Jaren Jackson Jr.’s initial stretch-big reputation has worn thin of late, and his sweater has been particularly bad after his injury. See why we’re dwarfing the Grizzlies’ young DPOY candidate against the Pelicans with today’s NBA picks.
After a league-wide day off for Thanksgiving, all but two NBA teams are in action on Friday, November 25th. The best shot of those 14 games could be the showdown between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Ja Morant and Zion Williamson are former AAU teammates and were drafted back-to-back in the 2019 NBA draft. Now they are the head of the line for their respective teams, which are likely to be rivals in the Western Conference for years to come.
Our Pelicans vs. Grizzlies NBA picks and predictions highlight the shooting bouts of recently returned Jaren Jackson Jr.
Pelicans vs Grizzlies best odds
Pelicans vs Grizzlies tips and predictions
He’s sometimes a forgotten player due to injuries, but I firmly believe Jaren Jackson Jr. is critical to the success of this Memphis Grizzlies team. Jackson is a standout talent, with ball skills and a fluid movement at 6-foot-11 that only a handful of people on earth can match. He’s also lived up to his promise as a defensive anchor, and the Grizzlies’ faltering defense this year is largely due to his absence.
But the swing ability for Jaren will now and always be whether or not he can truly be a plus shooter at the Five. He came to the NBA with a splash, hitting eight 3s in his very first game in Summer League. In his sophomore season, he hit a career-high nine three-pointers against the Milwaukee Bucks.
However, it wasn’t just that he hit them, but how aggressively he chased after them. He came off the screens, took them from dribbling and even shot from a couple of yards behind the arc. Mastering that shot would capitalize on him and the Grizzlies and make them nearly unstoppable on offense.
But that feels a bit like a distant memory from where we sit now. After hitting 39% in his sophomore year, Jackson hasn’t cracked 32% from the outside since and hasn’t made more than 1.6 threes per game in an entire season.
Given that his most recent injury was a fractured right foot, it’s no surprise he’s struggled again in the few games since his return, shooting 4-18 or 22.2%. Shooting is all about building power in your legs and that’s what Jaren needs to build up over the year.
I still believe Jaren will make it as a shooter, but his frequent injury issues throughout his career are affecting his rhythm and until he can play a whole healthy season we may not see what he’s really made of as a shooter. Right now it’s great to get plus money here to short sell Jackson.
my best bet: Jaren Jackson Jr. Under 1.5 3 points (+143)
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Pelicans vs. Grizzlies Spread Analysis
With Memphis getting the home team kick, Pelicans at +1 is basically a pick. There’s reason to be skeptical that this matchup will be as even. While both teams will be missing key shooters in CJ McCollum and Desmond Bane for Friday’s game, I would argue that the Grizz Bane will be missing far more than the Pels CJ.
The Grizzlies are down four out of five since losing Bane on Nov. 11, and the impact on Memphis’ offense is being felt everywhere. Memphis is more than 13 points better on offense when Bane is on the court or not, and that’s due to both the punch Bane delivers himself and the distance he creates for Ja Morant and others to take theirs can get work done.
Ja’s bread-and-butter pick-and-roll with Steven Adams isn’t nearly as threatening unless Bane has a pass. Morant has seen his rim finish drop precipitously – all the way down to 47% during the three games he played without a bane.
On the other hand, losing CJ might not be as detrimental to the Pels as it would sound on paper. McCollum has had a devastating year, his defense has always been problematic and it eases tensions in the still-evolving hierarchy of shot attempts among the Pelicans’ top players.
The Grizzlies also have a poor record against the spread this season at 6-12. They’ve taken steps this offseason to improve over the long term rather than chasing short-term wins, but I’m not sure they envisioned the losses of players like De’Anthony Melton and Kyle Anderson hurting so much would. The Pels, meanwhile, are 5-1 against the spread in the last six.
Pelicans vs. Grizzlies Over/Under Analysis
If you’re watching New Orleans on a random night, you might think they defend well enough to win a championship while other times they’re play-in fodder. The Pels are an intriguing balance between young players and veterans, so it’s not surprising that their performances can vary so much.
They’re still looking for consistency, but a positive sign is they’ve doubled their defensive efforts after poor performances, which has seen the Underman go 6-1 in Pelicans’ last seven after hitting 100 in his previous game points or more allowed .
Zion Williamson may have his best offensive game of the season, but beating the San Antonio Spurs on the inside isn’t the same as going up against Jackson and Adams.
JJJ had a strong case for Defensive Player of the Year last season, and the Grizzlies have already made massive improvements in that regard in their past three games. They’ve allowed 12.7 fewer points per 100 when JJJ is on the court in his previously limited minutes.
They were also a bit worse off offense because, as mentioned, Jackson is still trying to regain his shooting contact. The Pels are also shooting in the lowest threes of any team in the NBA, which should drop even further with CJ’s departure on Friday. All of this makes me lean towards the under.
Pelicans vs Grizzlies betting trends to get to know
Pelicans are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall. Find more NBA betting trends for Pelicans vs. Grizzlies.
Information about the game Pelicans vs. Grizzlies
|Location:||FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN|
|Date:||Friday 25 November 2022|
|Tip:||8:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||Bally Sports, NBA TV|