NBA Picks: Grizzlies vs. Thunder Game 5

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:26 PM GMT

Wednesday, May. 15, 2013 12:26 PM GMT

Kevin Durant has lost three of four playoff elimination games in his career, as the Oklahoma City Thunder get set to host the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 5 of this Western Conference semifinal series at Chesapeake Energy Arena, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT.

Also check out my NBA Picks: Bulls vs. Heat Game 5

In control 

Memphis holds a 3-1 advantage in this best-of-seven series after picking up a 103-97 overtime victory over Oklahoma City as five-point home favorites in Game 4 Monday, while going OVER the betting total of 185. 

The Grizzlies are 4-4 straight up (SU) and 5-3 against the spread (ATS) when leading in a playoff series the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER going 7-1 in that situation. 

On the brink of elimination 

Oklahoma City has faced an uphill climb in the 2013 NBA playoffs since losing starting point guard Russell Westbrook to a knee injury, which virtually ended any hope of the franchise advancing to the finals for a second consecutive season. 

Thunder forward Kevin Durant has scored 20-plus points in 36 consecutive postseason games, but he’s lost three of four elimination games in this career. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the franchise is 5-6 SU and 6-5 ATS when trailing in a series, with the OVER going 9-2 in those 11 opportunities. 

Cash money 

NBA handicappers may jump on the road underdog in this spot when looking over the betting odds, considering the Grizzlies have covered nine of their 10 playoff games heading into Wednesday’s affair. 

Memphis has compiled an incredible 73-35-2 ATS record when facing teams that average 99 or more points since the start of the 2010-11 campaign. 

Home-court advantage 

I’m not interested in betting against Durant in this spot, as the Thunder have gone 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS when playing at home off a loss since the regular season. 

Oklahoma City is 14-6 ATS in its last 20 games following a loss of any kind, which could signal that the series will return to Memphis for a Game 6.

[gameodds]5/235977/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers play the first-half total as one of their NBA picks Wednesday, as the OVER is 11-4-1 in the Thunder’s last 16 home games versus a team with a winning road record, while the Grizzlies have climbed above the number in five of their last six away from Memphis. 

NBA Pick:  Over 93 First Half 

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