Likely MVP winner and sure-fire future Hall of Famer, Kevin Durant will look to lead his Oklahoma City Thunder squad to victory when they take to the floor for an intriguing first round Western Conference playoff showdown against Zach ‘Z-Bo’ Randolph and the dangerous Memphis Grizzlies starting on Saturday night.
NBA Betting Pick: No. 2 Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23) vs. No. 7 Memphis Grizzlies (50-32)
Memphis (50-32 SU, 36-43-3 ATS, 39-43 O/U) comes into this series on a red-hot roll, having won each of their final five regular season contests and seven of their L/10 games overall. The Grizzlies beat Phoenix in their next-to-last regular season contest to nab the eighth and final spot in the powerful West.
Eighth seed or not, Memphis is as dangerous as they were a year ago when they reached the conference finals. The Grizzlies were one of the best defensive teams in the league and finished the regular season ranked third in points allowed (94.6), ninth in field goal percentage (45.0) and first in defensive rebounding (39.2).
While the Grizz also recorded a wining record (23-18 SU) on the road, they did go just 18-20-3 ATS away from home and struggled to score the ball like crazy. Memphis ranked a disappointing 27th in scoring (96.1 ppg) despite ranking seventh in field goal percentage (46.4).
Memphis is led in scoring by Randolph (17.4 ppg) but they also get 17.2 points per contest from underrated point guard Mike Conley and double-digit scoring from two other players (Marc Gasol and Courtney Lee).
Oklahoma City (59-23 SU, 43-37-2 ATS, 42-40 O/U) comes into this series off a thrilling regular season-ending win over Detroit on Wednesday that allowed them to hold on to the No. 2 seed over the L.A. Clippers. Overall, Durant and company have won four of their last half-dozen games but just six of their L/10 overall.
The Thunder have one of the game’s most potent offense, finishing fifth in scoring (106.2 ppg) and shot the ball very well from the field (47.1, sixth) and free throw line (80.6 %, second) while also ranking seventh in rebounding (44.7).
Oklahoma City wasn’t quite as good defensively, but they’re certainly not chopped liver either, finishing 12th in points allowed (99.8), though they did rank a stellar third overall in defensive field goal percentage (43.6) and third in rebounds allowed (40.9).
The sweet-shooting and virtually unstoppable Durant led the NBA in scoring by dropping in a whopping 32.0 points per game while the Thunder also get a fantastic 21.8 points per game from all-star point guard Russell Westbrook and 15.1 points per contest from still-blossoming power forward Serge Ibaka.
Oklahoma City recorded a stellar 34-7 SU mark at home during the regular season while also going 25-16 on the road. When it comes to covering the NBA betting line, the Thunder went 23-16-2 ATS at home and a respectable 20-21 ATS on the road.
While Serge Ibaka and Kendrick Perkins will have their hands full trying to stop Randolph and Gasol, no player on the face of the planet can stop Durant – or the equally explosive Westbrook, so expect a thrilling series NBA gamblers.
Here is a look at the key NBA betting trends surrounding this intriguing matchup.
- Grizzlies are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 Saturday games.
- Grizzlies are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games.
- Grizzlies are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
- Grizzlies are 1-7-1 ATS in their last 9 road games.
- Grizzlies are 1-8-1 ATS in their last 10 vs. Western Conference.
- The Thunder are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 Saturday games.
- The Thunder are 8-2-2 ATS in their last 12 home games.
- The Thunder are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
- Over is 5- 1 in Grizzlies last 6 Conference Quarterfinals games.
- Under is 19- 7 in Grizzlies last 26 road games.
- Under is 5- 2 in Grizzlies last 7 vs. Western Conference.
- Under is 6- 1 in Thunder last 7 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
- Under is 6- 2 in Thunder last 8 Saturday games.
Key Head-to-Head NBA Betting Trends
- Favorite is 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings.
- Grizzlies are 6-2-1 ATS in the last 9 meetings.
- Grizzlies are 6-2-1 ATS in the last 9 meetings in Oklahoma City.
- Over is 14- 5 in the last 19 meetings in Oklahoma City.