Fast Paced Grizzlies & Thunder Game Makes Betting 'Over' The NBA Pick

Jordan Sharp

Wednesday, January 6, 2016 6:46 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016 6:46 PM UTC

In what could end up as one of the better games on the slate tonight, the Grizzlies and Thunder hook up in Oklahoma City tonight. Who will we choose for our NBA picks?

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Free NBa Pick: Over 198½
Best Line Offered: at Bet365


Kevin Durant Out Again
Kevin Durant had to miss the Thunder’s game a few nights ago against the Kings, which they ended up losing without their start forward. Reports out this morning have Durant out yet again for this Wednesday matchup with the Grizzlies, and without Durant tonight, the Thunder are faced with a problem.

While the Grizzlies have not been as good defensively this year as years past, they are still a very stout defensive front. With their smaller lineup, they are quicker and better getting into the passing lanes, and while they still have the beef up front to get the job done in the post on defense, their strengths lie in Marc Gasol down low, with quality wing defenders out on the perimeter.

Without Durant, the Grizzlies are going to load up on Russell Westbrook tonight, which is what the Kings did a few nights ago. However, the Kings are one of the worst defensive teams in the NBA, and Memphis can still be considered maybe not one of the best, but very close to that title. Mike Conley might be able to slow down Westbrook some tonight, even though he hasn’t done well at that in the past, but either way it goes tonight, without Durant it makes the spread very tough to handicap.

However, the total at 198½ in the NBA odds board seems like a pretty good bargain, and while I’m going against some advanced statistics in this one telling me it’s going to be a low scoring game, the over seems like the best play for these two teams tonight.

Even though the Thunder slow down their pace some without Durant, the Grizzlies are going to slow down the Thunder as much as possible tonight too. While OKC plays at the 9th fastest pace in the league, the Grizzlies Defensive Efficiency has been below average this season, so the possibility of more half court sets and less fast breaks don’t scare me much. Both of these teams are still capable of shooting early and often in the shot clock, and it shows from their prior two meetings.


The Sharp Pick
Both times these teams have played this season the game was in Memphis, and in both instances, the total flew over thanks to some fast paced and high scoring games. IN both games one of the teams dropped at least 120 points, and even though Durant was the catalyst to the most recent win, he missed the first game that ended in a final score of 122-114.

That score was due in large part to a huge scoring fourth quarter in that game, but looking at the Thunder’s most recent games, you have to expect the Grizzlies to score some points tonight. OKC has given up nearly 110 points per game in their last five games, and if you take away the game against Charlotte where they limited the Hornets to only 90 points, that average shoots up to 114.25. Even if Memphis can just get to the 100-point mark in this game tonight, the over is the NBA pick.

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