Date/Time: Wednesday, May 15, 9:30 p.m. (ET)
NBA Betting Odds: VietBet
Pointspread: Oklahoma City -3.5
Total Line: 185
Memphis finds itself just one more win away from its first ever trip to the Western Conference Finals. It rallied from a 17-point deficit this past Monday night in Game 4 to take a commanding 3-1 series lead with a 103-97 overtime victory as a five-point home favorite. The total went OVER the 185-point line after staying UNDER in two of the first three games of this best-of-seven series. The Memphis Grizzlies eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers in six games in the opening round of the playoffs to improve to 7-1 straight-up and an extremely profitable 8-0 against the spread in their last eight games.
The key to their success against both the Clippers and the Thunder has been a return to playing the style of defense that ranked the Grizzlies first in the NBA in points allowed (89.3). With the exception of a 93-91 loss in Game 1 of this series as 5.5-point underdogs on the road, they have allowed less than an average 91 points a game in their last seven outings. The trio of Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley have combined to score 56.1 points a game which close to 60 percent of the team’s total points.
Oklahoma City was the clear-cut favorite to come out of the West for the second season in a row and it was well on its way with a 120-91 romp over Houston as a 10.5-point home favorite in Game 1 of its opening round series. That all dramatically changed in Game 2 when Russell Westbrook was lost for the season with a knee injury. The Thunder got by the Rockets in six games, but since Westbrook went down they are 3-5 SU and 2-6 ATS in their last eight games.
The weight of the world to keep from losing this series on Wednesday night will fall on the shoulders of one man; Kevin Durant. He led the team in scoring during the regular season with 28.1 points a game and has elevated that number to 31.8 in the playoffs, but he has gotten little additional help from the supporting cast on this team. While Westbrook was often criticized for his poor shot selection at times, it is becoming painfully obvious to Thunder fans just how much he meant to this team.
Free NBA Pick
Oklahoma City gave it its best shot in this series but after blowing that huge lead in Monday night’s loss it has to be completely demoralized. Instead of reducing this series to a best-of-three with two of the games on their home court, the Thunder have to find a way just to live to play another day. That is not going to happen as the Grizzlies close this series out in five games.
Memphis 93 Oklahoma City 90
DJ is a freelance writer that concentrates on his true passion in life; the world of sports. He produces a number of articles each week for BangTheBook.com as well as a select group of other websites that specialize in providing the most up-to-date information for the sports gaming industry. His goal is to write insightful articles on a wide variety of sporting topics that can provide an edge to today's sophisticated online player.