Memphis Grizzlies vs. Orlando Magic Preview (1/5/23): Prediction, Starting Lineups, Odds

The Memphis Grizzlies (24-13) travel to face the Orlando Magic (14-24) on Thursday night. Desmond Bane and Brandon Clarke are out for the Grizzlies, while the Magic will be without Bol Bol, Moritz Wagner, Jonathan Isaac, and potentially a questionable Jalen Suggs.

Can the Grizzlies extend their four-game winning streak against a scrappy Magic squad? Odds, predictions, starting lineups, and key matchups are below.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Orlando Magic Betting Odds

The Grizzlies are rightfully favored, as the spread is -6 with their moneyline at -230. For Orlando’s +210 moneyline to be profitable long-term, they must win this matchup 33% of the time. Their spread is as high as +7.5 too. The Grizzlies are 2-5 ATS in the last seven meetings at Orlando, and the over is 6-2 in the last eight meetings at Orlando.

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Orlando Magic Prediction

I’m taking the Grizzlies to cover -6 and under 230.5 total points.

Orlando ranks 11th in pace adjusted drives per game, and it’s a cornerstone of Banchero, Wagner, and Fultz’s offensive production. Banchero and Wagner’s length is also a crucial element for getting their shot off over or around defenders. Because of Orlando’s personnel, they rank 8th in half-court frequency and 19th in 3PT%. If they cannot attack the rim or utilize the pick and roll effectively, then their already suspect offense wilts even further.

Unfortunately for Orlando, Jaren Jackson Jr is the best shot-blocker in the game today (3.1 BPG, 25.7 MPG) who neutralizes drives as an on-ball or help defender. Steven Adams is having tremendous success rotating to the rim and doubling any drives, and Dillon Brooks snuffs out isolation scorers as one of the best on-ball defenders in the league. As a result, this Grizzlies defense is a terrible matchup for them. They rank 2nd in half-court defense and hold opponents to the 2nd lowest finishing at the rim shot quality points per possession (per ShotQuality).

Franz, Paolo, and Wendell are skilled offensive players, but Memphis’ front-court is the best in the league defensively. It will be tough sledding for them in the paint, and relying on their three-point shot is worrisome despite their capability to hit it. In addition, Memphis’ three-point defense is rock-solid. Exploiting them in transition is the best plan of attack for opponents, but the Magic avoid transition offense and don’t produce when they do have opportunities. Overall, I expect the Magic to score around 103-108 points here.

Therefore, can the Grizzlies score 110-115 points?

They rank 4th in transition frequency and love to attack the basket. Ja (27.1 PPG) is an elite off the dribble scorer who pushes the pace, and his screen manipulation/playmaking will gift his teammates great looks. Meanwhile, the Magic rank 30th in shot quality transition defense and allow the highest finishing at the rim frequency (per ShotQuality). Orlando is actually a solid half-court and three-point defensive team, but that doesn’t align with Memphis’ offensive tendencies.

And while the Grizzlies offensive efficiency has plummeted recently, they still produced excellent looks. Over their last ten games, they only have one game with a predicted shot quality score below 114 points. I’m a believer that their shooting will come around again. Overall, the Grizzlies offensive strengths overlap with Orlando’s defensive weaknesses, and the same is true of Memphis’ defense and Orlando’s offense. While the Magic are better than their record would indicate, they are not getting enough points.

Betting Trends

  • Grizzlies are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win
  • Under is 5-1 in Grizzlies last 6 road games
  • Magic are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games following a ATS win
  • Grizzlies are 2-5 ATS in the last 7 meetings in Orlando
  • Over is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings in Orlando

Key Matchups

Which team will win the key matchups? Check out below for these vital battles.

Wendell Carter 3PT

Steven Adams is obliterating opponents as an end-of-action help defender (ask Zion, who was held to 6/16 from the field largely because of it). Therefore, it’s essential that Orlando either lures him away with a three-point threat or utilizes a decoy. Despite Carter Jr’s inconsistent shot, he has the ability to knock down threes. Orlando needs him to punish Adams for leaving him, or their drivers will face an enormous obstacle at the rim all night.

Offensive Rebounds

Adams has 30 offensive rebounds over his last four games, and he currently ranks 3rd all time with a season 20.15 OREB%. The Magic are 11th in opponent offensive rebound percentage, so they do a decent job of ending possessions. However, Adams is unlike anything they have faced this season, and Bol Bol won’t be out there to help. It’s imperative that Carter Jr holds his own and denies Memphis second chance points.

Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineup

PG: Ja Morant
SG: John Konchar
SF: Dillon Brooks
PF: Jaren Jackson Jr
C: Steven Adams

Orlando Magic Starting Lineup

PG: Markelle Fultz
SG: Gary Harris
SF: Franz Wagner
PF: Paolo Banchero
C: Wendell Carter Jr

Key Injuries

Memphis Grizzlies Injuries: Desmond Bane (O), Brandon Clarke (O), Danny Green (O)

Orlando Magic Injuries: Jalen Suggs (Q), Bol Bol (O), Jonathan Isaac (O), Moritz Wagner (O), Chuma Okeke (O)

Braxton has been covering the NBA for Lineups since the 2022 season. He's worked with multiple collegiate coaching staffs regarding analytics and scouting, which has allowed him to understand the game on a deeper level. Braxton is also a contributor at Thunderous Intentions.

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