NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Grizzlies Game 4

Jeff Grant

Monday, May 13, 2013 11:45 AM GMT

The Memphis Grizzlies are fortunate to own a series lead against the Oklahoma City Thunder, as the two teams prepare to meet tonight. Where do we believe that the best value lies for our NBA picks in this situation?


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for Game 4 of this Western Conference semifinal series at FedExForum, with the opening tip scheduled for 9:30 p.m. ET on TNT. 

Also check out my NBA Picks: Heat vs. Bulls Game 4

Missed opportunity 

Oklahoma City did all the little things to try and take a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series, but it ultimately suffered a 87-81 defeat to Memphis as 5.5-point road underdogs last Saturday, while going UNDER the total of 187.5.

The Thunder are 19-9 straight up (SU) and 18-10 against the spread (ATS) when revenging a loss versus an opponent since the start of the 2012-13 regular season, while the UNDER is 16-10-2 in that situation.

Drop the hammer 

Memphis has been in this situation before, as it held a 2-1 advantage over Oklahoma City in the 2011 semifinals, but ended up blowing an early 22-point second-quarter lead en route to a 133-123 triple-overtime loss. 

The Grizzlies are 3-4 SU and 4-3 ATS when leading in a playoff series the last two-plus seasons, with the OVER cashing in six of those seven opportunities. 

Durant 

Kevin Durant has recorded 20-plus points in 35 consecutive playoff games, as he finished with a game-high 25 points during Game 3 at Memphis, but it wasn’t enough for Oklahoma City to come away with a victory. 

The former Texas Longhorns star enters with a playoff scoring average of 32.3 points per game.

Home-court advantage

NBA handicappers may elect to go with the zig-zag theory in backing the Thunder as one of their against-the-spread picks, but the Grizzlies have won 18 of 19 home games since Feb. 8.

Memphis has also compiled a dominating 35-16 ATS record at this venue when taking on teams with a winning road record.

[gameodds]5/228743/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction 

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Grizzlies in the first half as one of their sports picks, as the Thunder miss point guard Russell Westbrook’s energy in the early going of games, while the Grizzlies will pound the glass. 

Oklahoma City enjoyed a 51-44 overall advantage on the boards last time out, including a 14-5 edge on the offensive end, but those numbers will likely tilt the other way Monday. 

NBA Pick:  Memphis Grizzlies -2.5 First Half at Bet365