Silencing the Thunder

Published on 15-May-2013 by Steve Soprano
Basketball - NBA / NBA Daily Stake

Silencing the Thunder

The Memphis Grizzlies have a chance to close out their Western Conference playoff series with the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight in Oklahoma City, and based on their performance the last three games, they have a very good chance of doing so.

Not only have the Griz won the last three straight, but they've won them all by exactly six points each time. Had it not been for a Kevin Durant jumper in the closing seconds of Game 1 in Oklahoma City, Lionel Hollins' team could easily be sitting at home tonight and watching the Warriors-Spurs series to see who their next opponent will be.

So as we look at tonight's game, the Thunder are favored and are laying 4½ points according to Bovada. But it seems Memphis has the Thunder's number, and getting those points is awfully hard to resist. You can find more proof in the Bovada data tool on the Home page where you will see the Grizzlies' dominance of OKC extends back not just the last few games, but a couple of seasons!

Memphis has won eight of the last ten straight up between these two, going back to the 2010-2011 season. When I see that kind of trend and then the dominant team is getting points, I will usually jump on them every time (barring a significant injury, of which there's not).

Part of Memphis' success has been shutting down Kevin Durant in crunch time. He did hit the aforementioned game winner in the closing seconds of Game 1 last week.  But in the last two games, Durant has scored a grand total of seven points in the fourth quarter of the last two (oh yeah, let us not forget that also includes the five minutes of overtime Monday night).  

The Thunder (even without Russell Westbrook) are a very good team and won't go down without a fight. But the fact of the matter is they not only have to win this game but do it by at least two possessions to cover, and I'm just not buying it based on the way Memphis plays and matches up ... not just lately, but again, going back a couple of years.

I will be playing the Grizzlies tonight to cover the points.

Dropping a small amount on the money line isn't a bad choice, either (+175 at Bovada is awfully tempting).

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UPDATE:

Result ... Memphis 88 Oklahoma City 84     Grizzlies cover

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