5* NBA Playoffs 1st Round Game of the Year
Memphis vs. LA Clippers,
05/11/2012 21:00 EDT,
Score: 90 - 88
Money Line: -118 Memphis
5* NBA Playoffs 1st Round Game of the Year Grizzlies -118
I still love the Grizzlies laying small change but am taking them on the money line for insurance on my investment.
I felt Memphis was the better team heading into this series, and I still believe that to be the case. The Grizzlies could have just as easily punched their ticket to the 2nd round by now as opposed to facing a 3-2 deficit. They blew a 27-point lead in Game 1 and they lost Games 3 and 4 in L.A. by narrow margins. They led Game 3 71-64 heading into the 4th and ended up losing by a single point. They lost Game 4 in OT.
L.A. made another late run on the Grizzlies in Game 5, but they were able to hold on for a 12-point victory. That win has them believing they can close out games.
All the pressure is on L.A. to close the series out tonight because it doesn't want to go back to Memphis. Teams usually don't perform well under pressure, and unfortunately for the Clippers, top players Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are banged up. I expect both of them to be bothered by their injuries tonight but fully expect Memphis to win this game even if both play well.
It is significant that odds makers have favored the Grizzlies here because they are 22-10 ATS in their last 32 games as a favorite of 4.5 points or less and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 playoff games as a favorite of 4.5 points or fewer. The favorite is also 5-2-1 ATS in the last 8 meetings between these two. The Clippers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last 6 games as an underdog.
The experience gained by playing a couple tough playoff series' last year will also greatly benefit the Grizzlies tonight. Take Memphis.