The Grizzlies looked like a different team in their return to the FedEx Forum and handed the Spurs their first setback of the series. Let’s review the NBA odds in Game 4 and cash a ticket.
After a pair of dominating victories in San Antonio, the Spurs traveled to Memphis to seek an early finish to their first-round opponent. However, something funny happened on the way to the forum and the Grizzlies bared their claws for their own dominating performance. When the dust settled, Memphis did what they did twice during the regular season and that scored a victory over the Spurs at home. Though their 105-94 win is in the books and nothing else matters as we head into Game 4, it should be noted that this is becoming a pattern and Mike Conley’s 24 points led the charge en route to the Grizzlies snapping their 10-game playoff skid to the Spurs.
Defense has been the hallmark of any success the Grizzlies have had this season and they put it on display in the third quarter of Game 3 when they held the Spurs to just 17 points and opened up an 18-point lead that they would never relinquish. Memphis coach David Fizdale gave greybeards Zach Randolph (35) a rare start to shake things up and inserted elder statesman and 40-year-old shooting guard Vince Carter into the starting lineup as well. Memphis outmuscled the more talented Spurs, much to the delight of the sold-out FedEx crowd.
The short and sweet version is that the Grizzlies win when they play the Spurs in Memphis. The older veterans set the tone for the younger players on the squad and that grit and grind mentality will not just disappear because two nights have elapsed since their stirring victory. Below are some numbers to consider as we peruse the NBA odds for this Game 4 matchup.
Spurs are 1-5 ATS in their last six games after a loss.
Spurs are 1-4 ATS their last five games in Memphis.
Grizzlies are 5-2 ATS in their last seven games after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
The home team is 8-3 over the last 11 games between these clubs.
I wrote that this series was one that could be ripe for an upset before the postseason began. The first two games gave me plenty of cause for pause but Memphis appears as though they will not go quietly into that good night. In addition, the players on the bench at the beginning of Game 3 have undoubtedly taken notice and will be more determined than ever to get back in their starting roles. Look for more bruising play down low as the Grizzlies cover the number and cash in our NBA picks on Saturday night.