Two games take place tonight in the NBA Playoffs. Set that TV up outside at your cookout or enjoy with cold ones after spending a day with the fam, as we’ve got a doubleheader at 7 p.m. ET and 9:30 p.m. ET on the Memorial Day holiday.
We’ll focus on the late game between the Utah Jazz and the Memphis Grizzlies. Bookmaker Bitcoin Sportsbook shows Utah -5 and 224.5 on the total for Game 4, as the Jazz hold a 2-1 series lead and look to put Memphis is an uncomfortable position for when the series shifts back to Salt Lake City.
Let’s break it all down.
The Jazz lost Game 1. Their superstar was very vocal about not being cleared to play. Donovan Mitchell returned for Game 2 and the Utah offense exploded for 141 points. Mitchell was also in the lineup for Game 3 and the Jazz never seemed in danger at any point during the 121-111 win, covering the 5.5-point spread.
We saw the line shift from -8 to -10 from Game 1 to Game 2 with Mitchell in the lineup and a heightened sense of urgency from the Jazz after the surprise loss in the series opener. But, when the series went to Memphis, we didn’t see an adjustment except for home court advantage. The line remains 5.5 for the most part across the market for Game 3 and Bookmaker and BetOnline are even showing 5 at time of writing.
To put the cart before the horse, it is hard to see why this line has not been altered. It is clear that the Jazz are much better with Mitchell in the lineup and a couple of double-digit wins seem to be pretty clear confirmation. Utah led by more than 12 at the break in Game 2 and coasted in the second half with the luxury of limiting Mitchell’s minutes.
It is clear that Mitchell is still working his way back into game shape. He’s only 17-of-42 from the floor in this series and only has five assists, but his presence alone has been a big help for the Jazz, who are shooting 48.8% from the field and 38.8% from three through three games. Mitchell had 29 to lead all scorers in Game 3 and is one of five Jazz players with at least 45 points in this series.
Memphis has two players with at least 45 points. Ja Morant and Dillon Brooks have combined to score 182 of Memphis’s 352 points in the series. They’ve done their scoring, which is to be expected with a superstar-driven league like the NBA, but the supporting cast has been virtually non-existent. Rudy Gobert and his teammates have largely shut down Jonas Valanciunas in this series, as he only has 43 points and just 31 rebounds.
Valanciunas has 15 offensive rebounds and Memphis holds a big edge in that department overall, but the Grizzlies are only shooting 33.3% from deep, so they haven’t been able to keep up with Utah in that department. They’ve also been worse at the free throw line, so the Jazz now have control of the series and can take full control of it with a win in this game.
Morant only had 28 points in Game 3 and was -22 while on the floor. The Grizzlies couldn’t stop the Jazz from scoring points and Morant had a 10-of-23 night with four turnovers to go with his seven assists. Valanciunas only scored 10 points despite six offensive rebounds. It feels like Memphis’s Game 1 win was something of a mirage. They had to win twice in the play-in tournament with their backs against the wall and came into Game 1 with that same mindset against a Jazz team that hadn’t played in several days.
Grayson Allen had 17 off the bench in Game 3 in one of the better performances from the supporting cast, but it was all for naught. Utah led by 12 after the first quarter and never really looked back.
Jazz vs. Grizzlies Free Pick
How this line is sitting in the same spot as the line for Game 3 makes very little sense. The Jazz have proven through the last two games that they are a different team with Mitchell in the equation. Memphis needs stellar performances from both Morant and Brooks to even have a chance and the Jazz are paying a lot of attention to them, forcing them into a lot of tough shots.
With the chance to win the series in Game 5 at home, expect Utah to be fully invested in having that possibility become a reality by winning and covering in Game 4.
Pick: Utah Jazz -5