This is not your father’s TNT doubleheader. Tonight, the NBA will feature some of its rising stars and an old dog who is still tearing up the league. The first game will feature the Memphis Grizzlies visiting the New Orleans Pelicans and more notably, Zion Williamson hosting Ja Morant. The #1 and #2 picks in the 2019 NBA Draft will be facing each other for only the fifth time in their young careers with Zion winning all four previous head-to-heads. Both teams have weathered injuries to start the season — Williamson is questionable with a right ankle sprain, but Jaren Jackson Jr. intends to make his 2022-2023 debut for the Grizzlies — but are starting to find their way as they look to use their first meeting of the season as a measuring stick of where they stand in the Western Conference today and in the future.
Out west, the Brooklyn Nets continue their road trip in Sacramento. After winning four of five and solidifying Jacques Vaughn as their head coach, the Nets lost to the Lakers on Sunday. Kyrie Irving will still be under suspension by Brooklyn and Ben Simmons is questionable with knee soreness. After starting the year 0-4, the Kings have rattled off six wins over their last eight games. De’Aaron Fox is playing like an All-Star (23 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists over his last seven games) and Domantas Sabonis has quickly become one of the best all-around bigs in the conference.
The Kings are in the midst of a four-game homestand and are 1.5-point favorites against the Nets. In the opener, the host Pelicans are 3.5-point favorites against a Grizzlies team that scored just 92 points to the Washington Wizards over the weekend.
At the time of this publishing, Williamson was still questionable. If he doesn't play, most of the scoring load will be on the shoulders of Brandon Ingram. Our friends at DraftKings has his over/under for points at 22.5 at -125. If you parlay the over with the original Slim Reaper, Kevin Durant, in the night cap and also take the over with KD (30.5 at -120), the odds are +230 and a $100 parlay pays $330.
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