Thunder vs. Grizzlies Odds & Pick: Motivation Isn’t Enough for Memphis

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Getty Images. Pictured (L-R): OKC Thunder guard Chris Paul, Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant.

Aug 07, 2020, 03:05 PM EDT

Thunder vs. Grizzlies Betting Odds

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Thunder odds -5 [BET NOW]
Grizzlies odds +5 [BET NOW]
Moneyline -195/+163 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 222 [BET NOW]
Time 4 p.m. ET
TV NBATV

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This is a huge, must-win game for the Grizzlies — though I suppose they all are at this point. The Grizz are still clinging to the 8-seed by the skin of their teeth, but they remain winless through four games in the bubble.

Friday’s game is perhaps less important but not meaningless for the Thunder, who are still jostling with the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets for positioning in the West. Two of those teams look like they’ll play each other in the first round, with the other dropping to the 6-seed. It remains to be seen which teams prefer which path.

Oklahoma City Thunder

The Thunder are still missing Sixth Man of the Year candidate, Dennis Schroder, whose absence has really weakened their bench and hurt their best five-man lineup with all three guards on the floor. Nonetheless, Oklahoma City blew out the Jazz and Lakers and lost a tight one to Denver in between.

Oklahoma City is a balanced team, ranking top-12 on both offense and defense. The Thunder have won 19 of their last 25 games dating back to mid-January and show no signs of slowing down. This is a tough team that’s trying to keep momentum heading into a playoffs. Oklahoma City has no interest in being a Memphis stepping stone into the playoffs.

Memphis Grizzlies

The Grizzlies can’t buy a win right now. They’re 0-4 in the bubble, and three of those losses are to teams that Memphis is trying to fend off for the final Western Conference playoff spot. Memphis has been competitive late into each of its games, but close isn’t good enough anymore. The Grizzlies defense isn’t holding up, and they’re not scoring in crunch time.

On top of that, Jaren Jackson is now out for the season with a torn meniscus. Memphis had already lost Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones, and the team is running out of bodies quickly. If the Grizzlies didn’t have such a big lead heading into the playoffs, I suspect we would have already written them off.

The hard truth is that this team simply isn’t good enough yet, but they’re fighting hard.

Just how far can Ja Morant will this team? Even one win might be enough to get the Grizzlies into the Western Conference play-in game.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Motivation matters, but it hasn’t been enough to get the Grizzlies into the win column thus far. Memphis may manage to keep this game close, but Oklahoma City has been molten lava in the clutch this season. I expect a veteran team like the Thunder to find a way to close out these young Grizzlies late.

This one opened at Thunder -3,  jumped almost immediately to -3.5, and has continued to rise since then. Grab it quickly before it jumps even higher, but I think there’s still value as high as Thunder -5.5. Trust OKC to take care of business.

Pick: Thunder -4.5 (up to -5.5)

[Bet $20+ on the Thunder at PointsBet and Win $125 if they make at least one 3-pointer]

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