By Mark Strotman | | 12 mins
NBA Playoffs Odds & Picks: Warriors vs Grizzlies Game 1 Takeaways & Series Predictions
If Game 1 between the Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors was any indication, NBA betting fans are in for a thrilling series. Sunday afternoon’s thriller saw an ejection, three lead changes in the final 2 minutes, three 30-point scorers, and a missed buzzer-beater from Ja Morant as the Warriors escaped with a 1-0 series lead.
That's not all. Get this: The three 30-point scorers was a pretty significant aspect. In fact, it was the first game in NBA playoffs history that three players age 22 or younger scored at least 30 points (Ja Morant had 34, Jaren Jackson Jr. had 33 and Jordan Poole had 31).
And while Poole and the Warriors came out on top in Game 1 (but didn't cover the 2-point spread on sports betting apps), the 56-win Grizzlies won’t go away easily, setting up what looks to be a series that will go the distance.
It was as much a mental victory as a literal one for the Warriors, who lost Draymond Green late in the first half after a Flagrant 2 foul on Memphis’ Brandon Clarke, and nearly lost the game after Klay Thompson missed two critical free throws in the waning seconds.
For the Grizzlies, they’re licking their wounds after losing a home game despite getting 67 combined points from Morant and Jackson Jr. To lose a game in which you shoot 40 percent from deep against the Warriors at home isn’t great for morale.
But the Grizzlies also lost Game 1 at home to the Timberwolves before reeling off wins in four of the next five games to advance. Golden State has been here before, winning a road playoff game for an NBA record 25th straight series. Game 2 is Tuesday night in Memphis and should have a ton of buzz surrounding it.
Ahead of Game 2, Bookies.com breaks down the series and makes our pick to back on the top online sportsbooks.
Warriors vs. Grizzlies Odds
Warriors vs. Grizzlies Betting Tips
Any doubts about Steph Curry’s conditioning or availability can be put to rest. Though he shot poorly again, Curry logged 37 minutes in Game 1 and scored 24 points. He also had a game-saving block on Morant in the final seconds.
Jordan Poole is still making his case as the third Splash Brother, but this series will be won by Curry, who absolutely torched the Grizzlies in the regular season for 36, 46, and 27 points. Memphis likes to run, but that also means opponents will get some transition looks. That’s Curry’s music.
Looking for a player to put your props behind? Jaren Jackson Jr. is your man. The Grizzlies center was outstanding on Sunday, tallying 33 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
This came after an 18-point, 14-rebound effort to close out the Timberwolves in Game 6. Jackson is the perfect big man to go up against Golden State’s small-ball lineup. Consider that JJJ had these regular-season lines against the Warriors this season: 15 and 8; 20 and 5; 13 and 11. Sports betting sites may boost his over-unders, but he’s going to be a safe play.
Memphis lost Game 1, but it also covered the +2 spread. That’s been a theme all season: The Grizzlies are now 56-32-1 against the spread, a 63.6% win percentage that currently ranks as the best mark in the NBA since the 2014 Suns covered in 63.8% of their games. The Grizzlies’ record includes an incredible 8-3 ATS mark as a home underdog, a position they find themselves in again in Game 2 (and presumably Games 5 and 7, if necessary).
Warriors vs. Grizzlies Pick
Game 1 was a gut punch to the Grizzlies. It’s hard to overstate how much they needed that game after getting historic performances from Morant and Jackson—and with the Warriors missing Green for a half.
Memphis is good enough to make this a series, but this feels like the veteran Warriors building momentum against a young team that is still a year or two away from truly competing for a title. Our favorite bet on the NBA odds board is the Warriors winning in six games at +280, with home teams winning the rest of the games in the series.
Warriors vs. Grizzlies Schedule
Game 1: May 1, Golden State at Memphis, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 2: May 3, Golden State at Memphis, 8:30 p.m. ET, TNT
Game 3: May 7, Memphis at Golden State, 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC
Game 4: May 9, Memphis at Golden State, 9:00p.m ET, TNT
Game 5: May 11, Golden State at Memphis, TBD, TNT*
Game 6: May 13, Memphis at Golden State, TBD, ESPN*
Game 7: May 16, Golden State at Memphis, TBD, TNT*