The NBA playoffs have arrived! Before we get to the series previews, we need to get through this play-in tournament. Here is the San Antonio Spurs vs Memphis Grizzlies betting preview.
This game will tip off at 7PM EST in Memphis Wednesday night on ESPN. The Grizzlies are -4 favorites, with an over/under set at 222 points.
Here’s what I’m thinking for the first round of the NBA playoffs. Below this blurb are all the ranks for each team that I will discuss. Use this as a resource. I’ve consolidated offensive and defensive ranks (equation at bottom of table), offensive and defensive preferences, and pace of play. I’ve also tacked on recent performance, key injuries, and betting trends.
The hope is that we find overlap between a team strength and another team weakness, or vice versa. This is nothing more than a guide. I’ll be making a few picks at the end, but I hope more than anything that this helps give you a look into how each team matches up.
Let’s get to it. Follow me on Twitter, @griffybets, for all things NBA this postseason. Drop me a line with any feedback or ideas for stats you’d like to see included!
|San Antonio Spurs||Memphis Grizzlies|
|Offense rank: 23
Threes rank: 29
Pts in paint: 13
Defense rank: 20
Perimeter D: 14
Opp. pts in paint: 26
|Offense rank: 18
Threes rank: 23
Pts in paint: 1
Defense rank: 9
Perimeter D: 17
Opp. pts in paint: 16
|Injuries to keep an eye on||Injuries to keep an eye on|
|Last 10 Games||Last 10 Games|
|ATS record||ATS record|
|O/U record||O/U record|
- Offensive/Defensive ranks calculated by averaging (points per game, EFG% and efficiency)
- Pace calculated by averaging (field goals attempted per game and possessions per game)
- Threes/Perimeter defense calculated by averaging (threes made per game and 3P%)
Shoutout to TeamRankings.com for the above stats. That site has everything you could ever ask for – this is just a taste of the numbers they consolidate for you. Consider perusing the site to dig into areas of the game you’re curious about.
Thoughts on the game
This is by far my favorite play-in game to bet on. Not only with a game pick, but also an over and some props. Finally – the juice we’ve been looking for.
The first thing that catches my eye is the egregious difference between Memphis in the paint and San Antonio guarding it. No team scores more points in the paint than the Grizzlies, and the Spurs are the fifth-most generous defense to points inside.
This is exactly what we’re looking for when loading up on bets.
Beyond that, the biggest difference in rankings to highlight is Memphis’s defense (9th overall) matched up on a Spurs offense that ranks 23rd.
The reason I like Memphis is built on the two disparities listed above. It also helps that San Antonio is the worst team in the West field, five games back from Memphis. 2-8 in their last ten, they’re hardly lighting the world on fire.
For my readers during the regular season, you know how much I’m a sucker for pace of play. We’re treated to two teams in the top-seven of fastest pace in the NBA. That’s a recipe for an over, and I can’t believe it’s as low as it is.
The Grizzlies won the season series between these teams, 2-1. All three games were early, with the most recent back on February 1. Memphis won that game 133-102.
Stat Leaders for Each Team
If you want to include some Spurs/Grizzlies in your DFS lineups or prop picks, the below players are where I’d recommend starting.
- DeMar DeRozan: 21.6 ppg
- Dejounte Murray: 28.2 PRApg
- Ja Morant: 19.1 ppg
- Jonas Valanciunas: 17.1 ppg, 12.5 rpg
We’re loading up on this game – the first time the numbers have so clearly screamed at us in support of one team. We’ll be betting on the Grizzlies to cover – and I love the over at a reasonable 223 points thanks to the fast pace from both teams.
Building off the advantage in the paint, we’ll also be taking two of the Grizzlies top scorers inside to hit their overs. Let’s have a night, Memphis.
- Memphis -3.5
- Over 223 points
- Ja Morant and Jonas Valanciunas OVER points
Stay tuned for more NBA betting previews throughout the week. We’ll be breaking down each play-in game here on KnupSports.com, and producing overall series previews as well.
The series previews will be all-encompassing. Logically, any advantage that would apply for one team should hold pat for the entire series.