Grizzlies vs. Timberwolves Game 4 Preview: Is the Total Too High?

Action Network analyst Austin Wang previews how to bet Game 4 between the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves.

Grizzlies vs. Timberwolves Odds

Grizzlies Odds -2.5
Timberwolves Odds +2.5
Over/Under 232.5
Time 10 p.m. ET
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NBA odds here.

What a roller coaster in Game 3.

As expected, this series has delivered with entertainment and trash talk between two of the league’s young, up-and-coming teams.

Things were looking bleak for the Memphis Grizzlies. The Minnesota Timberwolves came out firing and built a 26-point lead, only to see that lead and their playoff upset hopes vanish in the fourth quarter on Thursday evening.

Down by 16 points after the third quarter, the Grizzlies’ defense awoke, their shots started falling and they outscored the Timberwolves 37-12 in the fourth quarter to win 104-95.

It was an epic meltdown by the Timberwolves.

Can the Timberwolves recover from the demoralizing loss to even up the series? They need to take care of business at home or risk going back to Memphis down 3-1.

Let’s see if there any betting opportunities in this crucial Game 4.

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Grizzlies Making Key Matchup Adjustments

Credit head coach Taylor Jenkins for making the necessary adjustments and removing Steven Adams from the rotation, as he was proving to be a liability against the Wolves. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Brandon Clarke have been much more effective against Karl-Anthony Towns. The Grizzlies are swarming him when he posts up and making him work for every shot.

It has worked perfectly, because Towns has been a non-factor for two consecutive games. He scored just eight points and took four shots in the Game 3 loss. The Grizzlies started with Clarke in the second half of Game 3 instead of Kyle Anderson, so it is possible that Clarke could start in Game 4.

Jackson Jr. has been solid with some key moments in this series, but he has also had issues with foul trouble and cannot stay on the floor consistently. Similar to Towns, his awareness of game situations needs to get better if they want to perform at their best.

Second-year sharpshooter Desmond Bane was rather quiet in Games 1 and 2. He came alive in Game 3 with 26 points and seven 3-pointers to lead the Grizzles to the victory. The Grizzlies will be tough to stop if he continues to shoot the way he did.

There are no meaningful names on their injury report, so expect a full, healthy roster to try and bring this series home up 3-1.

How Will Timberwolves Respond After Collapse

“We’re in Minnesota now.”

Those words will haunt Towns as he infamously roasted the Grizzlies while he was mic’d up during a timeout while the Wolves were up 17 in the second quarter. There was so much irony in this moment, given the end result and Towns’ poor performance.

Towns has been struggling with foul trouble and a lot of them have been on the offensive end. Five of his 10 fouls in Games 2 and 3 were offensive. He needs to be more disciplined on that end if the Wolves are to stand a chance. Also, the Wolves need to get him more looks and shots in Game 4 and I expect a bounce back performance from Towns.

Anthony Edwards had an injury scare in Game 3 as he hurt his left knee, the same one that was giving him trouble during the regular season. It did not seem serious, and I expect him to play in Game 4. However, it is unknown how this will affect his play.

This will be a true test of the Wolves’ adversity. Patrick Beverley attacked Ja Morant relentlessly in the first quarter, which led to the early Timberwolves lead. He sets the tone for this Timberwolves team, and I anticipate they will bring the defensive intensity we’ve been seeing in this crucial game.

Grizzlies-Timberwolves Pick

The pace of play has slowed down in three consecutive games. Both teams have played solid defense this series and with it being the fourth game, both teams know one another pretty well. The closing total has gone from 240.5 in Game 2, 237 in Game 3 and now 232.5 in Game 4.

Playoff basketball is a different beast, and I still think this total is too high given the defensive intensity over the last couple of games. I expect a heavy dose of Towns in the next game, and the Grizzles are well-equipped to defend him. Edwards, the Timberwolves’ best scorer at the moment, is not 100% and couple be impacted by his injury.

In addition, take a look at their home/away splits, and each team’s Offensive Rating dips considerably. The Timberwolves are seventh in overall Offensive Rating (113.8), but only 19th (111.7) at home, per NBA Advanced Stats. The Grizzlies are fourth in overall Offensive Rating (114.3) but drops down to 10th (112.3) on the road.

I make this total 230 and would play the under on this game down to 231.

Pick: Under 232.5