NBA Betting Lines and OddsMemphis showed bookmakers (sportsbook odds) that they were no joke with an upset of the Los Angeles Lakers at the beginning of the month, but there hasn’t been much to cheer about since. The Lakers will get another crack at the Grizzlies in Memphis on Tuesday night, and their star should be back in the lineup.

Lakers vs Grizzlies odds – Tuesday, February 23, 8:00 PM ET

The Lakers have been off since Thursday, but Kobe Bryant has been out since February 5th with an ankle injury. Bryant really needed the time off as he was also battling a bad back and a broken finger, but the Lakers have fared surprisingly well without their superstar, going 4-1 in the five games he missed, including impressive wins at Portland and Utah, and in those five games, Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol (twice) Shannon Brown and Ron Artest all took turns leading the team in scoring. The Lakers can sometimes get sucked into “isolation time for Bryant” mode, and this has to give him even more confidence in his teammates, which was the key to last year’s run to the championship. Bryant has averaged an outlandish 42.5 points in two meetings with Memphis this year.

The Grizzlies beat the Lakers on February 1st, and not counting Sunday’s game in New Jersey, Memphis is 1-6 since, and that lone win came in an upset overtime win in Toronto. It’s almost like the Grizzlies have just decided to stop playing defense, allowing 104.9 points per game, which is more than their season average. The Grizzlies are reverting back to doing all the things that many thought they would be at the beginning of the season, as they’re not sharing the ball on offense, and they’re not helping out on defense, and that will get you nowhere in the sportsbook race in the Western Conference. Zach Randolph has put up 21.5 points and 16.0 boards against the Lakers this season.

The Grizzlies should be favored at home, but not by much, seeing as they’ve lost four in a row at FedEx Forum since beating the Lakers 95-93 behind 23 points from Rudy Gay, ending a five-game skid against the defending NBA champions. Bryant had 44 points as he set the franchise record for points scored, but a team approach should be the focus of Tuesday’s game, especially with Bryant just coming back into the fold. The Grizzlies have no confidence in themselves or each other, and this is the wrong team to go into a game with your head down, because the Lakers will smell blood and end it quickly. We’ll see what kind of team Memphis really is on Tuesday.

NBA betting pick: Lakers


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