The No. 9 seed Memphis Grizzlies will play the No. 8 seed Golden State Warriors on Friday night in the final play-in tournament game. The winner will get the chance to play the No. 1 seed Utah Jazz, while the loser will see their season end. Earlier this week, Golden State lost 103-100 to the No. 7 seed Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of play-in games. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies defeated the No. 10 seed San Antonio Spurs 100-96.
Below is a look at a number of predictions ahead of Friday night’s game for the Free $5K DraftKings Pool — Playoff Edition (MEM vs. GSW).
Which team will cover the spread: Warriors -3.5 or Grizzlies +3.5?
The last time these two teams played on the final day of the regular season, the Warriors won by double digits at home to capture the 8th seed. Fast forward days later where the Warriors are 3.5 point favorites on Friday night. Golden State is 7-0 against the spread in their last seven games and a perfect 6-0 ATS in their last six home games.
As for the Grizzlies, they’ve struggled against the spread recently, going 1-5 in their last six games. Memphis also has a record of 1-7 ATS vs. teams from the Pacific division. However, they are 8-2 ATS when they are listed as the underdog. That being said, the best bet here is Warriors -3.5.
Grizzlies vs. Warriors: Over/Under 222.5 points?
If the regular season told us anything with these two teams, there should be a lot of points scored. In their last matchup on the final day of the season, the two teams combined for 214 points. But in their previous two matchups, they scored 214 and 219 points respectively.
As of right now on DraftKings Sportsbook, the point total has dropped down to 221.5 with the under at -113. We know that the Warriors can put up points in bunches with Steph Curry and Co. But the Grizzlies are not a high-scoring offense, despite having Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Jonas Valanciunas, and Jaren Jackson Jr. I think the best here is under 222.5 points.
Which team will reach 30 points first: Grizzlies or Warriors?
We saw both teams jumped out to huge leads in first quarter/first half in their first play-in games. The Warriors scored 28 points in the first quarter, while Memphis dropped a smooth 38 points in the opening frame. Both Golden State and Memphis are surprisingly averaging 28.5 points in the first quarter this season. However, I think GS has the better offense and defense with Curry and Co.
Who duo will have more points, rebounds and assists: Morant and Valanciunas or Curry and Green?
This is a tough decision because Valanciunas has been dominant on the boards and in the low post scoring for the Grizz. However, it can be neutralized by Curry who only needs one quarter to get hot and Green who can stuff the box score being the facilitator. I’m taking Curry and Green over Morant and Valanciunas.
Who will score the most points: Jackson, Brooks or Wiggins?
Brooks showed up big time for the Grizzlies in their play-in game on Wednesday with 24 points on 10-of-21 shooting from the field. Meanwhile, Jackson Jr. had 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 from three-point range.
As for the Warriors, Wiggins did a great job on both offense and defense. The former first overall pick recorded 21 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field. Since the Warriors have other scoring options that they can go too, I’m going to pick Brooks.
Steph Curry total points: Over/Under 37.5?
In the Warriors’ last five games, which includes the play-in game against the Lakers, Curry is averaging 37.8 points per game. At the same time, he has gone over 37.5 points, only twice in his last five games. I’m going to lean towards the under.
Ja Morant total points: Over/Under 18.5?
Morant has gone over 18.5 points in three out of his last five games. This season, the former Rookie of the Year award winner is averaging 19.1 points per game. However, in three games against the Warriors this season, Morant is averaging 14.7 points per game on 34% shooting from the field. Take the under.
Which team will win the 4th quarter: Grizzlies or Warriors?
If this is a close game, then I could easily see the Warriors win the fourth quarter as it would be money time for Curry. This season, Golden State is averaging 27.6 points per game in the final frame, while Memphis is averaging 27.3 points per game. That being said, if Memphis is done heading into the final quarter, which I could see happening, I like the Grizz to win it.
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