Free NBA Picks: Spurs at Grizzlies Odds
by Aaron Smith - 11/21/2013
It’s a rematch of the Western Conference Finals from last year. The San Antonio Spurs will travel to Memphis to take on the Memphis Grizzlies in a game that could once again be a playoff preview. San Antonio swept the Grizzlies in four straight games in the Western Conference Finals, though it is important to point out that two of those games went into overtime. The Grizzlies seemed to just run out of gas in that series, but you can bet that the Grizzlies have had this game circled for a while.
Memphis is coming off a very nice road trip where they beat the Clippers and the Warriors in their last two outings. San Antonio has won eight straight games overall. Both of these teams have been playing great basketball, so we can definitely expect a game played at a very high level on Friday night.
Spurs vs. Grizzlies Betting Story Lines
There are plenty of great story lines surrounding both of these teams and this matchup. First, the fact that the Spurs swept the Grizzlies in the Western Conference Finals is an obvious story line. The Grizzlies weren’t much worse than the Spurs last year, but the Spurs executed when it counted, and Memphis showed their inexperience. The Spurs are the ultimate team of veterans. Can Memphis learn from past mistakes to take down the reigning kings of the Western Conference?
The Spurs lost the NBA Finals in an absolutely heart-breaking fashion, and many wondered how they would come back this year. It’s only 11 games into the season, but the Spurs have the best record in the NBA at 10-1. That kind of devastating series loss will always haunt them, but a team led by veterans like Tim Duncan and Tony Parker is going to be tough to beat as long as those guys stay healthy. It certainly doesn’t hurt that they have the best coach in the NBA on the bench every single night, either.
Memphis experimented with a fast-paced offense early in the season, but it didn’t work. What did the Grizzlies decide to do? They slowed things back down in a big way. Memphis is playing more than a possession slower than anyone else in the NBA season to date. Dave Joerger wanted to push the tempo a bit, but the Grizzlies slow start must have convinced him that this team was much better off slowing things down once again.
The Grizzlies grind-it-out style worked to perfection on Wednesday night in Golden State. Despite going into overtime, the game finished with a very low-scoring 88-81 win for Memphis. The score was 59-57 going into the fourth quarter. Memphis arguably has the best frontcourt combination in the NBA in Randolph and Gasol, so working it inside and playing the game in the half court makes the most sense to me.
San Antonio has been an up-tempo team the last few seasons, but they aren’t running quite as much this year. How have the Spurs been winning games this year? San Antonio ranks second in the NBA in defensive efficiency. They are allowing just 89.6 points per game. Kawhi Leonard gives the team an elite perimeter defender, and everyone on this team understands their role inside the team defensive scheme.
These two teams know each other very well, so there won’t be any surprises in this game. Who can execute better? That will be the team that comes out on top in this one.
Spurs at Grizzlies NBA Betting Odds and Key Trends
Bookmaker lists the Spurs as a one-point road favorite in this contest. The posted total on this game sits at 186.5 points. The Spurs are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against the Grizzlies. They are 5-1 ATS in their last six games at Memphis. The Grizzlies are an impressive 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games against a team with a winning percentage of at least 60 percent. The “under” is 20-6 in the Spurs last 26 road games.
Free NBA Picks: Spurs at Grizzlies Betting Predictions
The Spurs have played well so far this season, but Tim Duncan’s poor numbers are definitely a concern for Spurs fans. Duncan is shooting 37.5 percent from the floor so far this year. Clearly, that number won’t stay so low, but you have to wonder how he’ll stack up against the Grizzlies great frontcourt here. Everyone knows the Spurs are contenders, but I think it is the Grizzlies who have more to prove in this game.
Memphis wants this one badly, and I think they’ll get it. The Spurs are a slight favorite based on their past dominance over the Grizzlies, but I like Memphis to continue its recent impressive play and win this game. The Grizzlies should cover here, and the under looks like a solid play as well.
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