds), Gary Harris (10.9 points), Paul Millsap (13.3 points) and Malik Beasley are solid contributors. If Michael Porter Jr., Jerami Grant, Torrey Craig, Mason Plumlee and Monte Morris can contribute, the Nuggets will be tough. Denver is 28th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 43 percent from the floor as a team this season. The Nuggets are 21st in the league in threes per game as they knock 10.2 triples per contest while the team is 16th in three-point shooting by hitting 34.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Memphis Grizzlies Look for Fourth Straight Win

Memphis earned their third straight win as they scratched out a win over the Jazz at home on Friday night. The Grizzlies entered Saturday tied for third in the Southwest Division, four games behind the Rockets for the top spot. Memphis was involved in a back and forth game the whole way: they trailed by three after the opening quarter, led by five at the half and trailed by two after three quarters. In the final quarter, the game was tied before Ja Morant scored the go-ahead bucket with 1:32 to play. Memphis’s defense stepped up: Rudy Gobert missed a free throw for Utah and the Grizzlies forced a turnover on the final possession. The Grizzlies shot 44.8 percent from the field, including 10 of 35 from three-point range, and went 11 of 13 from the charity stripe. Morant led Memphis with 25 points and eight assists in the win.

The Grizzlies are 16th in the league in scoring offense as they put up 109.8 points per game on the year. Memphis stands 17th in the league in rebounding with 45.8 boards a night while the team is third by dishing out 26.8 assists per contest. The Grizzlies are 25th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 117.8 points per game on the year. Ja Morant leads Memphis with 18.9 points plus six assists per game this season. Dillon Brooks puts up 14.2 points a night while Jonas Valanciunas contributes 12.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game. Brandon Clarke (11.7 points) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (13.8 points) are solid secondary options. Jae Crowder (9.6 points), Kyle Anderson and Tyus Jones are important rotation pieces for the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies are tied for 11th in the league in field goal percentage as they shoot 46 percent from the floor as a team this season. Memphis is tied for 22nd in the league with 10.1 three-pointers a night while the team is 24th in three-point shooting as they hit 33 percent from beyond the arc this season.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Memphis has played well with three straight wins after their 2-7 start to the season. The Grizzlies have plenty of young guys to work with at this point with Morant and Jackson Jr. the new Mike Conley Jr. and Zach Randolph of the team. Denver is extremely deep and they have found ways to win close games on a regular basis. It’s tough to try and contain Jokic, who is the most versatile big man arguably in the league. The Nuggets aren’t intimidated about playing on the road: look for them to get the advantage on the road here.

Prediction: Denver Nuggets -6.5

Full-Game Total Pick

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Memphis is normally a solid defensive team but that has been a serious struggle for them this season. The Grizzlies have to be better on that end of the floor as the season wears on as they can ill afford to keep giving up 119 points a night. Denver has struggled offensively this season, which is surprising since the majority of their rotation is the same guys from a year ago. The Nuggets have been better on the defensive end of the floor as they have leaned on their tough defense to hang in games. Denver has held five of their last six opponents under 100 points this season: can they shut down the Grizzlies here?

The under is 5-1 in the Nuggets' last six overall, 5-1 in their last 6 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game, 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a losing home record and 4-1 in their last five on the road. Memphis has seen the under go 9-1 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning straight up record and 9-2 in their last 11 on Sunday. The under is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Memphis: with the Nuggets playing tough defense, this one ends up under the number.

Prediction: Under 211.5
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.