Golden State plays Game 2 of its second-round series against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night. As with the opening game in the series – Golden State won 117-116 – Tuesday’s game is expected to be a very tight affair.
Fortunately for all you NBA bettors junkies out there, I have a strong lean on the matchup. I locked this in on Sunday evening, right as the Game 2 NBA odds were announced, and I still stand by it now.
Let’s talk Warriors vs. Grizzlies, Game 2, and why one side is a clear play for me.
NBA Playoffs Preview: Golden State Warriors (-1.5) at Memphis Grizzlies
A million things went wrong for Golden State in Sunday’s series opener.
One of the biggest was somewhat ironic. Despite the Warriors’ reputation for sharpshooting over the last decade, it was actually Memphis that hit 16 3-pointers in the contest.
Not only was this the most 3-point offense of either team in Sunday’s game, but it was actually more 3-pointers than Memphis had connected on in any of the six games against Minnesota in its previous series.
Keep in mind that the Timberwolves fielded one of the worst 3-point defenses in the entire NBA this season.
So right away, we have the potential for major offensive regression.
Let’s also add that Golden State turned the ball over 18 times on Sunday, which was more than any game from its last series.
Memphis was 18-for-24 from the free-throw line in Game 1, while Golden State was 13-for-20. Traditional home-court advantage might have something to do with this, so this advantage could be repeatable. It’s hard to say for certain.
What does feel certain is that Draymond Green is unlikely to be ejected in this game like he was at the end of Sunday’s first half.
In reviewing Sunday’s game, it’s clear that Golden State played sloppy, inefficient, turnover-plagued basketball.
The Warriors won anyway – though, crucially, they left a lot of NBA spread bettors hanging with the missed free throws at the end. More on that in a bit.
Because of the close nature of the first game, and because this game is in Memphis, Golden State remains priced as an extremely short favorite. At BetMGM, you can currently bet online on the Warriors at -135 on the money line, or you can hit the Warriors as a 1.5-point favorite at the cheaper -115 vig.
Warriors/Grizzlies Game 2 Betting Preview: How to Bet Golden State (-1.5) at Memphis
The clear case for regression makes the Warriors a brilliant position for Tuesday’s Game 2.
Given the lofty status the Warriors have enjoyed in online sports betting circles over the last decade, it’s unsurprising that a majority of bets are on the Warriors. Thankfully, it’s not a completely disgusting ticket split. About 60% of tickets are on Golden State, with a near-identical accompanying handle.
There are signs of late sharp movement on Memphis, as the Grizzlies went from +2.5 to +1.5 on Monday afternoon.
The fact that there’s a major split in the money line market – 58% of tickets are on Grizzlies +110, while 59% of the money is on Golden State -135 – may suggest that sharp bettors are insulating themselves against another potential no-cover situation by betting the money line at an inferior payout. (This is what I did on Sunday.)
Regardless of any sharp action from Monday or Tuesday, I just love this Golden State position.
Memphis feels to me like a great, young regular-season team that advanced in the playoffs almost purely because they were matched up against another unproven postseason team. One of the public assumptions I’m testing by betting Golden State is that these teams are close in talent and should be competitive.
But, as we saw in the Brooklyn/Boston series, raw talent and potential does not always equate to covering NBA lines. In Warriors/Grizzlies, I see a championship-caliber team that’s been infused with young talent, matched up against a talented team that doesn’t yet have meaningful postseason reps.
The Warriors’ C-game was still enough to beat Memphis in Game 1. Tuesday, I think we’ll see a more focused Warriors group that plays a crisper, cleaner game. I’m playing the Warriors to cover with high confidence.
Play: Golden State -1.5
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