NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Grizzlies Game 3

Jeff Grant

Friday, May 10, 2013 1:11 PM GMT

Friday, May. 10, 2013 1:11 PM GMT

The Oklahoma City Thunder have always been tremendous against the spread following a straight-up loss, as they hit the road to take on the Memphis Grizzlies Saturday.


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 3 of this Western Conference semifinal series at FedExForum, with the opening tip scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET. 

Fortunate 

Oklahoma City was fortunate to split the first two games of this best-of-seven series, as it looks to bounce back from a 99-93 setback to Memphis as 2.5-point home favorites Tuesday, while going OVER the betting total of 188.5. 

Over the last two-plus seasons, the Thunder are 37-17 straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) when revenging a loss versus an opponent as a favorite, with no advantage found in terms of the total (26-26-2 Over/Under). 

Continue to pound the glass

Memphis is at its best when pounding the offensive glass, which was clearly evident in Game 2, as it grabbed 16 rebounds that led to 23 second-chance points on that end.  

Power forward Zach Randolph figures to play a prominent role in that particular category in this affair, considering he’s averaged 23.3 points and 8.3 rebounds at home during the 2013 NBA playoffs. 

Great situational spot

NBA handicappers need to be careful in simply fading the Thunder without point guard Russell Westbrook when making their playoff picks, considering they’ve gone 13-7 ATS as road underdogs of 3.5 to 6 points the last two-plus seasons. 

Oklahoma City is capable of winning this series, especially with forward Kevin Durant scoring 20 or more points in his last 34 postseason games. 

Conley 

Grizzlies point guard Mike Conley gained national recognition with his play against Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul in the opening round of the playoffs, while he’s averaging 17.9 points and a postseason career-low 1.8 turnovers.

The former Ohio State Buckeyes star is certainly the X-factor in this series with Westbrook lost for the rest of the playoffs.

[gameodds]5/228706/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Thunder as one of their NBA picks Saturday, as the road team is 8-1 ATS in the last nine overall meetings in this series, while sixth man Kevin Martin should bounce back from a dismal performance last time out.

Martin scored 17 points in a 90-89 overtime defeat in Oklahoma City’s only trip to Memphis during the regular season, with the club enjoying a +17 point differential with him on the floor.

NBA Pick:  Oklahoma City Thunder +5 at Pinnacle

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