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NBA Play of the Day for March 2nd, 2020

by March 2, 2020

Ja Morant versus Trae Young? Sign us up. A battle between the two most exciting and talented young point guards in the entire NBA is must-see television. Looking at team records, the 29-31 Memphis Grizzlies seem like they should be the easy favorites against the 19-43 Atlanta Hawks. However, the Hawks opened as one-point favorites, and they have already climbed to -2.5. Atlanta has been hot lately, and they are the lean against a faltering Grizzlies team. Let’s see if our analysis bears it out.  

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Details

  • Opening Lines: The consensus point spread for this contest opened at -1 on the Atlanta Hawks. The consensus over/under total opened at 238.5 points. The point spread has climbed to -2.5. The over/under total has climbed to 239.5.
  • Current Line: Atlanta -2.5
  • O/U: 239.5
  • Location: State Farm Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Start Time: 7:30 PM EST, Monday, March 2nd
  • Last Meeting: Atlanta defeated Memphis 132-111 – March 13, 2019

Overview 

The Memphis Grizzlies currently sit in eighth place in the Western Conference with a 29-31 record. With 22 games remaining they, have a three-game lead over the New Orleans Pelicans, the Sacramento Kings, and the San Antonio Spurs. 

Memphis is going to need to keep coming up big with three different teams deadlocked at three games back, and the Portland Trailblazers 3.5 games behind. The Grizzlies are riding high after upsetting the top seed in the Western Conference in the Los Angeles Lakers, and they will be looking to pick up what should be an easy win against a red hot Atlanta Hawks team that had averaged 135 points over their last two contests.

Winners of two straight, the 19-43 Atlanta Hawks have clawed their way out of last place in the Eastern Conference. They have been judicious about not winning more games than needed and still have not allowed prized trade deadline acquisition Clint Capela to make his debut. At this rate, the Hawks may draft and play James Wiseman before Capela takes the court. 

Trae Young has been lights out all season, but power forward John Collins has really stepped his game up over the last five weeks and has given the Hawks a legit second option. The duo will look to power Atlanta to their third win in four days with an upset over the Memphis Grizzlies. 

Trends

  • Memphis is 31-28-1 ATS on the season. 
  • Memphis is 13-15-1 ATS on the road this season.
  • Atlanta is 29-32-1 ATS on the season.
  • Atlanta is 19-11-1 ATS at home this season.
  • Memphis is 4-6 ATS in their last 10 contests.
  • Memphis is 0-4 ATS in their last four road contests. 
  • Memphis is 1-5 ATS in their last six contests. 
  • Memphis is 5-2 ATS in their last seven contests with a winning percentage below .400.
  • Atlanta is 5-4-1 ATS in their last 10 contests. 
  • Atlanta is 8-2-1 ATS in their last 11 home contests. 
  • Atlanta is 4-0-1 ATS in their last five contests as a home favorite. 
  • Atlanta is 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven home contests against teams with losing road records.
  • Under is 4-1 in Memphis’ last five contests. 
  • Over is 7-3 in Memphis’ last 10 road contests. 
  • Over is 4-0 in Memphis’ last four road contests against teams with losing home records. 
  • Over is 5-1 in Memphis’ last six contests following a win. 
  • Over is 5-0 in Atlanta’s last five contests.
  • Over is 19-7 in Atlanta’s last 26 home contests. 
  • Over is 21-8 in Atlanta’s last 29 home contests against teams with losing road records. 
  • Over is 10-4 in Atlanta’s last 14 contests played on one day of rest.

Prop Bets

John Collins over 22.5 points (-108)
John Collins has been on fire and has provided the Atlanta Hawks with a terrific second option alongside superstar Trae Young. Collins has looked like a star in his own right this season, and he is averaging 21.4 points per game and 10.3 rebounds. He has really picked things up in the scoring department lately, as he averaged 25.6 points per game in 13 February contests. He has been a click machine in the over points department and has scored 20 or more points in 12 of his last 13 contests. 

He has cleared 22.5 points in 10 of 13 games over that same stretch, and he’s a strong bet to do so once again against a Memphis defense that allows opponents to shoot .493 from the floor. The Grizzlies boast the eighth-worst scoring defense in the league, and they have allowed 114.7 points per game. The juice is currently on the under for this prop, but that is likely to change quickly. Lock in Collins over at FanDuel before we see unfavorable movement on the juice. 

Bottom Line

While this will be a tremendously exciting contest from a viewing perspective, the point spread provides no definitive lean. The superior team is struggling, and their opponents, one of the worst teams in the NBA based on their record, have been playing strong. Unfortunately, the eighth-place Grizzlies are underdogs in this contest, which means that there is a distinct lack of value on the Atlanta Hawks. At +2.5, they would be the play, but at -2.5, there is little to no value in the line.

With that being the case, we will turn our attention to the over/under total. The consensus over/under opened at 238.5 points and has already climbed to 239.5. The Atlanta Hawks have scored 135 points per game over their last two outings, and they should force this game into being another high-scoring affair. The over is 4-0 in Memphis’ last four road contests against teams with losing home records. The over is 21-8 in Atlanta’s last 29 home contests against teams with losing road records. There is more risk in this line than usual (especially if Memphis loses), so we will keep this to a one-unit play. Punch in the over 239.5 at BetAmerica at -109 before both the juice and the number climb.

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Pick: Over 239.5 (-109)

Raju Byfield is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Raju, check out his archive, and follow him @FantasyContext.

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