NBA Picks: Grizzlies vs. Thunder

Joe Freda

Thursday, January 31, 2013 2:59 PM GMT

Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 2:59 PM GMT

Will the Memphis Grizzlies pick up another road cover here or are the Oklahoma City Thunder worth backing at a ‘chalk’ premium? Find out where we have decided to place our NBA picks in tonight's matchup.

The Memphis Grizzlies have notched a 5-2 spread record in their last seven games, including a 2-0 ATS mark in the span’s pair of road spots. Thursday’s NBA action has Lionel Hollins’ club visiting the Oklahoma City Thunder, who return home after a six-game road trip. Which team will pull through for backers in the battle between two of the NBA's Western Conference playoff contenders?

Thunder, Durant fall short in L.A. 

Oklahoma City saw its journey away from home end with Sunday’s 105-96 defeat as a three-point favorite against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Thunder allowed Los Angeles to hit a sizable 55.4 percent from the field, while edged out in boards by the Lakers, 43-39.

Thunder forward Kevin Durant piled in 35 points, with over a dozen coming from a 13-for-14 day at the foul line. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook logged a second straight double-double, finishing with 17 points and 13 assists.

The battle’s combined 201 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 208, moving the UNDER to 3-0 in Oklahoma City’s last trio of duels. Thunder mates Serge Ibaka and Thabo Sefolosha logged four blocks and three steals, respectively, uniting for 17 points.

Grizzlies, Gasol rally past 76ers

Memphis erased a 17-point deficit in Monday’s 103-100 triumph over the Philadelphia 76ers, cashing as one-point road ‘chalk.’ In what would be his last game in a Grizzlies uniform, forward Rudy Gay knocked down a go-ahead bucket and two free throws in the game’s final 15 seconds, giving his squad the victory.

Memphis’ Marc Gasol notched a season-high 27 points, while uniting with mate Zach Randolph for 19 rebounds. Grizzlies guard Jerryd Bayless logged nine assists, while Memphis drilled 8-of-13 buckets beyond the arc.

The contest’s combined 203 points soared above the ‘total’ of 177 ½, lifting the OVER to 3-1 in the Grizzlies’ last four games. Memphis went 15-for-19 at the foul line, while outrebounding the 76ers, 38-27.

[gameodds]5/177641/43/us[/gameodds]

Back Memphis on the road 

Bookmaker.eu opened Oklahoma City as an eight-point home favorite, with early betting on the Thunder driving the NBA odds north a ‘hook’ to 8 ½. The ‘total’ was initially set at 191 ½, remaining unchanged after wagers were mixed.

I am adding a ticket to Thursday’s sports picks on Memphis, taking the points in this road spot. The Grizzlies’ comeback in Philadelphia built some momentum that should carry over here against a Western Conference rival, while Memphis has allowed a stingy 84.9 PPG in its last seven contests.

Memphis is 6-2 ATS in its last eight road games, while collecting with a 9-4 spread record in matchups that followed scoring 100 points in the team’s prior game. Oklahoma City has been overvalued on its floor in spots that came after a lengthy road trip, going 3-10 ATS in its last 13 home dates after a journey of seven or more days.

Oklahoma City fell to Memphis in November, 107-97, with the Grizzlies cashing as 5 ½-point road dogs in the upset. The Thunder pulled out to an early 10-point lead, but big nights from Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph got Memphis the victory.

Look for OKC to get revenge with a tight win, but even with Rudy Gay out of the picture, Memphis should to stay close enough for a cashed ticket.

NBA Picks: Memphis Grizzlies +8 ½
comment here