NBA Picks: Grizzlies vs. Thunder Game 1

Jeff Grant

Thursday, April 17, 2014 1:43 PM GMT

The Oklahoma City Thunder have been one of the best home teams in the league in recent years, which will carry them to victory against the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday night.

There’s no place like home 
Oklahoma City compiled a 34-7 SU record at this venue during the 2013-14 regular season, including a 23-3 mark when taking on Western Conference opponents. 

The Thunder have outscored their opponents by an average of 13.0 points on this floor—the largest home point differential in the NBA.

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 8-2 SU and 5-5 ATS in the first round of the playoffs.


Peaking at the right time
Memphis closed out the regular season on a five-game winning streak, while it has tallied the third-best record in the league since Dec. 18.

The Grizzlies are led by the play of point guard Mike Conley and forward Zach Randolph, with both averaging more than 17 points per game. 

NBA handicappers will find that the team is 22-17 SU and 21-17-1 ATS versus teams with a winning record.

Be sure to check out the top NBA Championship Betting Odds

Durant
The Thunder are going to be heavily backed in the futures market to represent the West in the 2014 NBA Finals, considering they’ll be led by All-Star forward Kevin Durant. 

Durant has topped the league in scoring the last five seasons—a major reason why Oklahoma City has joined the San Antonio Spurs as the only other franchise with at least a .610 winning percentage in each year over that span.


Bench play
The Grizzlies have received a boost from their most effective bench unit in years, with the group averaging 32.9 points per game—the highest figure since 35.1 in 2006-07.

Memphis’ reserves are second in the league in shooting 47.4 percent from the field, while sitting behind just two teams in knocking down 38.6 percent of its attempts from beyond the arc.

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Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Thunder as one of their NBA playoff picks, as they’ve gone 13-5 ATS in their last 18 games versus opponents with a .600 or better win percentage.

Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder -6.5 at BetOnline