Memphis Grizzlies vs Denver Nuggets Preview (3/3/23): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The season series is on the line between the Grizzlies and the Nuggets when Memphis travels to the “Mile High City.”

Take a look below at the betting odds for this game, along with our in-depth analysis and predictions. We also list the projected starting lineups and updated injury reports for Memphis and Denver.

Memphis Grizzlies Vs. Denver Nuggets Betting Odds

Memphis is a 5.5-point road dog against the Denver Nuggets, the best team in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies will miss Steven Adams once again, but he should hopefully be back in the next few weeks.

Denver has Aaron Gordon back in the lineup but will be without Collin Gillespie and Zeke Nnaji.

Memphis Grizzlies Vs. Denver Nuggets Prediction

Memphis snapped its eight-game road losing streak with a win against the Houston Rockets. Unfortunately, that is not saying much, as Houston has been one of the worst teams in the league all season.

The Grizzlies look like a completely different team when they are away from FedEx Forum, which could be a cause for concern as they near the postseason. The margin between their net rating at home versus on the road is an astonishing 12.7.

In order for Memphis to take the next step forward and be a true contender, it will have to learn how to win consistently on the road and beat talented teams like the Nuggets on their home floor. Can the Grizzlies begin that journey in this game? It does not seem likely.

Denver has been the best team on its home floor this season, boasting a 28-4 record at Ball Arena. The Nuggets have an unstoppable offensive rating of 122.8 at home, with a substantial sample size. Further, their ever-improving defense (14th in defensive rating now) will continue widening the gap between them and every other team.

I see no way Memphis covers the spread in this game. Jokic and the Nuggets have revenge on their mind after an embarrassing loss in Memphis just a handful of days ago.

They will get their revenge at home, where they are the best covering team in the league (21-10-1 ATS.) If the Grizzlies had a healthy Steven Adams, I might hesitate with this pick, but with Xavier Tillman set to be Jokic’s primary defender, it is an easy choice.

Betting Trends

  • Memphis is 10-19-1 ATS on the road in 2022-23
  • Denver is 21-10-1 ATS at home in 2022-23
  • The combined over record of these two teams is 58-64-2 in 2022-23

Key Matchups

Our key matchup between Memphis and Denver belongs to the second round of Nikola Jokic versus Xavier Tillman. See below if Tillman can limit Jokic like he did in their last matchup or if the “Joker” will exact his revenge with a monstrous game.

Nikola Jokic vs. Xavier Tillman: Round Two

The last time these two players matched up, Xavier Tillman minimized Nikola Jokic’s impact in what resulted in a double-digit home win versus the Nuggets. Jokic finished the game with just 15 points, 13 rebounds, and three assists. His three assists were a season-low for him.

Tillman is a physical center with experience playing against guys who are taller than him, but this was still quite the performance; he has spent time between the G-League and Grizzlies’ roster over the past few years but held the two-time MVP, Jokic, to one of his lowest outputs of the season.

Can he do it again? No.

Jokic shot 7-11 from the floor in that game and grabbed 13 rebounds in just 27 minutes, nearly seven minutes less than his season average. His lack of assists had more to do with teammates not hitting shots than anything.

With Aaron Gordon back on the floor, Denver will be able to roll out that incredible starting lineup that ranks first in net rating by a wide margin.

In short, Jokic should have a massive game. He’s five inches taller and has at least forty pounds on Tillman. Advantage: Jokic.

Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup

PG: Ja Morant
SG: Desmond Bane
SF: Dillon Brooks
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr
C: Xavier Tillman Sr

Denver Nuggets Starting Lineups

PG: Jamal Murray
SG: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
SF: Michael Porter Jr
PF: Aaron Gordon
C: Nikola Jokic

Key Injuries

Memphis Grizzlies Injuries: Steven Adams (Out)

Denver Nuggets Injuries: Zeke Nnaji (Out), Collin Gillespie (Out)

Drew is one of the NBA Lead Writers at, specializing in betting content such as game predictions and player props. With a deep knowledge of players and prospects, Drew has an extensive edge in covering everything NBA.

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