How a Wild Ending, and Klay Thompson, Decided the Spread in Warriors-Grizzlies Game 1
Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Klay Thompson #11 of the Golden State Warriors.
Every basketball bettor has been there.
Late in the game, you have the underdog on a tight spread and you don’t necessarily know what to root for.
Obviously your side winning is the best outcome but everybody knows taking an underdog into overtime is dangerous. So you don’t always want your team to force overtime.
The spread in Game 1 of the Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies series closed at Memphis +3. Although, it’s likely there are quite a few bettors who had Warriors -2 or Grizzlies +2 with the line moving a point right before the close.
After a back-and-forth final two minutes, Klay Thompson went to the line with six seconds left on the clock with his Warriors leading by one. Thompson is a career 85% free throw shooter and he’s up to 90% this season.
So, of course, Thompson missed the first attempt.
At this stage, Warriors bettors are upset and Grizzlies bettors really needed him to miss the next one in order to avoid the most likely overtime scenario. Warriors bettors (especially those with -3) want him to miss in order to give the Warriors a chance of getting the rebound and getting to the free throw line again.
Thompson missed again.
Warriors -2 bettors watching the free throws pic.twitter.com/BYlnouFxgt
— Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) May 1, 2022
There was a scramble for the rebound, but the ball went out of bounds in the frenzy. The refs, unsure of who last touched it, called a jump ball for possession at center court, which would effectively decide the spread.
If the Warriors win the tip, they’d get fouled and get to shoot two free throws to cover the spread. If Memphis wins it, they get a shot at winning the game or losing by one.
Memphis won the jump as they had a distinct height advantage of Jaren Jackson Jr. over Andrew Wiggins.
Ja Morant got blocked on his drive attempt and the Warriors won by one. Memphis bettors rejoice while Warriors bettors are left wondering why they didn’t just bet the moneyline.