The Golden State Warriors are the betting favorite on the road against the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night in a showdown between two Western Conference contenders.
The betting odds have the Warriors at -2.5 in this matchup with moneyline odds at -140. This is expected to be a high-scoring affair with an over/under set at 235.5. The absence of the Warriors’ Andrew Wiggins and the Grizzlies’ Ja Morant from the starting lineups needs to be considered in the betting prediction and best bet picks.
Read on for in-depth analysis of tonight’s Warriors vs. Grizzlies matchup.
Warriors vs. Grizzlies Betting Odds
The Warriors opened at -1.5 against the spread and are now -2.5 despite being on the road against a Memphis team that is five games ahead of them in the standings. The absence of Grizzlies star Ja Morant is certainly impacting that line, which could creep further in the Warriors’ direction before tipoff.
The Warriors have -140 odds on the moneyline in this matchup, while the Grizzlies are getting +120 odds.
Public money is leaning strongly towards the Warriors against the spread, as they are getting over 80% of the handle on roughly 75% of the bets at DraftKings, per VSiN. It makes sense that the Warriors are getting similar action on the moneyline, with nearly 80% of the handle on about 75% of the bets.
The over/under for this game is set at 235.5 and it looks like there has been some big bets on the under, which has seen almost 75% of the money on less than half the bets.
The implied outcome of these odds is the Warriors winning 119-116.5.
Warriors vs. grizzlies Prediction
My pick: Grizzlies +2.5, Over 235.5
This matchup features two teams going in very different directions. Over their last 20 games, the Grizzlies are just 7-13 with a current three-game losing streak, including the last two without Ja Morant. Memphis is clearly dealing with some internal chemistry issues given the much- publicized events surrounding Morant immediately following a players-only meeting led by team leader Steven Adams.
On the other hand, the Warriors have won five of their last seven and are slowly rounding into form despite the continued absence of key players including Andrew Wiggins and Gary Payton II. The defending champs just got Stephen Curry back after he missed 11 games with a leg injury, and while they are 0-2 since he returned, Curry has immediately resumed playing at an extremely high level.
Stephen Curry since returning from injury:
7.5 3PG (!!!)
— NBA Muse (@NBAMuse24) March 9, 2023
Handicapping this matchup is not as simple as just looking at Curry’s recent production and Morant’s absence, but those are certainly two of the biggest factors in this game. The Grizzlies are 4-7 without Morant this season (although they did go 20-5 without him last year).
Memphis is also just returning from a long seven-day road trip, and NBA teams tend to struggle in their first game back after a long road trip (although again, the Grizzlies have had success in this scenario recently – see trends below).
The Warriors have been one of the worst road teams this season, going 7-25 away from the Chase Center (4th worst in the league). They are also just 9-23 against the spread on the road (last in the league).
Are the Warriors playing better right now? Yes. Could their road record be due for some positive regression? Of course.
Call it a gut feeling and fade me if you want, but I am taking the Grizzlies as home underdogs tonight. It just feels like they need a win to start putting the drama surrounding Morant behind them, and they will band together at home against the defending champs.
I don’t usually pick based on emotional storylines like that, but this games seems like a time when that makes sense. The Warriors’ road struggles and Grizzlies’ excellent home record also helps my head justify the pick.
The best bet in this game is the over. Golden State has struggled defensively since Curry returned. They have posted a defensive rating of 120.8 in the last two games compared to a rating of 111.5 in the previous 11 games without Curry.
Even without Morant, the Grizzlies will be able to take advantage of the Warriors’ defense. I also don’t expect the Grizzlies’ strong defense to have much success slowing down Curry and the Warriors, who have hit the over a league-high 23 times in 32 games on the road this season.
- The Warriors are 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven road games.
- The Under is 7-1 in the Warriors’ last eight games overall, and 6-1-1 in the Grizzlies’ last eight home games. The Under is 15-5-1 in the Grizzlies’ last 21 games overall.
- The Grizzlies are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games following a road trip of 7 or more days, and the Over is 6-1 in their seven games in the same scenario.
To win this game, the Grizzlies’ defense needs to slow down the Warriors’ shooters and force turnovers.
Warriors’ three-point shooting
It’s no surprise that the Warriors are once again one of the league’s best and most prolific three-point shooting teams. They attempt the second-most three-pointers per 100 possessions (41.7) in the league and they make them at the fourth-highest rate (38.3%).
They are also the second most reliant team on the three ball, shooting 48% of their field goal attempts from beyond the arc according to basketball analytics website dunksandthrees.com.
Curry is coming off one of his best shooting nights of the season, draining 10 threes (on 16 attempts) against Oklahoma City.
Last night marked Stephen Curry's 23rd career game with 10-or-more threes.
The next five players on the list have 23 career games with 10+ threes COMBINED. pic.twitter.com/qndKhHYapb
— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) March 8, 2023
The Grizzlies need to find ways to slow down the Warriors’ shooters. They have been average at defending the three-point this season, allowing the 12th-best three-point shooting percentage (35.4%). If they can get close to that average in this game, they will have a much better chance at pulling out the victory.
Grizzlies’ defensive pressure
One of the reasons the Grizzlies have the second-best adjusted defensive rating in the league this season is the pressure they put on opposing ball handlers. Memphis has forced the seventh-most turnovers per 100 possessions and they are fourth in the league with 8.2 steals per 100 possessions.
The Warriors are susceptible to a high-pressure defense. They turn the ball over at the second-highest rate in the league (15.8% of possessions) and they give up the second-most points off turnovers in the league (18.9 per 100 possessions). The Grizzlies are excellent at capitalizing off turnovers, converting them into 18.1 points per 100 possessions (7th best).
The Warriors cannot afford to give the Grizzlies too many easy scoring opportunities if they want to pick up a tough win on the road.
Golden State Warriors Starting Lineups
Memphis Grizzlies Starting Lineups
Golden State Warriors Injuries: PF Jonathan Kuminga (P – ankle), SF Andre Iguodala (P – hip), C Kevon Looney (P – back), PG Gary Payton II (O – abdomen), SF Andrew Wiggins (O – personal), SG Ryan Rollins (O – foot)
Memphis Grizzlies Injuries: PG Ja Morant (O – personal), C Steven Adams (O – knee), PF Brandon Clarke (O – Achilles), SG Vince Williams Jr. (O – shoulder), PF Jake LaRavia (Q – back), PG Kennedy Chandler (Q – illness)