The Atlanta Hawks opened the 2020-21 NBA season in a strong fashion and will look for another good display Saturday night when they visit the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum. On the other side, the hosts will try to bounce back from a tough loss in their opener, so we should see a great game Saturday in Tennessee.
Therefore, I bring you the best betting pick for the Hawks versus Grizzlies showdown along with the latest team news, stats, and odds update.
The Hawks cruised through Chicago
The Atlanta Hawks dismantled the Chicago Bulls 124-104 this past Wednesday, dropping a whopping 83 first-half points on their conference rivals and leading by as many as 40 points. They shot 53.8% from the field and 40.0% from beyond the arc while playing some solid defense on the other side.
Trae Young led the way for the Hawks, as it was expected, scoring 37 points on 10-for-12 from the field. All five Hawks’ starters tallied points in double figures, while Bogdan Bogdanovic and Kevin Huerter combined for 26 points, nine boards, and six assists off the bench.
The Hawks missed Clint Capela (Achilles), Rajon Rondo (medical protocols), and Kris Dunn (knee) in the opener, and this trio will probably remain on the shelf for Saturday’s game in Memphis.
The Grizzlies failed to cope with the red-hot Spurs
The Memphis Grizzlies disappointed their fans in the opener, suffering a 131-119 defeat to the San Antonio Spurs as 2-point home favorites. They allowed 30-plus points in each quarter and trailed by ten or more points for most of the game.
Ja Morant had a big night, scoring 44 points on 18-for-27 shooting from the field. He also had nine assists and just one turnover, but Morant needed more from his teammates. Dillon Brooks finished the game with 16 points and six dimes, while Jonas Valanciunas added 15 points and 13 rebounds.
However, the Grizzlies played sloppy defense, allowing the Spurs to make 50.5% of their field goals and 40.0% of their 3-pointers. Memphis is without Jaren Jackson Jr. (knee), and his absence is a huge blow for the Grizzlies on both sides of the ball.Trends:
- 10-5 ATS in the last 15 games against Western Conference
- 3-8 ATS in the last 11 games overall
- 1-3 ATS in the last four games against Eastern Conference
The Winner Prediction
The Hawks opened as 1-point favorites on DraftKings Sportsbook, so you can ignore the spread and focus on the moneyline odds. I was impressed by the Hawks’ offense in their first outing of the season, so I’m backing the visitors to escape with a victory here.
This should be a very tight clash, as both teams lean on powerful offenses while having some serious problems on the other end. The Hawks met the Bulls’ sterile offense in the opener, so the Grizzlies will be a much tougher challenge, but I still think Atlanta has enough offensive weapons to outscore Memphis.
Also, the Hawks seem to have more depth than the Grizzlies which could be a key factor, as both teams miss some players.
Pick: Take Atlanta Hawks to Win at -115
The under has hit in ten of the last 13 encounters between Atlanta and Memphis, but I expect to see a proper high-scoring affair Saturday. Both teams love to play at a fast pace, and it’s fair to say that neither side can brag with a stout defense.
Last season, the Hawks averaged 103.0 possessions per 48 minutes (5th in the NBA), while the Grizzlies recorded 102.8 (6th). Therefore, give me the over on the totals.
Pick: Go over 238.5 points at -110