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Will the Grizzlies be too much to handle for the Lakers?

The Lakers are sliding once again and welcome in a young and feisty Grizzlies team that could make matters worse.

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Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

The roller coaster ride of the Lakers season has featured a fair share of ups and downs, namely in winning and losing streaks. Less than two weeks ago, the Lakers were two games under .500 and looked ready to contend for the playoffs.

Four losses in the five games since, including a number of those late in games, has largely dampened the mood around the team. Making matters worse is that one of the top teams in the Western Conference comes to town ready to only make matters worse.

DraftKings odds

In a Western Conference full of unserious teams, the Grizzlies represent one of the only exceptions. Along with the Nuggets, the Grizz have separated themselves from the rest of the pack.

More than that, this is a legitimately good NBA team. Their jump from rebuilding to legitimate contender was abrupt but has been in no way fraudulent. And they love the big moments and bright lights. Some might even say they don’t run from the smoke.

Last season, they came to Los Angeles, ran them off the court for a couple of quarters and absorbed a fake comeback that made the score look respectable. And to the previous point, they did it while talking smack to LeBron as well.

All that is to say, I don’t have a great feeling about tonight! Our friends over at DraftKings have the Grizzlies as a -6.5 point favorites. Memphis won all three games last year and while this Lakers team is different, they aren’t really better right now, especially with Anthony Davis, Lonnie Walker IV and Austin Reaves all still listed as out for the game.

If you need more reasoning that “bad vibes” to bet on the Grizzlies tonight, they are the very best team at defending the rim this season, according to Cleaning The Glass. Across the board, the Grizzlies are just an elite defense that ranks first in defensive rating in the league.

The Lakers are first in the league at attempts at the rim and fourth in accuracy. But if that is shut down, then the Lakers have no other reliable ways to score. So it’s strength vs. strength and unless the Lakers just decisively win that battle, it’s hard to imagine things going well.

One of my go-to types of bets is hedging against my happiness, which probably says more about the teams I root for than anything else. But hedge against your happiness tonight, hope that the game isn’t close late so the Lakers can get screwed over again and either watch the Lakers compete and win or make money by betting on Grizzlies -6.5.

Check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.

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