Jazz vs. Grizzlies Odds, Game 4 Preview, Prediction: How to Back Utah Live in Memphis (May 31)

Jazz vs. Grizzlies Odds, Game 4 Preview, Prediction: How to Back Utah Live in Memphis (May 31) article feature image
Credit:

Justin Ford/Getty Images. Pictured: Rudy Gobert (No. 27) and Ja Morant (No. 12).

  • The Jazz look to take a commanding series lead on Monday night when they go for a third straight win over the Grizzlies.
  • After a Game 1 letdown, Utah has looked like its normal self over the past two games, thriving defensively and from 3-point range.
  • Brandon Anderson breaks down the betting value in the matchup and how bettors should back the Jazz on the road.

Jazz vs. Grizzlies Odds

Jazz Odds -5
Grizzlies Odds +5
Moneyline -215 / +175
Over/Under 225
Time Monday, 9:30 p.m. ET
TV TNT
Odds as of Sunday and via DraftKings

It’s already been quite a long journey for the Memphis Grizzlies.

Memphis stole Game 1 of this series on the road after knocking out the Spurs and Warriors in the play-in tournament, and it looked for at least a moment like the Utah Jazz might be in some trouble. The Jazz have since taken care of business, though, with wins in Games 2 and 3 to retake control of the series.

On Monday night, the Jazz look to deliver what would surely feel like a knockout blow since a win would sweep this pair of games in Memphis and send the Jazz home up 3-1 with a chance to close out the series.

The Grizzlies have put themselves on the national map over the past couple of weeks, but they’re fighting for their lives in Game 4. Then again, we’ve seen just how hard these Grizzlies scratch and claw.

Do they have what it takes to find a way to win and even up this series?

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Utah Finding Its Stride

The Jazz never really got rolling in Game 1 but used a late push to come back and nearly steal the game. But in Games 2 and 3, Utah won by double digits both times, leading comfortably for most of the game and staving off multiple Grizzlies pushes to win with ease.

So what changed?

In a word: everything.

Almost everything went wrong for the Jazz in Game 1. They were missing their leading scorer in Donovan Mitchell and clearly didn’t have a great game plan without him other than to just take a ton of 3-point shots, and those weren’t falling.

Utah had a 2-of-19 stretch from deep to close the first half in Game 1 and finished 12-of-47, just 26% — that number was enhanced by a few late makes. The Jazz had a litany of live-ball turnovers that led to easy buckets and also got muted games from both Rudy Gobert and Mike Conley, who were in foul trouble all night.

Mitchell was back in Game 2, and it’s amazing what one guy can do.

It’s not just Michell’s return — it’s the trickle-down effect. Adding an All Star back at the top of the team pushes everyone back down into the role they’re familiar with, the one they’re built for, and the roles that were so successful in the regular season when the Jazz were the best team in the NBA by any available metric.

That’s the Jazz we’ve seen in Games 2 and 3.

Utah has made 19 3-pointers in each game at 46% behind the arc, and the crazy thing is that that’s really not even an outlier for this team this season. Mitchell has scored 54 points in his two games back, leading the Jazz in scoring each night out. His return has also returned the Utah bench to its usual domination, led by a pair of Sixth Man of the Year Award candidates in Joe Ingles and Jordan Clarkson, who won the prize.

The Jazz may not look like the dominant team we’re used to because there’s no singular superstar, but they go eight deep with very good, definite playoff-caliber rotation players and are excellent at both ends. Utah ranked in the top two in the NBA in both Offensive and Defensive Efficiency in the regular season, per Basketball Reference. They drain 3-pointers all game and mash the offensive glass when they miss, all without sacrificing defense, and that defense is outstanding at funneling opponents inside the arc toward Gobert, who anchor’s the league’s No. 1 2-point defense.

Utah is just a really, really good team. Memphis has actually played quite well all series, even the last two games.

The Jazz are just better.

