The top seeded Thunder
will look to avoid a second round playoff exit tonight when they welcome the Memphis Grizzlies
to the Chesapeake Energy Arena. This evening’s Game 5
clash between the Grizzlies and Thunder is scheduled to tip off at 9:30pm ET on Turner Network Television. 2013 NBA Playoff Picks
at offshore bookmaker Sportsbook.ag have Oklahoma City listed as a -4.5 against the spread home favorite and the Over/Under set at 185 points. Memphis is drawing +160 moneyline odds ($100 wins $160) to end the best of seven series tonight.
The Thunder’s offense took a major hit when Russell Westbrook went down in the team’s opening round series against the Rockets, but OKC found its way past Houston regardless. The defensive minded Grizzlies have proven to be a much bigger challenge, though.
Oklahoma City, which ranked third in the league in points per game with a 105.7 average, has yet to score 100 points in any of its four playoff games with Memphis. The Thunder almost got there on Monday, falling 97-103, but they needed overtime to do it.
Kevin Durant is the only consistent offensive threat the Thunder have with Westbrook out, and his efforts, while commendable, have come up short against the Grizzlies.
In order for Oklahoma City to prolong this series it will have to get Durant some help tonight or rely on its defense, which is far better than most know. The Thunder ranked second in the NBA in field goal percentage allowed (42.5 percent) this season and they have given Memphis offensive fits as well.
With their backs against the wall and the home crowd in their corner, look for the Thunder to turn up the defensive intensity tonight. Oklahoma City is, no doubt, more aware than most of its current offensive issues, which means the team also knows defense is the key to reaching a Game 6.
Memphis Grizzlies +4.5 (-110), Over 185 (-110), +160 (Moneyline)
Oklahoma City Thunder -4.5 (-110), Under 185 (-110), -180 (Moneyline)
NBA Free Picks: Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder
What pro basketball bettors need to know about Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday (5/15/13) - a free pick from Pregame.com's Steve Fezzik with Vegas Runner with Bryan Leonard.