For all 7th seeded
Heading into the final game of the regular season, the Mavs and Grizzlies have the same exact record, and they are facing one another tonight. While moving up may seem glamorous for some teams, in this situation, neither the Spurs nor the Thunder are an inviting matchup for Memphis or Dallas.
The NBA Odds have the Grizzlies as -3 ½ favorites, with a total of 190 here, and even though playing the Spurs is not desirable, the Mavs might have motivation to stay in that #7 seed so they can play the Thunder.
Dallas is 2-1 SU and ATS against the Thunder this season, and they have beaten them soundly the last two times they have played them. OKC hasn’t beaten the Mavs since back in November, and it could mean that the Mavs are really going to try and win here.
For Memphis, even though I think they would want to move up, they are 0-7 SU against both the Thunder and the Spurs, while both the Mavs and Grizzlies combined are 0-8 SU against the Spurs this season.
The Grizzlies have beaten the Spurs once in a #1 versus #8 playoff matchup, and you know they think they could do it again. However both teams are much better and battle-tested than they were back in 2011, and it was three years ago.
As I see it, I think both teams might benefit from staying where they are. The Grizzlies matchup better against the Spurs in my eyes, and since the Mavs have a winning record against the Thunder, it seems only fitting that these two teams have some sort of gentlemen’s agreement to not play too rough tonight, and let the chips fall where they will.
We could also see a contested game tonight, however I think the NBA Odds for the total are the best play for this complicated scenario. At 190, it looks like the over might have some great value regardless of who is playing, who is sitting, and who is playing limited minutes.
The Sharp Pick
The over has cashed in all three of these two team’s meetings this season, and also in four in a row counting their final meetings of 2012-2013. Also for the Grizzlies, the total has gone over in nine of their last 12 home games, and this could show us the trend of undervaluing Memphis totals at home. The Grizzlies are actually one of the best road defensive teams in the NBA this season, but at home, the sportsbooks tend to undervalue their totals.
I don’t think tonight is any different, and at 190, this total should go over. The Grizzlies are 19-12 cashing the over as home favorites this season, while the Mavs have been one of the best teams cashing the over versus conference opponents this year, at 29-22.
Either way this one goes tonight, I think the over is the play. If both teams, or neither teams rest some players, the total still looks good for the over. If it’s a combination of both, I think that will add more value to the over as well. However, I think this game will be a little less aggressive than some are projecting. Both teams know health and rest are just as important as a good matchup in the postseason.
My Pick: OVER 190