Everything was set up for the No. 2 seeded Grizzlies to grab Game 1 at home against the lower-seeded, but favored, Golden State Warriors. Draymond Green’s second quarter ejection left the Warriors without their critical point forward, who is the catalyst for the shot creation of star guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. Despite their struggles, reserve guard Jordan Poole’s career-high 31 points and 5 of 10 shooting from deep, spurred the Warriors to an impressive 117-116 road victory.
Memphis now faces a critical Game 2, trying to avoid an 0-2 deficit before going on the road for two games at Golden State. Ja Morant (34 Points, nine rebounds, 10 assists) was fantastic in Game 1, as was Jaren Jackson (33 points, 10 rebounds), but the question remains: can the Memphis 3P shooters get hot enough to provide supplemental scoring? The Warriors have one of the league best defenses, ranking fourth in 3P percentage allowed.
Is the Golden State championship pedigree too tough, or will the Grizzlies battle back to even the series? Here are my best bets for tonight’s pivotal Game 2 between Memphis and Golden State.
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Grizzlies vs. Warriors Betting Odds
*Lines accurate at the time of publication.
Grizzlies vs. Warriors Best Bets
Warriors -2 (-112, DraftKings)
The health of shooting guard Desmond Bane is a crtical component for Game 2. Bane was downgraded to questionable for tonight’s matchup with lower back soreness that started before Game 1. His status is vital for the Grizzlies chances tonight.
Golden State was very effective at limiting both Bane and Dillon Brooks in Game 1. Both players rely on Morant to create shot opportunities beyond the arc. The Warriors refused to double Morant, but effectively took away the other options to limit the Memphis offense. Jaren Jackson’s big performance was greatly aided by Draymond Green’s ejection.
After a six-point halftime deficit, Golden State exploded in the third quarter for 36 points. The Warriors attacked Morant on defense with their triad of perimeter scorers, led by Poole’s career day. It is unlikely that Jackson produces another huge performances, leaving Memphis to look for scoring beyond Morant. It’s hard to see who that comes from tonight, especially if Bane is limited or ruled out.
The Warriors’ win, without Green, with Morant scoring 34 points, is very telling. Golden State looks very much like their championship teams of past years, leading me to lay the small number against a Grizzlies team with several questions.
Risk: 1.12 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)
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Grizzlies vs. Warriors Game Total Under 227.5 Points (-110, DraftKings)
Game 1 crested the 224 point total, led by 14 three-pointers from Memphis. Morant surprisingly hit four shots from beyond the arc, the most he’s made in a game since March 3rd. It’s hard to see that level of efficiency repeat, and I expect a much stronger defensive effort from Memphis against Golden State in Game 2.
Look for an increased role from guard De’Anthony Melton, who will bolster the Grizzlies perimeter defense. Memphis was effective against Klay Thompson (6 of 19), and even held Curry below his average (24 points). I’ll also bet on a more reasonable performance from Poole.
Memphis cannot afford to go down 2-0 against this elite Golden State roster. I expect a slower pace, expecially in the second half.
The Grizzlies and Warriors both play to the over, with Golden State hitting the over in six of last seven contests. However, games of this magnitude tend to slow down, leading my to back the under tonight.
Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)
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