The playoffs are underway and the daily preview takes it to the rim with NBA tips for Game 1 of the Semi-final series between Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors.
05:30 (AEST), Mon 2nd May @ FedEx Froum, Memphis
History: Played 105: Warriors 55 V Grizzlies 50
Last meeting: March 28, 2022: Grizzlies 123 d Warriors 95 at FedEx Forum
Final Thoughts: Western Conference second seeds Memphis Grizzlies and third-seeded Golden State Warriors square off in Game 1 of a huge Semi-final series.
Memphis emerged from a hard-fought First Round showdown with Minnesota Timberwolves in six games. The Grizzlies lost the opening game at home and had a fight on their hands at 2-all, before Ja Morant’s 30 points – including a last-second lay-up – spearheaded a 111-109 Game 5 win at FedEx Forum, and Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane combined for 46 points in a 114-106 Game 6 sealer in Minneapolis.
Morant averaged 21.5 points, 8.7 rebounds and 10.5 assists during the First Round and his dominance as a rim scorer came to the fore.
Golden State needed just five games to eliminate Nikola Jokic’s Denver Nuggets. The Warriors powered to big wins at home (123-107 and 126-106) but were pushed in Denver, winning Game 3 118-113 and dropping Game 4 126-121). They hung on to close out the series in Game 5 102-98 on their home court.
Steph Curry started off the bench in the opening four games after returning from injury but still managed to average 31 points in the last four games of the series. Jordan Poole had a sizzling start to the series, averaging 28.7 points in the first three games. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins all played key roles in the series win, while Gary Payton II has been strong off the bench.
The Grizzlies won three of the teams’ four regular-season encounters. After the Grizzlies nabbed an overtime upset in San Francisco in October, the Warriors bounced back with a 113-104 home victory in December. The Grizzlies then carved out Memphis-hosted victories in January (116-108) and March (123-95). Marquee Warriors trio Curry, Thompson and Green missed the latter encounter, however, while Morant was out for the Grizzlies.
The Warriors – 23-20 on the road this season (19-22-2) – are $1.73 favourites to draw first blood. The Grizzlies are 32-12 at home and an NBA-best 28-16 against the line. It’s shaping as a belter of a series and Golden State’s vast playoffs experience, particularly with Curry in hot form, gives them a decisive edge.
The Warriors are a shade behind the Suns at $4 on the second line of Championship betting, while the Grizzlies are sixth favourites for the title at $13. But in Game 1, give me the athletic, confident Grizzlies at home with the free bucket.
Best Bet: Handicap – Grizzlies +2.5 @ $1.90
Same Game Multi: Tri-Bet – Either Team by 6pts or Less; Total – Under 220.5; Desmond Bane Points – Over 19.5; Steph Curry Points – Over 27.5 Points @ $11.91