Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder Game 2 Expert Picks, Odds and Predictions – NBA Playoffs Betting Preview 5/3/11: Someone forgot to tell the Memphis Grizzlies that they are the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs because they are playing like the team to beat. Anyone that thought the Grizzlies only advanced to the semifinals because the San Antonio Spurs were too old and slow better think again. After a convincing 114-101 victory against a young, athletic Oklahoma City Thunder team in Game 1, bettors need to start taking advantage of Memphis rather than finding reasons why they can’t win, especially considering the oddsmakers are giving the Grizzlies 6 points in Game 2.
Based on the regular season alone, Memphis should probably be favored in this series anyway. The Grizzlies won three out of four against the Thunder, sweeping two games in Memphis and even winning one out of two on the road. It is worth pointing out that Kendrick Perkins wasn’t in the mix for the Thunder during those regular season contests, but he didn’t exactly provide an added defensive presence in Game 1. In fact, the 114 points surrendered by OKC were more than in any of the regular season matchups.
Perhaps the biggest concern for the Thunder is the fact that Kevin Durant has played well against the Grizzlies and OKC has still struggled. That theme continued in the playoffs, with Durant dropping 33 points on 11-21 shooting in Game 1. He can’t do much more, which means his teammates are going to have to step up if the Oklahoma City is going to win the series. Russell Westbrook is the likely candidate, but he has become a high volume shooter rather than a distributor of late. If Westbrook continues to shoot more than Durant, the Grizzlies are going to continue to have success.
For Memphis, the dominant play of center Marc Gasol and power forward Zach Randolph has carried the offense. Whether the two are controlling the boards, getting to the foul line, or passing out of the post, both players have serve as focal points for the team’s attack. More importantly, Randolph has emerged as the team’s closer. He continues to take and make big shots for Memphis in the fourth quarter of games. Perkins was supposed to contain Randolph, but he did anything but in Game 1.
Oklahoma City still has more than enough firepower to beat the Grizzlies, but they need to adjust the current gameplan. However, it is hard to believe that the Thunder can go from being easily defeated in Game 1 to winning by six or more in Game 2. Up to this point, the Grizzlies have been the better team, and bettors should jump at the chance to get Memphis with six points in this one.
Bettors will want to get in on the over/under as well. Oddsmakers have the line at 197 ½ points(Get the latest odds at SBG Global Sportsbook) – a total that these two teams have easily surpassed in every meeting this season. In four regular season contests, the teams combined for 215, 209, 206 and 208 points. Factor in a preseason matchup and Game 1 of this series, and 212 and 215 get added to the game totals. Not only have the Thunder and Grizzlies covered the current spread in all six meetings this season, but they have covered it with ease.
Free Picks: Memphis Grizzlies (+6.5) Cover the Spread, Teams Combine for Over 197 ½ Points
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|GAME 2 Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder
Time: 9:35 PM EST on TNT
2011 NBA 1st Round Playoffs Series: Memphis leads 1-0
Vegas Odds –
Favorite: Oklahoma City -6.5(pointspread) Total: Over/Under 197.5
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