The Quickie Betting Preview returns! Ja Morant and the Memphis Grizzlies are one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now, and they face tough, back-to-back games in Hollywood this weekend against the Los Angeles Clippers and LA Lakers. In addition, Klay Thompson returns to action for the Golden State Warriors against the Cleveland Cavs on Sunday for his first game since the 2019 NBA Finals.
On Friday night, Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks visit Tinsel Town for a big game against LeBron James and the Lakers, who won three games in a row after bottoming out to end 2021 with a 1-5 clip.
There’s also a juicy matchup between two teams that could contend for the NBA Eastern Conference title when the Brooklyn Nets host the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks.
NBA Friday: Bucks/Nets, Hawks/Lakers
Milwaukee Bucks (25-15) at Brooklyn Nets (24-12)… Since this game is in Brooklyn, Kyrie Irving won’t be in the lineup when Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo and the Bucks visit Gotham. The Nets are -4.5 favorites, but have the second-worst ATS record in the NBA with a 14-21-1 clip.
Atlanta Hawks (17-20) at LA Lakers (20-19)… Trae Young is fresh off a career-high 56 points as he takes his gunslinging ways into Hollywood. The Lakers won three games in a row and LeBron has been deflecting rumors that they’ll move Russell Westbrook prior to the trade deadline. The Lakers are only -3 favorites. This is a matchup between two of the worst betting teams in the NBA, with the Lakers (16-23 ATS) and Hawks (15-22 ATS) in the bottom four squads against the spread.
NBA Saturday: Grizzlies/Clippers, Heat/Suns
Memphis Grizzlies (26-14) at LA Clippers (19-20)… Ja Morant and the Grizzlies won seven games in a row, moving into the #4 seed in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies are 25-15 ATS or the third-best betting team in the NBA. The Clippers dropped two games in a row to sink below .500.
Orlando Magic (7-32) at Detroit Pistons (7-30)… Ready for this bum fight? The worst two teams in the Eastern Conference square off, and one of them has to prevail and secure their eighth win of the season. The Magic have the NBA’s longest losing streak at seven games and counting.
Utah Jazz (29-10) at Indiana Pacers (14-25)… The short-handed Jazz recently lost Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert to COVID-19. The Pacers are in the middle of a six-game skid while everyone keeps wondering which of their starters will get traded before the deadline.
Miami Heat (24-15) at Phoenix Suns (30-8)… The Miami Heat lost Jimmy Butler to a sprained ankle, so he’s questionable for this big game in Phoenix. Meanwhile, the Suns took over the top spot in the Western Conference after they became the first team to win 30 games this season. The Heat are one of the best over teams in the NBA at 24-15 for second best in the league.
NBA Sunday: Warriors/Cavs, Grizzlies/Lakers
Cleveland Cavs (21-17) at Golden State Warriors (29-9)… Klay Thompson will play his first game with the Warriors since the 2019 playoffs when he blew out his ACL. He also suffered a setback last season when he tore his Achilles. It’s been a long time coming, but Bay Area fans can’t wait to see the Splash Brothers reunited. Courtside tickets are going for $15,000 at the Chase Center.
Memphis Grizzlies (26-14) at LA Lakers (20-19)… The Lakers have their hands full this weekend with Atlanta’s Young and Memphis’ Morant (25 ppg, 6.6 assists), who is having an MVP-like season with the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies want to let the league know that they’re legit, and there’s no better way to leave their imprint than by whooping the Clippers and Lakers on their home court at Crypto.com Arena on back-to-back nights.