Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler (21) defends New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) as Portis rives to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020.
Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler (21) defends New York Knicks forward Bobby Portis (1) as Portis rives to the basket during the first half of an NBA basketball game in New York, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020. |Kathy Willens | Associated Press
NBA

Wednesday NBA picks: Grizzlies vs Knicks, and Pistons vs Nets — in a battle of mediocrity, does Brooklyn have the edge at home?

Greg Frank

Greg Frank

Grizzlies (-2) @ Knicks (222)

Pick: Under 222

It is not intentional that both the Grizzlies and Knicks are amongst our plays for the second night in a row. It’s simply situational. We also won bets in games involving Memphis and New York last night as a further reminder that all tickets cash the same. The two teams collide tonight at the World’s Most Famous Arena and the under makes an awful lot of sense. We mentioned both teams played last night and we always like to play unders in games featuring teams wrapping up back-to-backs. The wear and tear of two games in as many nights might be more of a factor now as teams are probably dying to get to the All-Star Break and recharge their batteries. The Knicks happen to be a good under team overall because they simply don’t have many players that can score consistently enough and RJ Barrett remains sidelined for New York which doesn’t help things on the offensive end of the floor. However, we’re not exactly running to the window with Memphis in this one either. The Grizzlies picked up another win Tuesday against Denver and their push for the playoffs will be one of the more intriguing storylines in the final months of the regular season. However, this might be the type of spot where just when Memphis begins to look trustworthy, it lays an egg. Tonight, an egg for the Grizzlies would probably mean something they don’t score much and lose by double digits. That also has us liking the under.

Pistons (+6.5) @ Nets (226.5)

Pick: Nets -6.5

Sometimes betting a side in any sport is going to be more about fading one team rather than backing the team your wager is placed on. That’s the case here for us with Brooklyn. The Nets have not been a good home favorite this year, going 5-8 against the spread when favored at Barclays Center. They’re a mediocre team without Kevin Durant so the bigger the number, the less we’d expect them to cover. However, Detroit just feels like a dead team right now. The Pistons are 3-7 in their last 10 games both straight-up and against the number. They’ve dropped to 17-31 overall, were recently passed by the Bulls in the conference standings and Charlotte and Washington are both even in the loss column with Detroit. Five games separate 7-12 in the East entering tonight. There’s arguments to be made for some of these teams and their motivation to make the postseason. The Nets, for one, would probably like to prove that they’re at least a playoff team sans Durant and should go into next season viewed as a contender with him. As for the Pistons, a top five player in the NBA isn’t walking through the door any time soon and they’ve been there done that when it comes to a low playoff seed. If losing by 15 points to Cleveland as a 6.5-point favorite doesn’t indicate the Pistons are about to tap out on 2019-2020, maybe getting blown out tonight will. Just to put the icing on the cake, Blake Griffin isn’t going to play the rest of the season for Detroit, Luke Kennard won’t go tonight and Andre Drummond is a game-time decision.

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