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Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies Game 1 Betting Preview

It can be somewhat easy to forget that the Memphis Grizzlies are actually the higher seed in their second-round playoff series against the Golden State Warriors.

At 56-26 during the regular season, Memphis finished as the #2 seed in the Western Conference, but most people have them as underdogs against the #3 seed Warriors, who finished 53-29 on the year.

The Grizzlies had their fair share of troubles with Minnesota in the first round, and if the Timberwolves could ever hold on to a lead, they might have pulled off the upset instead of falling 4-2. Golden State, meanwhile, was pretty efficient in their 4-1 series win over Denver to get them to this spot.

Warriors Have the Experience

The last two NBA postseasons haven’t felt right, one playing in the bubble in Orlando in 2020 and with Golden State missing a second straight playoffs last year after going 39-33. The Warriors had made five straight NBA Finals appearances prior to that, and the band is back together and healthy for a return to that previous glory.

The Warriors were able to endure against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in the first round, even though the Denver big man averaged 31 points, 13 rebounds, and six assists in the series. Jokic put up solid numbers, but he was also largely frustrated with the defense of Draymond Green which will also be important in this second-round series.

Steph Curry averaged 28 points in the first round even though he’s been working his way back from a month-long absence with a foot injury. Klay Thompson has chipped in 22.6, and Jordan Poole continues his breakout season with 21.0 ppg against the Nuggets.

Memphis Looked Shaky

The Grizzlies are in the second round as expected, but they do have some concerns even after beating Minnesota 4-2 in the first round. The young Timberwolves blew three fourth-quarter leads in that series, something Memphis shouldn’t come to expect from this seasoned Warriors squad.

Ja Morant advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in his career after falling 4-1 to the Jazz last season. Memphis won almost in spite of Morant instead of because of him, though, as he shot below 40% from the floor. Morant still draws a lot of opposing fouls, though, and contributed 10.5 assists and 8.7 rebounds against Minnesota.

Desmond Bane has really stepped up for Memphis, scoring at least 23 points in four straight games. Dillon Brooks, Brandon Clarke, and Jaren Jackson, Jr. also all averaged double figures in scoring in round one.

Warriors/Grizzlies Betting Prediction

In many ways, Memphis is lucky to be here – did the Grizzlies win their first-round series, or did Minnesota lose it?

Either way, the Warriors are a different animal in round two, so much so that Golden State is a -2.5 favorite in the opener. We may look back at that number and discover it was way too low because the Warriors -2.5 seems like it has to be the play.

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