NBA Betting Picks: Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder

NBA Betting Picks:  Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder–without guard Russell Westbrook who is out for the season–will try to stave off elimination at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night. The Thunder are at home but will that–and the prolific scoring of Kevin Durant–be enough to survive and get the series back to Memphis for Game 6?

We doubt it. The Thunder deserve credit for gutting out a first round playoff victory against the Houston Rockets but they’ve been a very poor pointspread proposition of late. Heading in to this contest they’ve covered only 3 of their last 12 games and face a Grizzlies team that is playing some of their best basketball of the season at the most opportune time. Memphis is 12-4 SU in their last sixteen games going 14-2 against the spread. In addition they’ve covered nine straight games and have been a very profitable road team this season going 28-17 against the number.

With his team’s season on the line you can expect Kevin Durant to take matters into his own hands and essentially score as many points as he can. This may be the Thunder’s best strategy to get the win but it’s also one that plays right in to Memphis’ hands. They’ll gladly let Durant ‘get his’ and focus on defending his teammates. Memphis has been a strong pointspread play against OKC in recent years–the Grizzlies have covered 14 of the last 22 meetings overall including 7 of the last 12 on the Thunder’s home court.

Memphis has been at their best this season playing other good teams. They would occasionally lose focus against ‘bottom feeders’ but against the league’s elite they were money in the bank. Against teams with winning records they have a 32-16 ATS record and they’ve also been a team that builds ‘momentum’ after stringing together some wins. After 3 or more consecutive SU wins the Grizzlies are 18-7 against the spread.

The Thunder entered the postseason as a favorite to repeat their Western Conference title and earn a likely rematch against the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals. That was before the injury to Westbrook and the reality is that without him they’re not a good enough team to get out of this round, let alone get past the Western Conference and beat the mighty Heat.