Warriors vs. Grizzlies Preview: Golden State Seizing Control

With Ja Morant unavailable, how will the Grizzlies adjust in a challenging Game 5 road matchup against Golden State?

Memphis is only down 2-1 in their second round battle with Golden State, but it feels much worse.

The Grizzlies are coming off a 142-112 blowout loss to the Warriors on Saturday Night, and now have to face a critical Game 4 without their best player, Ja Morant. The Memphis star guard left the game with a knee injury, and is now out for tonight’s matchup at the Chase Center.

While his loss is a huge void, it is worth noting that Memphis was 20-5 this year when playing without Morant. The Grizzlies won eight consectuive games in the month of March with Morant sidelined earlier this season, including a 123-95 win over the Warriors.

Can Memphis rise to a upset as 10-point underdogs in the biggest game of the season, or will the Warriors take a commanding 3-1 lead with the Western Conference Finals on the horizon? Here are my picks for tonight’s Game 4 matchup between Golden State and Memphis. 

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Warriors vs. Grizzlies Betting Odds

Warriors Grizzlies
Spread -10.5 +10.5
Moneyline -560 +410
Over/Under 223.5

*Lines accurate at the time of publication.

Warriors vs. Grizzlies Best Bets

Warriors -10.5 (-110, DraftKings)

While Memphis has been very successful without Ja Morant, this is a completely different challenge from the regular season.

In that game that the Grizzlies won over Golden State, the Warriors started Jonathan Kuminga, Kevon Looney, Jordan Poole, Andrew Wiggins, and Gary Payton II. That is a starting lineup with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green.

Golden State’s offense has exploded during this series, averaging 120 points per game including a Game 3 total of 142. The loss of Morant is especially concerning given the lingering issue with Demond Bane’s back. Bane is averaging just 10 PPG in this series, after posting 18.2 PPG during the regular season. He is also just 34% from 3P range, after posting 43.6% efficiency from deep this year.

Even with the return of Dillon Brooks from a one-game suspension, this is a limited Grizzlies roster that will struggle to control the pace on the road against a championship-caliber opponent.

The Warriors are always strong against the spread at home, and still posted a 23-17-2 (57.5%) cover rate despite the myriad of injuries. Golden State has covered three of their four playoff home games, and should have little trouble doing so again against a Morant-less Memphis team.

I’m laying the 10.5 points with the home favorite in Game 4.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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Warriors vs. Grizzlies Game Total Under 223.5 Points (-110, DraftKings)

Memphis has experience without Morant, but most of those games were home against an inferior opponent. This game has two likely outcomes:  Golden State blowout or a low-scoring battle. I don’t project a limited Grizzlies team winning a high-scoring Game 4.

In 14 of the 25 games Memphis played without Morant (56%), at least one of the two teams failed to crest 103 points. If this game becomes a blowout, I could see Memphis pulling their starters in the fourth quarter, resting for a Game 5 at home.

I expect most of the public to be on the over, after the Warriors 142-point outburst. While Golden State will score, I don’t see how Memphis reaches 100 points, and will therefore back the under of 223.5.

Risk: 1.10 units on DraftKings to win 1 unit. (Bet up to -120)

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