Round 1 The NBA Playoffs continue on Wednesday and I will have a free pick in the game between the Portland Trailblazers and the Memphis Grizzlies which will take place at the FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tennessee. The game has a start time of 8:00 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TNT. Current Vegas betting odds have Memphis listed as 6.5 point favorites, while the total is set at 189.
Analysis: The Trailblazers did win the Northwest division this year, but mostly by default as they were the only team to make it out of that division to participate in the playoffs. Portland did not finish the regular season strong as they came in having lost their last 4 games and their losing continued with a 14 point game 1 loss to the Grizzlies. Portland has gone 3-9 ATS in their last 12 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games following a SU loss of more than 10 points. The Trailblazers have been a decent offensive team this year, ranking 9th in scoring (102.8 ppg), 17th in shooting, 8th in 3 point shooting and 1st in FT shooting. Defensively the Trailblazers have been decent this year, ranking 12th in points allowed (98.6 ppg), 7th in defensive FG% and 6th in 3 point defense.
The Memphis Grizzlies came into the playoffs as a beat up team, but they had an excellent 100-86 game 1 win over the Blazers. The didn't show their wear and tear in game 1 for sure and now look to take a 2-0 lead over an equally hobbled Blazers squad. The Grizzlies are now 5-3 in their last 8 games overall and they have gone 32-10 at home for the year. Memphis has gone 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600, but just 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games following a S.U. win. The Grizzlies have been a below average offensive team this year, ranking 20th in scoring (98.3 ppg), 9th in shooting, 22nd in 3 point shooting and 7th in FT shooting. Defensively the Grizzlies have been very good this year, ranking 2nd in points allowed (95.1 ppg), 10th in defensive FG% and 18th in 3 point defense.
Pick: I was on the Under in game 1 and it was closer than I expected, but still got the win. I will come right back with the Under in this one as I just don't see Portland scoring enough points to get this one over the Total. Portland has now played 3 games at Memphis this year and have scored just 90 ppg in the 3 games and I can't see that improving all that much vs a Memphis squad that has allowed just 93 ppg on their home floor for the year. Portland has also scored just 96.8 ppg in their last 5 games, while the Grizzlies have allowed just 92.4 ppg over the same stretch. Portland is not a good defensive team o the road, but Memphis is not a good offensive team and has averaged just 95.4 ppg in their last 5 games overall. The Under is 21-5-1 in the Grizzlies' last 27 games off a SU win and 22-6-1 in their last 29 vs the West. Both trends should continue here.
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