NBA Picks: Bet The 'Over' On Grizzlies/Spurs Game 3 Clash

Thursday, April 21, 2016 3:56 PM GMT

The Spurs-Grizzlies series shifts to Memphis.Can the Grizz overcome one of the largest point spreads for a home underdog in the history of the playoffs? NBA pick and anlaysis inside. 

San Antonio Spurs (69-15 SU, 45-38-1 ATS)
If the Grizzlies hope to steal one from the Spurs, Friday will likely be the night. Going 15-11 SU and ATS since 2002, the two seed suffers more defeats in game threes against the seventh seed than in any other of the series matchups. Its the top seeds first taste of a playoff atmosphere away from home, and the pressure intense.

Kawhi Leonard, named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year on Monday for the second year in a row, did not disappoint in Game 2. He helped hold Memphis to a season-low 68 points.

The Spurs defense, in fact, allows 76.8 points to the Grizz in four games this season with the face of the franchise suiting up. Only one contest was played in Memphis, though, where the home team limped to 83 points total in an early December contest.

Although the Spurs came up one game short in their quest to become the NBA's only team to go undefeated at home, they looked vulnerable at times on the road. Coach Gregg Popovich rested many of his starting five in a few of their 14 away defeats, but with Leonard in the lineup, they still went 22-11 (18-15 ATS). This affected the NBA odds lines for the team.

Perhaps showing signs of tiredness, the offense scored below their projected team total in seven of nine games following the All-Star break in this situation (Lenoard). Moreover, they dropped five of their final six against the spread.

The 11-point spread is the greatest for any road chalk in the NBA playoffs since at least 2000.

 

Memphis Grizzlies (42-42 SU 42-41-1 ATS)
Memphis' 142 points combined through the first two games are the fourth-fewest scored by any team in back-to-back contests in the postseason since 2002. The lack is a combination of the Spurs stifling defense and a depleted Grizz roster with few attacking outlets.

With Mike Conley and Marc Gasol missing to injuries, the team's two leading scorers, the starting five borders on D-league-quality offense. The defense is still respectable, though, and will need to step-up if Memphis hopes to avoid a series sweep.

The current core-three for Memphis struggled through the first two games, particularly. Matt Barnes is four of 18 from the field, while veteran Zach Randolph is eight for 30.

Vince Carter, yes the same player who enthralled fans back in the Y2K era, is the only Grizz player to even score more than his regular-season average in either game, netting 16 points in the opener. He's eight for 14 from the floor overall, falling silent in Game 2 with four points total in 17 minutes.

Memphis is 4-17 SU in its last 21 games. The offense scored more than their projected team total in only seven games in regulation time over this stretch. The good news for Grizzlies fans is four of these occurred at FedEx Forum.

 

Final Analysis
At this point in the series, the real question is whether Memphis can reach 80 points. The offense should be able to put together at least one solid quarter in the first half, feeding off the home fans and adjusting to the Spurs' scheme.

We're not sure they can hang, or even threaten the entire contest, so a full-game cover or totals play is out of the question. First half 'Over' 84 is the NBA pick.

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3011087, "sportsbooksIds":[93,1096,169,999996,180,139], "LineTypeId":3, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]
Free NBA Pick: 'Over' 84 (-110) First Half
Best Line Offered: at Intertops