We are closing in on the end of the 2023 NBA Las Vegas Summer League. With that said, it is time to continue our NBA odds series with a Grizzlies-Lakers prediction and pick.
The Memphis Grizzlies are 1-2 so far in Summer League. They won their Las Vegas opener 87-80 over the Chicago Bulls. Then, they got spanked by the still-undefeated Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday to the tune of a 100-77 beatdown before losing to the Los Angeles Clippers 83-74.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers have gone 2-1 in Vegas so far, 2-3 if you include the California Classic. The Lakers opened their Vegas Summer League stint with a 103-96 win over the Golden State Warriors, then followed it up with 93-75 win over no. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller and the Charlotte Hornets. Los Angeles failed to keep its clean slate in Vegas after dropping their most recent contest to the Boston Celtics, 95-90.
Here are the Vegas Summer League NBA Odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
NBA Summer League Odds: Grizzlies-Spurs Odds:
Memphis Grizzlies: +2.5 (-110)
Los Angeles Lakers: -2.5 (-112)
Over: 181.5 (-110)
Under: 181.5 (-110)
How to Watch Grizzlies vs. Lakers
Stream: Watch ESPN
Time: 11:00 PM ET/ 9:00 PM PT
*Watch NBA games LIVE with fuboTV (click for a free trial)*
Why the Grizzlies could cover the spread
The Grizzlies enter this game as slight 2.5-point underdogs. But both their losses in Summer League have been pretty ugly. As such, the Grizzlies currently have the fifth worst plus-minus among all 30 teams.
Nonetheless, Memphis has had its bright spots so far in Vegas. None of them has been brighter than Kenneth Lofton Jr. The undrafted forward is averaging 20.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 2.7 steals through three games so far. Lofton has showcased his strength and versatility, especially on the offensive side of the floor.
Lofton won the G-League Rookie of the Year for the Memphis Hustle last year. He began the year as a two-way player and later earned his way into a standard NBA contract with the Grizzlies. The lefty forward had 42 points and 14 rebounds in Memphis’ regular season finale versus the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Jake LaRavia, the Grizzlies’ 19th overall pick in 2022, has also stood out from the pack with averages of 17.7 points and 4.0 rebounds. LaRavia appeared in 35 games for Memphis in his rookie campaign.
David Roddy has also been a steady hand for Memphis in Vegas. The burly 6-foot-6 power forward has 11.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in three games so far. Drafted 23rd overall last season, Roddy played 70 games and drew four starts for the Grizzlies last season. He scored a season-high 24 points on March 11 in a win over the Dallas Mavericks.
As you can see, the Grizzlies have solid big three in Vegas. Though the last two games looked rough, Memphis’ hopes to stay alive and book a spot in the Summer League playoffs. Lakers guard Max Christie suffered a hip injury and has been listed as day-to-day. It’s likely that Christie won’t force himself to play on a vulnerable hip in Summer League, considering he intends to crack a consistent role in the Lakers rotating in the regular season.
Why the Lakers could cover the spread
The Lakers enter this game as 2.5-point favorites, despite the likelihood that Summer League breakout star Max Christie won’t be in uniform on Friday night. Christie sustained a hip injury and his status for the rest of this Vegas trip is up in the air. The 6-foot-5 guard has averaged 19.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game on 49.2 percent field goal shooting in five Summer League games so far, including the California Classic.
If Christie won’t be able to suit up, Los Angeles will need a concerted effort from the rest of the pack to pick up the slack. D’Moi Hodge, an undrafted 6-foot-4 guard out of Missouri, has been the Lakers’ second-leading scorer so far, averaging 16.3 points in three games. The undrafted forward scored 22 points in their most recent game against the Boston Celtics.
The Lakers’ 18th overall pick in this year’s draft Jalen Hood-Schifino should also get more burn in case Christie is done. Hood-Schifino is averaging 13.0 points and 4.0 rebounds through three games in Vegas thus far.
It will be interesting to see how the Christie-less Lakers fare without their breakout star. Nonetheless, they do have capable players to collectively fill in the void left by the former Michigan State standout.
Final Grizzlies-Lakers prediction and pick
I’ll take the Grizzlies on this one. Christie is a huge loss and I don’t think he will force himself to play on a less-than-100-percent hip. Kenneth Lofton Jr. has been feeling it in Summer League as well and it’s only a matter of time before his terrific performances translate in to wins.
Final Grizzlies-Lakers Prediction & Pick: Grizzlies +2.5 (-110)
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