Spurs Will Continue Dominating Overmatched Grizzlies in Game 3

spurs grizzlies

Swinging Johnson

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 6:45 PM GMT

The Grizzlies lost the first two in San Antonio in their West first-round series but now come home to Memphis. Let’s peruse the NBA odds and determine whether the Grizzlies will keep it close Thursday in Game 3 or fade once again.

Spurs Poised To Keep Rolling

There were many, including myself, who thought the Grizzlies could steal a game in San Antonio and come home to a Western Conference first-round series knotted at one. After all, Memphis split the season series two games apiece and covered the NBA odds in all four contests. Both teams spiraled downward towards the end of the regular season, so it became a question of which team was suddenly going to shake free of its late-season swoon and prepare for playoff basketball. Apparently, the Spurs got the memo while the Grizzlies continued to languish in the doldrums.

Now it is crunch time, and the Grizzlies have no excuses. It’s kill or be killed, and if they lose this third game at home Thursday then the deal is all but sealed. The Spurs did get more than their fair share of love from the referees in Game 2, but let’s face it they didn’t need it as they steam-rolled the Grizzlies 96-82 after cruising to a 29-point victory in the series opener. Memphis has scored just 82 points in both road games, while the Spurs have averaged 103.5, which is almost two points fewer than their regular season average yet they still won both games by double digits.

The issue, of course, is that Memphis is devoid of an even serviceable offense, ranked 29th of 30 in that category. Though the Spurs fall somewhere in the middle of the NBA scoring pack, it is their second-ranked defense that has propelled them to greatness this season. San Antonio allowed an average of just 98.1 PPG and was ranked No. 2 in point differential (+7.2), trailing only Golden State.

Here are some numbers to consider:

  • San Antonio is 4-1 ATS in their last five road games.
  • San Antonio is 6-1 ATS in their last seven conference quarterfinal games.
  • Memphis is 1-12 ATS when playing on two day’s rest.
  • Memphis is 3-14 ATS after a division game.
  • Memphis is 1-7 ATS in their last eight conference quarterfinal games.
  • Memphis has lost and failed to cover five of their last six games.

I believed that Memphis had a shot before the series started as they had played well against San Antonio during the regular season. But they remain mired in a late-season malaise while the Spurs are playing prime-time ball. I cannot see the Grizzlies suddenly overcoming what is obviously a glaring mismatch in talent in this series. Memphis’ defensive whiz Tony Allen is out indefinitely, and his absence has hampered the Grizzlies’ efforts at staving off Kawhi Leonard and Co. Though I am not fond of laying points on the road, I have no choice but to include the Spurs in my NBA picks for Thursday night.

Free NBA Pick: Spurs -3Best Line Offered: BetPhoenix

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