Can the Grizzlies accomplish the sweep or will they bite the dust? Find out as we preview game 4 of this first round NBA playoff series and offer up our choice NBA picks.
Memphis Grizzlies (3-0, 1-0 away)
The Memphis Grizzlies turned the NBA odds in their favour in game 3 behind a 115-109 win, coming through for their backers as the +140 SU underdogs and covering as the 3-point underdogs. Some NBA bettors (us included) were scratching their heads at that particularly NBA betting serving. Wondering why the Grizzlies were so disadvantaged when they were leading the series 2-0, let alone after decimating the Blazers in both games.
Being on the road is the only logical explanation for the NBA betting odds on game 3. If not for that, the Grizzlies would have been favoured, surely. Form and accounts of game 1 and 2 would have demanded it be that way. when the Grizzlies stormed to a 100-86 win and, then, backed it up with another big 97-82 win.
In any event, they put paid on that market outlook by eking out the 115-109 win. Granted it was a narrower win than those of the previous games, but it still puts them in the advantageous position of being up 3-0 and poised to sweep the Trail Blazers. Now for the curious bit: odds makers are stubbornly sending them into game 4 as the underdogs. Only this time they are matched at +135 to win outright, marginally shorter than their +140 NBA odds of game 3 but not enough to make it a valid change. In spread betting, however, they emerge as the 3.5-point underdogs, which is exactly the same price-point they had in Saturday's clash at the Moda Center.
It's not for us to question the decisions odds makers make, suffice it to say whether we agree or not. In this case, we wholeheartedly don't agree. The Grizzlies appear to be disingenuously disadvantaged in our opinion and remain our choice NBA pick.
Portland Trail Blazers (0-3, 0-1 home)
The Trail Blazers have been underwhelming in the NBA Playoffs so far. They've lost all three games, twice rather badly. Granted they had their chances in game 3 and came close to winning. However, they didn't and that's the bottom line as far as this series is concerned. They are down 0-3 and in very real danger of being sent packing in game 4.
If Portland are to extend their season and send this series into game 5 in Memphis, they're going to have to come up with something special tonight. Game 3 was flawed on both sides of the ball, from key players firing blanks to defense collapsing.
Nevertheless, odds makers send them into this game rather overzealously priced as the favourites at -155 NBA odds to win straight up and as the 3.5-point faves. Problem is they've done nothing to warrant such a favourable outlook, really. What are the bookies thinking?
NBA Betting Verdict
To repeat: we don't agree with the NBA betting outlook on this game. Memphis Grizzlies have put in a solid, consistent account in this series and by rights should be the favourites going into game 4. Looking at the NBA betting market, you wouldn't be able to tell that the Grizzlies are poised to sweep tonight. But that's exactly what they are on the verge of doing if they continue on their rich vein of form. We think they'll be able to do it and, as such, we're backing the Grizzlies on our NBA picks as the valuable underdogs at +135 NBA odds. Hey, don't stare a gift horse in the mouth.
NBA Picks: Grizzlies +135 and +3.5 at The Greek