Grizzlies Thunder Odds

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The Oklahoma City Thunder (1-1) will look to recapture home court advantage in their first round playoff series when they travel to face the Memphis Grizzlies (1-1) in Game 3 of their first round playoff series Thursday night. The game tips off at 8:00 pm ET from the FedExForum in Memphis, Tennessee and will be nationally televised on TNT. In addition, regional coverage will be provided by Fox Sports Oklahoma and Turner Sports South. The Thunder is currently a 1.5 point favorite with the over/under set at 190 points.

Why Oklahoma City Will Cover

The Thunder coughed up home court advantage by dropping a 111-105 overtime decision to the Grizzlies in Game 2 of the series Monday night. Kevin Durant led three Oklahoma City players in double figures with 36 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Russell Westbrook contributed 29 points, eight assists plus seven rebounds while Serge Ibaka had 15 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks in the loss. Oklahoma City shot 39.8 percent from the field, 9 of 30 from three point range, knocked down 22 of 25 free throws and edged the Grizzlies on the glass 49-47.

Oklahoma City is 5th in the postseason in scoring offense with an average of 102.5 points per game. The Thunder is 3rd in rebounding by collecting 50 boards per game and 6th in assists by dishing out an average of 21 per game. Six players are scoring 5.5 points per game in the playoffs but three are averaging in double figures. Durant is scoring 34.5 points along with 9.5 rebounds plus 5.5 assists a game. Westbrook puts up a line of 26 points, 8.5 rebounds with a team high 6.5 assists while Ibaka contributes 16 points with team highs in rebounds (10) and blocks (4.5) per game so far. Oklahoma City is 13th in the playoffs in field goal percentage as they shoot 42 percent from the floor in the playoffs. The Thunder is tied for 9th with 6.5 three pointers per game but they fall 11th in three point field goal percentage as they’re shooting just 28.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Scott Brooks has a nice mix of reserves to go to in order to step up. Derek Fisher, Reggie Jackson, Caron Butler, Nick Collison and Perry Jones are all solid players that know their role in the lineup. Oklahoma City is tied for 9th in scoring defense by allowing 98.5 points per game. The Thunder is 6th in field goal percentage defense, limiting Memphis to 42.7 percent shooting from the floor. Oklahoma City is tied for first in three point field goals allowed as they give up 3 per game; they’re 7th in three point field goal percentage defense as the Grizzlies have shot 28.6 percent from beyond the arc in the series.

Why Memphis Will Cover

The Grizzlies evened the series by prevailing in overtime, 111-105, in Game 2 Monday night. Memphis led by eight after one, held a nine point lead in the fourth and a five point edge in the final 19 seconds of regulation but ended up being pushed to the extra session. Zach Randolph led five Grizzlies in double figures with 25 points in the victory. Mike Conley had 19 points with 12 assists, Marc Gasol finished with 16 points, seven rebounds plus seven assists, Courtney Lee added 16 and Beno Udrih had 14 off the bench. Memphis shot 49.4 percent from the floor, 4 of 10 from three point range and knocked down 21 of 24 free throws in the game.

Memphis is 8th among playoff teams with an average of 98.5 points per game in the postseason. The Grizzlies are tied for 6th in rebounding with 44 per game and 2nd in assists as they dish out an average of 25 per game. Seven players average at least six points a game with five averaging in double figures so far in the postseason. Randolph leads the team with 23 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. Conley averages 17.5 points, six rebounds and a team high 11.5 assists per contest. Gasol averages 16 points, 6.5 rebounds plus 5.5 assists, Lee is averaging 12 points and Tony Allen puts in 10.5 points, 7 rebounds plus a team high 2.5 steals. Memphis is 11th in the postseason in field goal percentage as they shoot 42.7 percent from the floor as a team. The Grizzlies are tied for last in three point field goals per game with 3; they’re 10th in the playoffs as they hit 28.6 percent from beyond the arc.

The Grizzlies have a solid bench group to work with, even with Nick Calathes suspended for violating the league’s drug policy. Allen, Ed Davis, Jon Leuer, Kosta Koufos, Mike Miller and James Johnson all are versatile players that can step up and make plays. Memphis is 12th in scoring defense among playoff teams by allowing 102.5 points per game. The Grizzlies are 4th in field goal percentage defense by allowing 42 percent shooting from the floor. Memphis is 7th by allowing 6.5 three point field goals per game and 6th in three point field goal percentage defense by holding the Thunder to 28.3 percent from beyond the arc.

Head to Head Matchup

The teams have split two playoff series in their history with the Grizzlies holding a 8-6 advantage in games won during the postseason. In the last meeting between the clubs in the playoffs, the Grizzlies knocked off Oklahoma City four games to one in the 2013 Western Conference semifinals. Oklahoma City holds a 50-21 advantage in the all-time regular season series between the two teams.

Prediction

Oklahoma City has struggled shooting the ball in this series and has to find a way to get better looks at the basket. Memphis is happy to have a split and has had their success against the Thunder. The Grizzlies didn’t miss a beat without Calathes in the last one as Udrih took over and effectively ran the second team. In a tight game in front of their home crowd, the Grizzlies find a way to win and take a 2-1 series advantage. Grizzlies 100-97

About the Author: Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.
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