Grizzlies vs. Warriors Odds
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.|
The Warriors captured a pivotal Game 3 when they returned to the Bay Area and dominated in a 30-point victory. The Memphis Grizzlies now have to deal with a knee injury to Ja Morant, which dramatically impacts their chances in this series.
Can the Grizzlies even up the series or will the Warriors take a commanding 3-1 series lead? Let’s break it down.
How Can the Grizzlies Replace Ja Morant?
Dillon Brooks is slated to return from his one-game suspension, but the more significant issue is that Ja Morant suffered a knee injury and is officially doubtful and likely to miss Game 4, per coach Taylor Jenkins.
This is a significant issue for the Memphis Grizzlies. Although there was much said about the Grizzlies’ tremendous 20-5 record without Morant this season, the playoffs and the Golden State Warriors are a totally different animal.
Memphis’ record drops to 8-4 without Morant against playoff teams. One of those wins was against the Warriors on March 28, but none of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson or Draymond Green played in that contest, so I would not take much from it.
Morant holds an absurd 35.7% Usage Rating in the Playoffs — he’s been dared to shoot thres against the Warriors and he’s thrived. He’s averaged 38.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 8.3 assists per game this series. That type of usage is not easily replaced.
When Morant has been off the floor this postseason, the Grizzlies have posted a -11.4 point differential per 100 possessions. While their defense has still been strong (109.7 points allowed per 100), they simply cannot score and are putting up just 98.3 points per 100, per Cleaning the Glass. Considering Morant nearly outscored the rest of the starting lineup in Game 3, it’s not surprising that Memphis has struggled without its star.
If Morant is unable to go, the offensive load will fall onto Desmond Bane’s (injured) back. While he is capable, it’s a tall task considering he has scored just 16, five and nine points in three games. Game 4 may not go smoothly for Memphis.
Warriors Continue to Dominate Third Quarters
The Warriors absolutely caught fire in Game 3 and shot 63.1% from the field and an absurd 53.1% from three-point range. It was a truly dominant performance after a very slow start where they were down double digits in the first quarter.
Throughout the playoffs, the Warriors have posted the top Offensive Rating in the league, scoring 121 points per 100 possessions. The Nuggets were not exactly defensive stalwarts, but the Warriors are still posting a mark of 117.2 points per 100 against the Grizzlies, per Cleaning the Glass.
Much of this success is due to the success of the Death Lineup of Curry, Jordan Poole, Thompson, Andrew Wiggins and Green. That lineup is +13.7 and scoring an absurd 137.2 points per 100 possessions. However, Golden State can run slightly different versions of this with much success as well, depending on the matchup. The true key is whether Curry and Green are on the floor together. When they both are on the floor, the Warriors have a +14.2 point differential, scoring 125.5 points per 100 and allowing just 111.3.
One of the penchants of the Warriors dynasty was their ability to absolutely dominate in the third quarters of games, especially at home. This rings true this postseason, too. In four games, the Warriors are 4-0 in the third with a Net Rating of 27.6 while posting Offensive and Defensive Ratings of 139.2 and 111.6, respectively. The Warriors often deviate from their starting lineups after halftime to address the flow of the game. They either make a push if they are down or look to put the game out of reach.
If Morant is unable to play, this series is all but over. The Warriors should roll in Game 4 and take a 3-1 series lead.
My one concern is this spread has jumped into the double digits and that feels ripe for a backdoor cover. Instead, I’ll look to back the Warriors in a spot I know they thrive, especially if they need to make any adjustments due to Morant’s likely absence.
I’ll back the Warriors to cover the 3rd Quarter spread and I’ll also play the Series Total Games at 5 Games (+110) at Fanduel. I’d project the Warriors to be at least five-point favorites in a closeout Game 5 with a roughly (-200) moneyline price, so there’s a bit of value at +110 on what amounts to a two-game moneyline parlay.
Pick: Warriors 3Q -2.5 and Series Total Games – 5 (+110)