Grab your popcorn. The Timberwolves-Grizzlies series just got interesting.
A 130-117 upset win on April 16 gave Minnesota a 1-0 series advantage against Memphis, but this round is far from over.
Minnesota and Memphis tip off Game 2 at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday on NBA TV.
Think the Grizzlies can rebound from their loss in Game 1? Think Minnesota can grab a 2-0 lead? Regardless of your stance, sportsbooks in Iowa have you covered. In fact, DraftKings Sportsbook has a special offer for new customers with the NBA Playoffs in mind.
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Memphis Grizzlies odds
Memphis is essentially a 6.5-point favorite in Game 2 by Iowa sportsbooks.
One thing to keep an eye on: the total. The Timberwolves’ last five games all resulted in the over hitting. The over hit in four of the Grizzlies’ previous five.
60.7% of Minnesota’s games resulted in the over this season — the best mark in the NBA. Memphis wasn’t too far behind, coming in at seventh (54.4%). The over hit in a whopping 73.8% of the Timberwolves’ away games and 63.8% after a win, both league-leading marks.
What to know if you’re betting on the Minnesota Timberwolves
This offense is a buzzsaw when it’s clicking, averaging a league-best 115.9 points per game so far this year. Memphis learned that the hard way.
The Grizzlies had no answer for Anthony Edwards. The second-year guard scored a team-high 36 points in his playoff debut.
Karl-Anthony Towns put together his best playoff performance, too, totaling 29 points on 61.1% shooting and 13 points. It was a welcomed sight from Towns’ ugly performance (3-for-11 shooting, four turnovers, fouled out) in the play-in win over the LA Clippers. Prior to the win on April 16, Towns had appeared in just five playoff games. In those games, he averaged just 15.2 points per game on 46.7% shooting.
This season, the Timberwolves are 16-3 when Towns knocks down at least 55% of his shots and attempts 15 or more field goals. Translation: When Towns is in his bag, Minnesota is tough to stop, and the points follow.
The over hit in 30 of Minnesota’s 47 games following a win this season (63.8%). It also hit in 18 of the Timberwolves’ 26 games as away underdogs. Game 1 marked the third time in the five previous meetings (regular and postseason) that the over hit between these teams.
Keep in mind, the Timberwolves are 14-24 this season straight up as underdogs this year. Minnesota is one of the league’s hottest teams, but Memphis proved itself as one of the NBA’s steadiest down the stretch. We’ll see if Minnesota has another upset in store Tuesday evening.
What to know if you’re betting on the Memphis Grizzlies
Might as well call them the Cover Grizzlies, because Memphis owns the best record ATS this season: 52-30-1. The Grizzlies are just one of two teams to cover in better than 60% of their games this season.
Memphis is also one of the NBA’s best teams at home this season, boasting a 30-12 record inside the FedExForum — the third-best home record in the league this season.
So how did the Grizzlies fail to cover in a home loss on April 16?
Defense was a glaring issue. Heading into the playoffs, Memphis had the fourth-best adjusted defensive rating in the league (110.14 points per 100 possessions) according to Basketball Reference, sitting behind just the Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors. Including Saturday’s loss, the Grizzlies have allowed 130 points or more just three times this season. Two of those times resulted in losses to the Timberwolves. Overall, Memphis is 3-16 this year when allowing 119 or more points.
In addition to atrocious defense, Memphis’ offense failed to find a rhythm.
Ja Morant had an OK day from the floor (8-for-18) and scored 16 of his 32 points from the free throw line. With the Grizzlies attempting to claw their way back in the fourth quarter, Morant made just two of his six field goal attempts and uncharacteristically missed three free throws.
Jaren Jackson Jr. scored just 12 points on 4-for-13 shooting and Desmond Bane (one of the league’s top 3-point shooters) made three of his eight attempts from deep (37.5%) after connecting on 50% or better in eight of his final nine games of the regular season.
Point being: An shaky day offensively coupled with a defensive meltdown resulted in an upset loss in Game 1. It’s a losing recipe for just about any team this season.
A look at the Timberwolves-Grizzlies series as a whole
Even after the Game 1 loss, BetMGM Sportsbook in Iowa still favors the Grizzlies (-140) to win the series.
The most likely correct series score on BetMGM is tied at +260 (4-3 Memphis and 4-2 Minnesota).
By the way, Iowa customers can use a BetMGM promo to get started on NBA bets.
More first round NBA playoff odds
Atlanta Hawks @ Miami Heat (1-0, -7)
Well, Game One wasn’t close. And Trae Young’s 1-for-12 shooting didn’t do the Hawks any favors.
Watch the total in this one. The over’s hit in 60.4% of Miami’s games following a win this year. It’s hit in 56.4% of games following a Hawks loss, too. Both are top-seven marks in their respective categories.
New Orleans Pelicans @ Phoenix Suns (1-0, -9.5)
New Orleans made things interesting in the second half of Game One, but Phoenix is tough to beat at home. The Suns have the league’s top home record this season at 33-9.