NBA Odds, Picks, Predictions: Warriors vs. Grizzlies (Saturday, March 20)
Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images. Pictured: Ja Morant #12 of the Memphis Grizzlies.
- The Grizzlies are favored over the shorthanded Warriors on Saturday night.
- Golden State took it to Memphis on Friday night, but we like the Griz to get right in this spot.
- Get our full Warriors vs. Grizzlies preview and pick below.
Warriors vs. Grizzlies Odds
|Moneyline||+180 / -225|
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday at 2:30 a.m. ET and via BetMGM.|
The Grizzlies host the Warriors in the second of two back-to-back games between these teams on Saturday night in Memphis. The Warriors beat the Grizzlies 116-103 on Friday as Andrew Wiggins led the way with 40 points (his most as a Warrior) and eight rebounds.
Stephen Curry was unavailable due to a tailbone contusion and is doubtful to play Saturday. The Grizzlies are 5.5-point favorites in the rematch after being favored by 6.5 points on Friday.
Golden State Warriors
If the Warriors cover or pull another upset, they will need Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green at their best again.
Eric Paschall and James Wiseman are out due to health and safety protocols while Klay Thompson (Achilles) and Marquese Chriss (lower leg) remain out. If Curry can’t play, the Warriors will play without three of their five leading scorers — not including Thompson since he hasn’t played this season.
All-Defensive Role teams
Point of Attack: Bev | D. Murray | Simmons
Chaser: Ennis | Iggy | Batum
Wing Stopper: Butler | Wiggins | Oubre
Helper: Bron | Anderson | Crowder
Perimeter Big: Nance | Giannis | RoCo
Mobile Big: Green | KO | Washington
Anchor Big: Gobert | Turner | Gasol
— Cranjis McBasketball (@Tim_NBA) March 19, 2021
Wiggins and Green will need to continue playing elite defense while stepping up offensively. Per BBall Index, Wiggins has been one of the three top wing stoppers in the league while Green has been one of the three best stretch bigs defensively this season. They will need to step up on the boards, especially with Wiseman and Paschall out, as the Warriors rank among the bottom five teams in offensive and defensive rebounding rates. This is a tough matchup for the Warriors as the Grizzlies rank among the top nine teams in both offensive and defensive rebounding rates.
Wiggins, Damion Lee, and Jordan Poole will need to carry the offense and get hot shooting threes to win. In their upset over the Grizzlies on Friday, these three were incredibly efficient as they combined to score 86 points on just 53 total shots.
Draymond Green will also need to play a bigger role than normal as a distributor without Curry to run the offense. While Green didn’t shoot the ball well on Friday (missing all six of his shots), he found ways to impact the game without scoring as he tallied 11 rebounds and 13 assists while anchoring the defense. While he is still averaging a triple-single, Green has recorded all three of his triple-doubles this season in the last eight games. Wiggins and Green tied for the best plus/minus in Friday’s game at +24 in 34 minutes.
If the Grizzlies win and cover, it will be because Ja Morant was at his best and they improve their three-point shooting. The Grizzlies remain without Jaren Jackson Jr. as he recovers from a knee injury suffered in the bubble.
If the Grizzlies can get Morant at his best, it will be a huge boost to their offense. Morant is scoring just 105.5 points per 100 shot attempts this season, which ranks in the 38th percentile among point guards. While he is an elite finisher at the rim, he ranks well below average in shooting accuracy in the midrange and from beyond the arc. If he can make some outside shots (not necessarily 3s but at least outside the paint), it will help open up the rest of his game.
Morant struggled on Friday against the Warriors with 14 points on 12 shots while missing both of his 3-point attempts. The Grizzlies struggled taking care of the ball with 20 total turnovers, and Morant committed six turnovers while recording only two assists.
Per Cleaning The Glass, the Grizzlies lead the NBA with 30.7% of their shot attempts on short midrange shots. Each of the Grizzlies’ top five scorers ranks in the 91st percentile or higher in shot attempts in the short midrange (per Cleaning The Glass). Taking shorter shots has helped their rebounding numbers as they are eighth in the league with an offensive rebounding rate of 27.6%. Consequently, Memphis leads the NBA with 55.6 points in the paint per game.
#Grizzlies' 3-pointers last 7 games
— Fastbreak Breakfast (@fastbreakbreak) March 20, 2021
While the Grizzlies score often in the paint, they will need to be better from beyond the arc. Each of their top-five scorers is also a below-average 3-point shooter among his position group. De’Anthony Melton, Desmond Bane, and Grayson Allen are the only above-average three-point shooters on the team, and they will need to shoot at a high level. These three made five of their 12 3s on Friday, but the rest of the Grizzlies combined to make just three of 14 3s. The Grizzlies have shot poorly from beyond the arc in six of their last seven games.
After getting blown out at home on Friday, the Grizzlies will play with a higher level of intensity against the Warriors on Saturday. Expect the Grizzlies to have a bigger advantage on the boards Saturday than they did when they only out-rebounded the Warriors by three in the first meeting. The Grizzlies struggled with turnovers while the Warriors’ three best shooters available (and only real scoring options besides Oubre) all played extremely well.
Expect the Grizzlies, who have the eighth-lowest turnover rate (13.6%) in the league, to take better care of the ball as Morant has a much better game. The Warriors will need Wiggins, Lee, and Poole to continue making shots at a high rate to cover, but they will face more difficult looks on Saturday. While I loved the value on the Warriors yesterday against the Grizzlies in a letdown spot after a big win over the Heat, the Warriors don’t have enough scoring options to survive the Grizzlies’ counterpunch with Curry likely out.
The Grizzlies are easily the better team and will learn from Friday’s mistakes to play a more complete game and split the two-game mini-series. Take the Grizzlies as 5.5-point favorites on BetMGM to cover with value down to -7.
Pick: Grizzlies -5.5 (bet up to -7).