NBA Play-In Tournament Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Friday’s Grizzlies vs. Warriors (May 21)

NBA Play-In Tournament Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Staff’s Best Bets for Friday’s Grizzlies vs. Warriors (May 21) article feature image
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Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Jonas Valanciunas #17 of the Memphis Grizzlies.

  • One game, one playoff spot, two favorite bets.
  • The Grizzlies and Warriors will go head-to-head for the No. 8 seed and our NBA analysts have two picks they like for tonight's action.
  • Read on for their spread and prop bet for Friday's elimination game.

The Grizzlies and Warriors went head-to-head in the final game of the regular season for the chance to finish eighth in the standings. On Friday night, they will face off once again for the chance to grab the eighth and final playoff spot out West.

With that as the backdrop, our NBA crew breaks down the two bets they like in tonight’s must win game, including a bet on the spread and one prop.

Check out their analysis and picks below.

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NBA Odds & Picks

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Grizzlies vs. Warriors Spread
9 p.m. ET
Grizzlies vs. Warriors Prop
9 p.m. ET

Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick
Warriors -4.5
Book
PointsBet
Tipoff
9 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Brandon Anderson: Everything about this screams trap game, but I still can’t talk myself into taking the Grizzlies here. The Warriors should have won Wednesday night, and they would have if not for one bad third quarter and far too many turnovers.

The Warriors are good now that they have excised James Wiseman and surrounded Stephen Curry and Draymond Green with the perfect mix of complementary role players. Golden State’s metrics down the stretch without Wiseman put the Warriors on par with any team in the NBA. It makes them look like title contenders, and if they can go toe-to-toe with the Lakers- and deserve to win, what more do you need to know?

The Grizzlies just don’t have that kind of ceiling. This offense is a slog and has to grind for every bucket — I fear the offense doesn’t have enough firepower in this game. Memphis loves to take a ton of 2s, even though the Grizz rank just 20th in 2-point percentage.

Golden State’s defense loves to see opponents take a ton of 2s because it ranks second in opponent 2-point percentage. Memphis plays right into Golden State’s hands, and they got blown out in the play-in to the play-in Sunday when they couldn’t hit any 3s.

The road map for Memphis winning is very easy: Grab rebounds and force turnovers. The Warriors are small, and the Grizzlies mash on the board. Jonas Valanciunas needs to have another monster game in the post.

The Grizz also need Dillon Brooks, DeAnthony Melton, Kyle Anderson, and the crew to rack up steals when Steph and Dray are loose with the ball, turning them into easy Memphis buckets. If the Grizzlies win those two margins by a huge amount, they can win this.

I just don’t think they will. Golden State is a team on a mission, and it would be a huge disappointment at this point if the team came up short of the playoffs.

Trap game or not, I have to trust the far better team to win at home where they’ve been outstanding. This line feels like a gift. I’ll play the Warriors as high as -6 if necessary.


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Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors

Pick
Jonas Valanciunas Over 19.5 points
Book
BetMGM
Tipoff
9 p.m. ET
TV
ESPN

Kenny Ducey: It’s been so much fun this season picking on the Warriors’ frontcourt, so why stop now, when there’s a chance we never get to do it again?

Over his last five games of the regular season, Valanciunas hit this over four times, averaging 22.0 points per game with 15.4 rebounds. He’s been a monster, and one of those games was against these same Warriors, when he hit the 29-point mark to match his third-best scoring night of the season.

Golden State doesn’t have James Wiseman, and it has an undersized Draymond Green trying to do everything all at once in the post. Because of this, the Warriors have the fourth-worst rebounding rate in the league, give up the fourth-most second chance points and are allowing 44.4% shooting in the paint, outside of the restricted area, which is not a very good number.

Valanciunas should be able to have his way on the glass here and create some chances off of offensive boards, and should absolutely eat when fed the ball in the post against this soft interior defense. I love him to eclipse this number.


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