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Grizzlies vs. Warriors Game 6 NBA Picks: Will Memphis Force a Game 7?

Grizzlies vs. Warriors Game 6 NBA Picks: Will Memphis Force a Game 7?
Tyus Jones #21 of the Memphis Grizzlies celebrates a three point basket against the Golden State Warriors during the third quarter in Game Five of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals at FedExForum on May 11, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images via AFP.

After surprisingly being on the wrong end of a Game 5 beatdown, the pressure is now squarely on the Warriors. Can the Grizzlies cover the spread for a third straight game without Ja Morant? Keep reading for our Grizzlies-Warriors picks.

Despite being without Ja Morant, the Grizzlies (7-4 ATS, 5-6 O/U) absolutely destroyed Golden State to force a Game 6. Memphis scored 134 points in what was ultimately a 39-point victory. Making the onslaught even more incredible is the fact that all but 15 of those points came in the first three quarters!

As for the Warriors (3-6 ATS, 6-3 O/U), Game 6 represents their first and only opportunity to close out this Western Conference Semifinals series on their home floor. After Wednesday’s beatdown, it will be fascinating to see how Golden State responds just 48 hours later. Perhaps the absence of head coach Steve Kerr from the bench is more critical than some bettors might have initially anticipated. The Warriors were fortunate to win Game 4 at home, and Game 5 was a real-life nightmare. Unfortunately, reports suggest that Kerr is unlikely to clear health and safety protocols in time to coach in Game 6.

Here are my picks and predictions for Friday’s NBA matchup between the Grizzlies and Warriors (odds via Caesars Sportsbook and PointsBet; pick confidence based on a 1-to-5-star scale).

Grizzlies vs. Warriors Game Info

Date/Time: Friday, May 13, 10 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN
Location: Chase Center, San Francisco, CA

Grizzlies vs. Warriors Odds Analysis

Public bettors had no issues with laying inflated point spreads with the Warriors ahead of both Games 4 and 5. The absence of Ja Morant was at the forefront of the adjusted spreads and most bettors’ minds. Well, after the Grizzlies managed to cover both games and dominate Game 5 to earn an outright win, many bettors have changed their tune ahead of Friday’s contest.

After opening odds favored Golden State by nine points at home, the entire NBA betting market has been adjusted to Warriors as 8-point favorites at the time of writing. Select sportsbooks list this spread even lower at 7.5. Unlike the lopsided ATS ticket counts that were noted ahead of the last two games in this series, the gap is fairly even for Game 6. Currently, 50% of all public spread bets are backing the Warriors as home favorites. The moneyline ticket disparity is also less significant. However, 78% of outright wagers do like Golden State.

Concerning the total, opening odds posted the Game 6 Over/Under at 219.5. This line has since fallen to 218.5 across the NBA betting market. The slight move does contradict the fact that a majority (53%) of all total bets are on the Over.

Grizzlies vs. Warriors Picks

  • Grizzlies +8 (-110 via Caesars) ★★★
  • Under 219 (-110 via PointsBet) ★★★
  • Steven Adams Over 2.5 assists (-150 via Caesars) ★★★★

SEE ALSO: Celtics vs. Bucks Game 6 Picks

Grizzlies vs. Warriors Predictions

Grizzlies +8 (-110)

Are the Grizzlies actually a better team without star point guard Ja Morant? While it's tough to go quite that far, it's clear that Memphis has taken things more seriously on the defensive end since their leading scorer went down with a knee injury in Game 3.

To say that the Warriors forgot to show up and/or took the night off would be an understatement. While Golden State is clearly still in the driver's seat given that Game 6 will take place on their home floor, Wednesday night's performance did anything but inspire confidence in this team. 

Even without Morant, the Grizzlies carry several positive aspects into Game 6 on the road. For starters, Desmond Bane had his best game of the Western Conference Semifinals to date on Wednesday with 21 points. Tyus Jones and Jaren Jackson Jr. both matched him with that scoring output. The former is hardly a slouch as he takes over the starting point guard role in Morant's absence.

The other key development that has benefitted the Grizzlies in both Games 4 and 5 is the emergence of Steven Adams. While he has only played sparingly, his sheer presence on the floor has helped Memphis balance out the rebounding margin tremendously. 

If there was ever a game in which the Grizzlies were likely to be vulnerable from a psyche standpoint, it would have been Wednesday’s Game 5. Memphis certainly delivered an emphatic response after blowing a fourth-quarter lead just 48 hours beforehand.

While it’s hard to bet against Golden State getting the win outright, it’s also impossible to stray from backing this rejuvenated Grizzlies squad catching eight full points.

Under 219 (-110 via PointsBet)

The main inkling behind continuing to bet the Under in this series is the improved defensive play of the Grizzlies.

Without Ja Morant to bale them out offensively, it's as if Memphis has flipped a switch in terms of their defensive intensity the last two games. Season-long numbers from both teams are worth noting as well. While the Warriors were the NBA’s second most efficient defense on the year, the Grizzlies also ranked in the top five in this statistical category. Combined, the two teams allowed an average of just 215.2 per 100 total defensive possessions.

The one thing that has pushed numerous games in this Western Conference Semifinals Over has been impeccable shot-making. Both teams shot very well in Game 1. The Warriors shot over 60% from the field and 53% from beyond the 3-point arc in Game 3. On Wednesday, the Grizzlies hit on over 43% of their 3-point shot attempts.

While bettors can count on a better shooting display from Stephen Curry and the Warriors at home, Memphis’ offensive production is bound to regress. As this series has now reached deeper waters, the general thought process is that both teams will lean more heavily on their quality defensive play.

Adams Over 2.5 Assists (-150 via Caesars)

The Warriors have a major Adams problem.

The Grizzlies’ starting center had no place being on the floor in the First Round against Minnesota from a matchup standpoint. He then proceeded to be unavailable for several games in these playoffs due to health and safety protocols. Adams has been back in the rotation for three games now, surpassing 20 minutes in each of the last two contests. 

Adams has quietly made a difference on the offensive end with three assists in both Games 4 and 5. While bettors do need to pay a minimum of -150 juice to bet Adams over 2.5 helpers in Game 6, this prop is clearly juiced that way for a reason.

On the full season, the New Zealand native averaged 3.4 assists per game, nearly one more than tonight’s prop total. In addition to dishing out three dimes in the last two games, Adams also had a pair of assists in Game 3. What makes that effort impressive was that he only played six minutes in that contest. 

Until the Warriors show a better ability to contain Adams on the interior, it’s hard to argue against betting this Over. With Otto Porter Jr. questionable to play in Game 6, Golden State could be even thinner in the frontcourt.

Where to Bet on Grizzlies-Warriors Picks

Here are our top-rated sportsbooks:

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Grizzlies-Warriors picks made on 5/13/2022 at 2:22 p.m. ET