Two NBA Winning Wagers For Tuesday, November 15

My looks for Tuesday’s slate in the NBA are in a matchup between two of the most dynamic young rosters in the league and a rematch of familiar playoff foes.

Check out handicaps for the New Orleans Pelicans hosting the Memphis Grizzlies and the Los Angeles Clippers visiting the Dallas Mavericks.

Memphis Grizzlies (9-5) at New Orleans Pelicans (7-6)

Two of the most exciting young rosters in the Association meet for the first time this season when the Pelicans host the Grizzlies at Smoothie King Center for a 7:30 p.m. ET tip-off.

Grizzlies-Pelicans is part of an NBA on TNT doubleheader. Memphis won and covered three straight meetings with New Orleans last season but this is their first meeting of 2022-23.

Grizzlies SG Desmond Bane is listed as ‘doubtful’ on the injury report

Bane is one of the most important players in Memphis’s system. He has a +16.6 on/off adjusted net rating (nRTG), according to CleaningTheGlass.com (CTG). The Grizzlies have lost by 10 and 16 points in the two games Bane has missed this season.

Memphis stretch-4 Jaren Jackson Jr. could make his season debut Tuesday but Jackson’s return wouldn’t be as impactful as Bane’s absence. The Pelicans have as much size and length as any roster in the NBA so Jackson doesn’t give the Grizzlies an edge.

New Orleans is the ‘sharp’ side

According to VSIN, this is a Pros (Pelicans) vs. Joe’s (Grizzlies) Game at DraftKings Sportsbook. More money is on New Orleans while more bets have been placed on Memphis at the time of writing.

Typically, you want to follow the money when it’s counter to the public since professional bettors wager a lot more dough than you or I. This is a “better spot” for the Pelicans as well.

NOLA is 7-0 straight up (SU) and 6-0-1 against the spread (ATS) as home favorites of -4 or less with a +8.1 spread differential.

New Orleans Pelicans wing Brandon Ingram takes it to the rack against the Memphis Grizzlies at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans.
New Orleans Pelicans wing Brandon Ingram takes it to the rack against the Memphis Grizzlies at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. (Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

Also, the basketball nerds say New Orleans is the better team. The Pelicans rank fifth in nRTG adjusted for strength of schedule (Grizzlies rank 16th), per Basketball Reference.

As the NBA season progresses strength of schedule means less because all these teams play each other so it all cancels out. But,

The advanced analytics favor New Orleans for the most obvious reason …

The Pelicans have more talent

When handicapping a basketball game I like to examine the best players for each team. For whatever reason, the Pelicans are 6-0 SU vs. the Grizzlies when both New Orleans wing Brandon Ingram and Memphis All-Star PG Ja Morant suit up.

Ingram is having his most efficient season thus far. BI’s points per game (PPG) are down (21.4) only because NOLA is stacked with talent and Ingram is a willing passer. Ingram has a career-best 53.4% effective field goal shooting rate (eFG%).

New Orleans Pelicans SG CJ McCollum drives by Memphis Grizzlies PG Ja Morant at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee.
New Orleans Pelicans SG CJ McCollum drives by Memphis Grizzlies PG Ja Morant at FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee. (Justin Ford/Getty Images)

Furthermore, Pelicans combo guard C.J. McCollum plays well against Morant’s Grizzlies. McCollum is averaging 25.5 PPG on 49.7% shooting (43.9% from three) in eight career meetings with Ja.

Lastly, NOLA can get a 30-point night from every position on the floor whereas if Morant and Bane have an off-night, Memphis is screwed. Since Bane will most likely win Tuesday’s game, Ja will need to carry the Grizzlies past the Pelicans. I’ll take a chance that doesn’t happen.

NBA Best Bet #1: Grizzlies -3 (-115) at DraftKings Sportsbook, up to -4

The New Orleans Pelicans' odds vs. the Memphis Grizzlies from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, November 15th at 1:00 p.m. ET.
The New Orleans Pelicans’ odds vs. the Memphis Grizzlies from DraftKings Sportsbook as of Tuesday, November 15th at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Los Angeles Clippers (8-6) at Dallas Mavericks (7-5)

The Clippers-Mavericks meetings will be a revenge game for Dallas superstar Luka Doncic as long as LA wings Paul George and Kawhi Leonard play for the Clippers.

LA eliminated the Mavericks in the first round in back-to-back years in Luka’s first two playoff appearances. Luka was sensational in those series.

Doncic averaged 33.5 PPG on 49.4% shooting (39.2% from three) with 8.8 rebounds and 9.5 assists in 13 playoff games vs. LA from 2020-21.

That said, Dallas’s offense is too Luka-centric, LA’s defense is one of the best in the Association and the Clippers are getting too many points in this situation.

Dallas’s offense is too basic

Luka has the highest usage rate in the league and the Mavs tend to sit around and watch Doncic on offense. The Clippers have the second-best adjusted defensive rating, per CTG, and one of the best defensive coaches in the NBA, Ty Lue.

Dallas Mavericks' Luka Doncic posting up Los Angeles Clippers' wing Paul George during Round 1, Game 2 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs on May 25, 2021 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Dallas Mavericks’ Luka Doncic posting up Los Angeles Clippers’ wing Paul George during Round 1, Game 2 of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. (Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)

Everyone on Dallas standing around and watching Luka explains why the Mavs struggle in tight games. The Mavericks have a -19.7 nRTG in the “clutch,” which is defined by games within a 5-point margin inside the final five minutes. The Clippers have a +14.1 nRTG in the “clutch”.

Luka lives at the charity stripe and LA has the best defensive FT/FGA rate in the NBA. The Clippers also have the fourth-best defensive eFG% and the eighth-best defensive rebounding rate.

It’s a better spot for LA

Over the past two weeks, the Clippers have a better adjusted nRTG (+3.6 vs. +0.8) than the Mavs. Dallas has the second-worst spread differential (-7.0 ATS/game) over that span. The Mavericks have lost six straight ATS in the last two weeks whereas the Clippers are 5-2 ATS.

Dallas is 1-4 ATS this season at home vs. teams with a winning record and 1-7-1 ATS as favorites of -5 or greater. The Clippers are 4-1 ATS in their last five visits to the Big D.

LA’s defense will keep it in the game and the Clippers could even win outright since the Mavericks struggle in close games.

NBA Best Bet #2: Clippers +6.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook, down to +6

The Los Angeles Clippers' odds at the Dallas Mavericks as of Tuesday, November 15th at 1:00 p.m. ET.
The Los Angeles Clippers’ odds at the Dallas Mavericks as of Tuesday, November 15th at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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Written by Geoff Clark

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