For this week’s TNT Tuesday night double-header, there will be two completely different matchups on the docket.

First, the statistically sound New Orleans Pelicans will look to translate their productivity on both ends of the court into a victory when they host the banged-up-beyond-belief Memphis Grizzlies.

Following that matchup of projected Western Conference playoff hopefuls, there will be a battle between the predictable and the unexpected. Will the offensively focused and defensively defunct Sacramento Kings have enough offensive talent to keep up with a revived, but still combustible Brooklyn Nets? We will find out when the late-night TNT game tips off at 8:30 MST.

Let’s dive into each matchup.

New Orleans Pelicans vs Memphis Grizzlies

Tuesday, 10/25 at 5:30pm MST on TNT in New Orleans

Both of the Pelicans and the Grizzlies are still looking for the optimal versions of themselves.

The Grizzlies have been derailed do to an unrelenting string of of injuries. In their last game against the Washington Wizards, they were without their superstar point guard in Ja Morant, the emerging star in Desmond Bane, their defensive anchor in Jaren Jackson Jr. as well as a swath of role players such as Danny Green, Kenneth Loften Jr., and Ziaire Williams. Those games lost by such important members of their roster has left the Grizzlies as a middling team. Despite their 9-5 record, they are 21st in defensive rating, 10th in offensive rating and 14th in net rating.

For the Pelicans, almost the exact opposite is true. Despite their strong play this season, they are hovering around .500 at 7-6. Even with such an average record through 13 games, the Pelicans advanced numbers paint a very different picture. They are one of just five teams who are top-10 in both offensive rating (9th at 113.7) and defensive rating (10th at 110.5) giving them the seventh-best net rating in basketball at +3.2. Statistically, they are one of the elite teams on both ends of the floor and there is still plenty of room to grow on both ends for them.

DraftKings Odds

  • Even with the Pelicans hovering around .500 for the time being, trusting them to cover their win total of 46.5 feels like a safe bet. That win total is from DraftKings Sportsbook.
  • Inversely, it might be smarter to bet against the Grizzlies with their win total being 50.5 according to DraftKings Sportsbook. Even though the Grizzlies are without a doubt a good team, the Western Conference is a bloodbath this season and their injuries might just dislodge them from their path to 51-or-more wins.

Sacramento Kings vs Brooklyn Nets

Tuesday, 10/25 at 8pm MST on TNT in Sacramento

Where does one even begin when trying to encapsulate the Nets’ catastrophe of a season so far?

I guess the low-hanging fruit would be to point out that Kyrie Irving is expected to remain suspended throughout their road trip so he is unlikely to play. Additionally, T.J. Warren has yet to make his debut, Seth Curry missed the Nets game against the Lakers, and Ben Simmons has been day to day with soreness in his left knee which also held him out against the Lakers.

That being said, since Irving has been away from the team, Brooklyn has had a new-found joy in their games. They are 4-2 in their last six games and it has largely been behind the incredibly play of Kevin Durant. With this last run of strong performances, Durant has helped the Nets to 12th in offensive rating (112.1) and 13th in defensive rating (110.5). So while it has felt like a complete failure of a season thus far, the 6-8 Brooklyn Nets have dragged themselves back from the abyss while Irving has been away from the team.

On the other hand, the Kings have been exactly who everyone thought they were: a terrifying offensive force when shots are falling — they are sixth in offensive rating at 114.4 — and a despicable defensive squad essentially every night with their 114.3 defensive rating which is good for 26th-best in the league. While a fun team to watch, the 6-6 Kings are predictable. Entering into their TNT matchup with the Nets, they are expected to be healthy and have everyone available outside of their G-League assigned players.

DraftKings Odds

  • The Kings are actually favored in this game with their line at -1.5 according to DraftKings Sportsbook despite the Nets recent improvement. With a line that narrow, no bet will feel comfortable, but it seems bettors agree with my thought that the Nets will be unable to keep up with the Kings offensive assault.
  • Somehow, the Nets still have the sixth-best odds to win the title according to DraftKings Sportsbook at +1000 which feels just incredibly overzealous. This is not advice to take a bet. This is advice to avoid this bet like the plague.