While the NBA’s play-in tournament was a great addition that I hope sticks around for a while, the actual play-in games have been pretty all over the place. Well, in the Eastern Conference at least, where the closest game was won by 18 points. In the West it has been a little bit better; the Memphis Grizzlies’ win over the San Antonio Spurs was a solid watch, and that Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers game really lived up to expectations.
Free Picks: Golden State Warriors vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Steph, Dubs Look To Punch Playoff Ticket Against Young Grizz (Play-In Picks Record: 3-5)
After the 103-100 defeat, Steph Curry did not seem happy to have had the game-winning triple drained right in his grill by LeBron James. If you don’t believe me, just watch the highlights and look for Curry’s face after the shot. The Chef is shooting the King with one of the stinkiest eyes you’ll ever see.
But I digress, Curry’s Golden State Warriors will now take on reigning Rookie of the Year Ja Morant and his Memphis Grizzlies for the right to the Western Conference’s eighth and final playoff seed, and that’s what we’re here for. I really do hate to say it, but we’re leaning pretty heavily towards Morant’s Grizzlies losing out in a playoff play-in format for the second straight year for our NBA pick here.
The Grizz looked solid against the more experienced San Antonio Spurs, but let’s face it, there’s no comparison for playing a team with Curry on it. Does Memphis have what it takes to frustrate or hinder Curry enough to win this game? I’m not sure, though I do think they will keep this contest interesting until at least the later stages.
These two teams actually squared off in their regular season finale, which was won 113-101 by the Dubs, giving them the 2-1 season series win after having split back-to-back matchups in late March. Those split games were played during the absence of one Stephen Curry, however.
In that third and most recent matchup—which was actually just under a week ago, so, very fresh—Curry was in the lineup for the Warriors, and his presence was duly noted. The Chef cooked up a real screamer, dropping triples on the Grizz like bear traps. Curry finished the game with 46 points—his third 40-burger in seven games and 11th of the season—and nine triples on 44 percent shooting from the field and 41 percent shooting from deep.
In other words, Memphis got sauteed and braised and baked and all that stuff by the Chef. They’ve got a great young coach in Taylor Jenkins, but I don’t think he’s figured out the right scheme or combination of players to stop Curry’s hot streak in the kitchen.
When the chef is cooking, the Warriors have generally had a lot of success. Steve Kerr’s crew has gone 24-11 when Curry shoots over 40 percent from deep, 26-12 when he scores 30+, and 9-2 when he scores 40+. When Curry’s shot is fallin’, the Warrior’s are rollin’.
If the Dubs really want to make this a tough game for the Grizz, putting All-NBA defender Andrew Wiggins on the much smaller Morant could prove a master stroke. The athleticism and length of Wiggins have caused problems for players with much more size and experience than Morant, so it could be something interesting to watch.
Another reason we love the Dubs as one of our best bets for today is how reliable they have been at Chase Center this season. They went 23-12 against the spread at home in the Bay this year, tied for the best home ATS record in the NBA. They’ve also been lights out as a home favorite, a scenario in which they’ve gone 13-6 ATS this season, good for third in the association.
The Warriors have also covered in seven straight games, so they’re not just on a real life run but they’ve put together quite a little betting streak as well. The Grizzlies, meanwhile, have struggled to find consistency lately, going 1-7 ATS in their last eight games following a win like they had against the Spurs. We like the Dubs to cover their -3.5 NBA point spread at solid -121 NBA odds as one of our top picks for this Friday night clash.
Another NBA pick we like is the over on Steph Curry’s astronomical 38.5 points prop at standard -120 NBA odds, which we think is another shrewd NBA prediction. Curry kept his roll going in the play-in game against the Lakers, putting up 37 points, which brought his eight-game average to 37.6. Considering 37 wasn’t enough in their first play-in game attempt, we’d expect the Chef to cook up at least 40-burger for us on Friday night. Get your popcorn ready!
- Golden State is 7-0 ATS over their past 7 games overall
- Golden State was 13-6 ATS as a home favorite during the regular season
- Memphis is 1-7 ATS in their last 8 games following a SU win
- Steph Curry has averaged 37.6 points over his past 8 games
More NBA Free Pickssee more
The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will host Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors in a play-in clash on Wednesday night at Staples.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.