On Friday, the Denver Nuggets (1-0) travel to Memphis (0-1) for the season opening. Tuesday, defending NBA champion Denver defeated the Lakers 119-107 to start the season. Memphis lost their season opener at home to New Orleans on Wednesday despite a 1-point lead. Last March, the Nuggets triumphed 113-97.
The game begins Friday at 7 p.m. ET at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. SportsLine consensus has the Grizzlies vs. Nuggets over/under at 221 points and Denver favored by 5.5 points. Before making any Nuggets vs. Grizzlies choices, check SportsLine's NBA predictions.
Grizzlies guard Marcus Smart will start again for suspended Ja Morant after joining the team in the offseason. Smart had 17 points and 3 assists Wednesday. Memphis is 16-3 at home in its previous 19 games and has covered the spread in five straight versus the Nuggets.
The offseason sign-and-trade of Dillon Brooks to Houston, Morant's 25-game ban, and center Steven Adams' season-ending knee surgery have left Memphis without three starters from last year.
The Grizzlies failed to recover on Wednesday and now play the reigning champs. Denver won 119-107 over the Lakers on Tuesday to defend its first crown.
Nikola Jokic, the NBA Finals MVP, tripled with 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. Last season, he had triple-doubles in Denver's two wins over Memphis, and all four starters scored in double digits on Tuesday. After five straight road games, the Nuggets have covered the spread, while Memphis has only covered once.
The model simulated Nuggets vs. Grizzlies 10,000 times and arrived at results. The model leans Over and generates a point-spread pick that hits in over 50% of simulations.