Memphis Grizzlies' NBA Playoffs are off to a rousing start and they'll look to continue their solid form at the expense of the hapless Portland Trail Blazers. Here's a preview, complete with NBA picks.
Memphis Grizzles Lead 1-0
The Memphis Grizzlies take a 1-0 lead over the hapless Portland Trail Blazers into game 2 of their first round series, after clinching the blistering 100-86 win on Sunday night. So comprehensive was the victory that the Grizzlies easily covered as the 5.5-point home chalk as well.
The Grizzles bossed the Trail Blazers around on Sunday, dominating from just about every aspect of the court. They took advantage of the Trail Blazers' poor rim defending and they never trailed once in the game. Thanks in part to periphery scoring off the bench. Beno Udrih's 20 off the bench was a huge boost for the Grizzlies and helped them rout the Trail Blazers in game 1 comfortably.
Predictably, the Grizzlies go into game 2 firmly installed as the favorites to win. They are matched at -250 NBA odds or thereabouts across various sports betting platforms to win outright.
Portland Trail Blazers Reeling
The Portland Trail Blazers were left reeling in game 1, despite the stellar play of LaMarcus Aldridge and (to a lesser extent) Damian Lillard. Aldridge finished with 32 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks. Lillard, meanwhile, finished with 14 points on just 5-of-21 shooting for the field.
Obviously, it takes more than just a couple of players to win a game. Just ask benchwarmer Udrih, who was the X-factor in the Grizzlies win. The Trail Blazers need to step up all in one because relying just on Aldridge to do all the heavy lifting isn't working out so well.
Nobody that saw how the Grizzlies manhandled the Trail Blazers is surprised by the NBA betting lines for this game, which serve up the visitors as the significant +210 underdogs to win outright. They may be the Northwest Division champions, but they aren't playing up to the lofty standard.
Injuries did conspire against Portland, but game1 of the first round series with the Grizzlies was also one of their worst performances of the season. Featuring a 33.7 shooting percentage, it was their lowest mark yet, even worse than the 36.1% they shot in Utah on February 20.
NBA Betting Verdict
Based on the convincing way the Memphis Grizzlies started their NBA playoff campaign, they are the deserved favorites at -250 to win outright and the likeliest side to cover the 6-point spread that is trading on this game. Home advantage is key to Grizzlies' success this season as they are tough to beat there. They boast a 32-10 SU record at home, which includes a 21-19-2 ATS record. They also are 20-17-2 ATS as home favorites. All that and more suggests the Grizzlies are the smart NBA pick across the board.
The Portland Trail Blazers will have to come out firing at all cylinders if they hope to stand a chance in this series. Given their account in game 1, it's hard to imagine it. Salvaging the series on the road is going to be a tough ask for the banged-up Blazers. They'll have a much better shot in game 3, you'd think. Although it might be too late by then if the Grizzlies mete out yet another hefty defeat in game 2.
NBA Picks: Grizzlies to win -250 and cover -6.0