Memphis Making Life Difficult for Utah

Better or not, the Grizzlies are not backing down. Memphis is here for the fight, and it’s quite impressive the way Memphis continues to fight each game and after each Jazz spurt.

So many times the last two games, it felt like the Jazz delivered a knockout blow with another barrage of 3-point shots and each time, the Grizz fought back and kept pushing. It would be a surprise to see them not at least make this game competitive in what could be the final home game of the year if they can’t get the win.

Still, it’s worrying that the Grizzlies really can’t play much better than they already are. Ja Morant has been absolutely fantastic, averaging 33.7 points per game and picking apart a great defense, getting into the paint and hitting repeated floaters over the likely Defensive Player of the Year in Gobert. Dillon Brooks has been shockingly good too, at 27.0 points per game himself. Neither player is hitting many 3-pointers but both are far above their heads on 2-point percentage, which could be a worry when the regression monster hits. Brooks looks awesome sometimes but looks like he’s trying to punch above his weight class in other moments.

The Jazz have had a much better answer for Jonas Valanciunas the past two games, and Memphis needs to find a way to get the Lithuanian going to have any chance in this series. Valanciunas was shut out in the first half of Game 3 but came out and scored 10 straight to start the second half to light a fire under this team.

Memphis needs to play its offense through Valanciunas in the post, more than Brooks playing iso ball where he’s not efficient enough.

The Grizzlies are at their best when they’re flying around on defense. They’re a tough, physical team reminiscent of Conley’s old “Grind City” squads. Though Memphis is not particularly efficient on either end, it’s proof that there’s more than one way to win the NBA math equation.

Memphis chooses quantity over quality offensively. The Grizzlies hit the glass hard and look to force turnovers. Offensive rebounds and live-ball turnovers lead to easy, efficient points, and Memphis needs to win the rebounding and turnover battles so they win the math game by out-possessing the opponent.

Almost every time the Grizzlies have made a push in this series, it’s because Utah has gotten sloppy with the ball and Memphis has forced turnovers and gotten quick and easy points. The Grizzlies need to do that and get the home crowd into this. They’re not going to out-shoot the Jazz and aren’t talented enough to be the better team, so they’ll need to out-possess them and win with quantity over quality.

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Jazz-Grizzlies Pick

It’s relatively clear by now that the Jazz are the better team in this series, and it feels like only a matter of “when,” not “if” at this point.

With every other Western series tied up at 2-2, this is a chance for Utah to step on its opponent’s throat, take a 3-1 series lead home and get a rest advantage while all the other teams are racking up injuries. Remember, Mitchell and Conley are still recently coming off of injuries of their own.

Still, this will not be easy. Memphis will show up and fight and won’t go away easily.

If you are confident the Jazz will win this game but think Memphis will go down swinging, the moneyline feels like a safer play but is far too rich a price. The better play may be taking Utah to win the series in five games, currently -130 at BetMGM. Win this one and the Jazz go home to Utah for a closeout game where the Jazz were 31-5, the best home record in the regular season.

The Jazz are 5- to 5.5-point favorites as of Sunday night, and that line may rise a bit by tipoff. I don’t mind laying the points, but I don’t think it’s the best value. That’s because I fully expect the Grizzlies to keep this game close at least for a while, and maybe even lead it early.

If that’s the case, we’ll be better off waiting and playing this live in the second quarter or around halftime.

I’ll be watching for an opportunity to bet the Jazz as close to -0.5 as I can get them, essentially looking for even or plus odds to the moneyline. I can see us getting there with an early home push by Memphis, but I’m not willing to bet the Grizzlies first half in case the Jazz respond just that quickly.

The Western Conference is opening up quite nicely for the Jazz, and they have a real shot at the NBA Finals. If this team is a true contender, this is a closeout-type game Utah has to find a way to win on the road.

Pick: Look to live bet Jazz moneyline around even or plus odds after an early Memphis push

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