NBA Pick: Memphis Grizzlies Favored Over Los Angeles Lakers – January 20

  • What: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers
  • Date: Friday, January 20, 2023
  • Location: Arena in Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Time: 10:00 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: SPECSN, BSSE-MEM, ESPN

Two Western Conference teams headed in opposite directions meet during tonight’s ESPN late game. In the Week 14 contest, the Memphis Grizzlies, who are the No. 2 team in the West on the 2023 NBA season with a 31-13 record, face the Los Angeles Lakers, who currently have the third-worst record in the conference at 20-25.

Memphis, who are in first place in the Southwest Division, are riding the longest current winning streak in the NBA. The Grizzlies have wins in their past 11 games. The team’s most recent loss came on December 27, 2022, when they fell to the Phoenix Suns. Meanwhile, Los Angeles is 6-4 in their 10 past outings. The Lakers are coming off a 116-111 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

Before we look at the betting breakdown for tonight’s ESPN NBA matchup between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Lakers, check out our guide to betting on the 2023 NBA Finals and our tips for betting on the NBA.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Los Angeles Lakers picks for January 20, 2023

TeamsBetUS Review
Memphis Grizzlies-230
Los Angeles Lakers+190

Memphis Grizzlies breakdown

The Memphis Grizzlies were the preseason pick to win the Southwest Division in 2023, but they were not the favorite to triumph in the Western Conference. Right now, Memphis looks like they could finish the 2023 NBA season as the Western Conference champions. That has a lot to do with the play of Ja Morant.

The 24-year-old Morant, leads the team in scoring (27.4) and assists (7.9) on 32.1 minutes of play per game. Outside of Morant, the Grizzlies have five players scoring double digits per game. Desmond Bane (21.8), Jaren Jackson Jr. (16.5), Dillon Brooks (16.3), Tyus Jones (10.6) and Brandon Clarke (10.2) are all scoring more than 10 points per game. Meanwhile, Santi Aldama (9.6) is very close to hitting that number on a nightly basis.

Memphis averages 114.7 points per game on the road, while they give up 114.8 on the road. Memphis is 11-10 in away games and 15-10 against Western Conference teams in 2023.

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LA Lakers breakdown

The LA Lakers started the 2023 NBA season poorly. The team opened the season with five straight losses. They then won two games in a row, but followed that success with another run of five consecutive setbacks. The team has been better since that rough start, but not much. Los Angeles had a five-game winning streak in late December and early January, but they are 1-4 since that run ended.

The Lakers suffered a significant loss to their offense in the middle of December when Anthony Davis went down with a foot injury. Davis, who was leading the team  in points (27.7), rebounds (12.4), steals (1.3) and blocks (2.2) when he was injured, is expected to be out until early February.

With Davis out, LeBron James has taken over the scoring lead (29.8) while playing 36.3 minutes per game. James is also tops in rebounds with 8.4. Russell Westbrook, who is contributing 15.8 points per game, is the team leader in assists and steals.

LA averages 118.0 points per game at home. As for the defensive side of the game, the Lakers give up an average of 114.8 points per game at Arena. Los Angeles is 11-11 at home. The team’s Western Conference record is 5-24.

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Our pick

Memphis is red hot right now with 11 straight wins. A depleted and aging Los Angeles team is going to have trouble stopping Ja Morant and company. The best bet for tonight’s NBA Western Conference matchup is to pick the Memphis Grizzlies to beat the Los Angeles Lakers.

Pick: Memphis Grizzlies to beat the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Trent Reinsmith

Trent is a professional sports journalist specializing in UFC, MMA, and esports coverage. His work has been featured in prestigious publications such as USA Today Sports, Vice, Bloody Elbow, Fight! Magazine, UFC 360, and Narratively. Trent's connection to MMA dates back to the early days when he and his friends pooled their resources to purchase the pay-per-view broadcast of UFC 1. He also has extensive experience in esports, particularly League of Legends and Counter Strike, dating back to the game's launch.