Grizzlies vs. Pelicans NBA expert prediction and odds for Tuesday, Dec. 19

Betting odds, pick and prediction for the Memphis Grizzlies' matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday night.
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) dribbles the ball.
Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (12) dribbles the ball. / Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

The Memphis Grizzlies have gotten off to a terrible start this season, but things are going to change – or at least the team hopes so – on Tuesday. 

All-Star guard Ja Morant is set to return from his suspension on Tuesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans, and that should give this Memphis team a massive lift on offense. 

The Grizzlies have been without Morant – and guard Marcus Smart – which has led to the team mixing and matching in the rotation to replace those two starters. 

The Pelicans (16-11) are one of the better teams in the NBA at home, going 5-2 against the spread as home favorites, but they could have their hands full tonight. 

Here’s a look at the latest odds, and promo to get in the action for betting on Morant’s return!

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Grizzlies vs. Pelicans odds, spread and total

Grizzlies vs. Pelicans how to watch

  • Date: Tuesday, Dec. 19
  • Game Time: 7:30 p.m. EST
  • Venue: Smoothie King Center
  • How to Watch (TV): TNT
  • Grizzlies Record: 6-19
  • Pelicans Record: 16-11

Grizzlies vs. Pelicans injury reports

Grizzlies injury report

  • Injury report not submitted yet

Pelicans injury report

  • Kira Lewis Jr. – out
  • Naji Marshall – questionable
  • Larry Nance Jr. – out
  • Matt Ryan – out
  • Cody Zeller – available

Grizzlies vs. Pelicans key players to watch

Memphis Grizzlies

Ja Morant: After averaging 26.2 points per game in the 2022-23 season, the expectations are high for Morant’s return. He’s going to need to play at a high level to pull Memphis out of the basement of the Western Conference. 

It’ll be interesting to see how Taylor Jenkins deploys Morant in his first game back. 

New Orleans Pelicans

Zion Williamson: The No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft ahead of Morant, Williamson has not been playing his best basketball this season, averaging 22.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. 

New Orleans needs Williamson to play at a high level to truly take advantage of the Big 3 with him, CJ McCollum and Brandon Ingram. 

Grizzlies vs. Pelicans prediction and pick

Memphis has not been good as a road underdog this season, going 3-6 against the spread in nine games, but things should change with Morant in the lineup. 

Over the last two seasons, the Grizzlies have been a great team with Morant in the lineup, going 40-21 in 61 games last season and 36-21 with him in the 2021-22 season. 

Memphis may not win this game outright, but asking the Grizzlies to cover this number isn’t crazy if Morant plays his usual role. 

Memphis was blown out by the Oklahoma City Thunder last night, but Jenkins was able to rest his best players, playing Jaren Jackson Jr. just 25 minutes and Desmond Bane only 28 minutes in hopes of jumpstarting a playoff push with Morant back in the lineup on Tuesday.

If the Grizzlies can enter this game with all of their top guns going, I think this ends up being a much closer game than oddsmakers are projecting. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

Find Peter Dewey's NBA betting record here (futures included). You can also follow my daily plays on BetStamp here.