Spurs vs Grizzlies NBA Odds, Picks and Predictions May 19

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Updated: May 18, 2021

After 72 games of jockeying for position, it all comes down to this. 

The Memphis Grizzlies lost what was effectively a play-in game to the NBA’s play-in round Sunday against Golden State and now must face the San Antonio Spurs in the No. 9 vs. No. 10-seed game Wednesday at FedEx Forum. 

The winner of this game will play for the 8-seed against the loser of the Lakers-Warriors play-in. Wednesday’s loser gets sent packing. Who will it be? Find out with our Grizzlies vs. Spurs picks and predictions for May 19. 

Spurs vs Grizzlies game info

Location: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
Date: Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Spurs vs Grizzlies odds

Odds via the Covers Line, an average comprised of odds from multiple sportsbooks.

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Most books opened this game at Memphis -3.5, with the total at 225. Early action moved the spread to Memphis -4, with Under money sinking the total to 222. Check back later for a full report from Patrick!

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Spurs at Grizzlies betting preview

Injuries

Spurs: Patty Mills PG (Questionable), Luka Samanic PF (Questionable), Derrick White PG (Out), Trey Lyles PF (Out). 
Grizzlies: Grayson Allen SG (Questionable).
Find our latest NBA injury reports.

Betting trend to know

Grizzlies are 20-8 ATS in their last 28 games following a straight-up loss of more than 10 points. Find more NBA betting trends for Spurs vs. Grizzlies. 

Against the spread (ATS) pick

The bad news for Memphis is that it was inconsistent, sloppy and disorganized in its Sunday loss to the Warriors. The good news is that the Grizzlies probably can’t play any worse Wednesday. The best news is that they don’t have to deal with Stephen Curry in this game. 

Curry went ballistic Sunday (dropping 46/7/9), particularly after expert irritant Dillon Brooks fouled out and the Grizzlies promptly lost Curry in coverage on a series of crucial possessions. No disrespect to DeMar DeRozan, but he’ll be a relatively welcome cover for Brooks after grilling Curry for 30 minutes.

The Spurs were one of the first teams to be locked into their playoff spot and thus haven’t played a meaningful basketball game in about a week. They’ve lost five of their past six contests, including a 123-121 L to the Suns’ bench in their last outing.

As well-coached as any Gregg Popovich team will be, the Spurs have lacked consistency, especially on defense, where they rank 19th in efficiency, which is astonishingly low for a Pop squad. They mirror that by ranking 19th on offense as well, sporting a negative net rating (-1.5) that pits them 21st overall, behind several lottery teams. 

The Spurs have a few things going for them in this matchup. They can throw ace defender Dejounte Murray on Ja Morant, who will look to bounce back from a neutered effort against the Warriors. But San Antonio’s ace in the hole is how little it turns the ball over, coughing up just 11.4 TOs per game (second in NBA), key against a Memphis team among the league leaders in forced TOs and excels in the open court (sixth in transition scoring). 

The Grizzlies will get to feast on the boards, attacking San Antonio’s 26th-ranked rebounding rate. The Spurs also concede the NBA’s fifth-most points in the paint, which is a terrible stat against a Grizzlies squad that leads the league in paint scoring between Morant’s fearless forays and Jonas Valanciunas’ low-post bruising. 

Overall, the Grizzlies are just a better team. San Antonio will probably have the best player on the floor in DeRozan, but the Grizzlies could conceivably have Nos. 2-5, and probably house the better bench as well. And while Pop might still be the OG of the NBA’s active coaching hierarchy, Grizz bench boss Taylor Jenkins is, quite literally, cut from the same cloth, and has proven to be one of the league’s best coaches in less than two seasons.  

Memphis is going to be supremely motivated in both the micro and macro. They blew Sunday’s game and, as noted above, are trending 20-8 ATS following a 10+ point loss, suggesting they tighten shit up and bounce back. They also lost in last year’s inaugural play-in game, and have shown enough juice as a young, hungry squad that we’re not counting on it happening again. 

PREDICTION: Memphis -4 (-110)

Covers NBA betting analysis

Over/Under pick

I, for the life of me, have no idea what’s going on with this total. 

The Spurs have opened the floodgates over the past seven games, averaging 235 total points, which would seem more appropriate for the Blazers or Nets. San Antonio has failed to hit this total (222) just once in that span, and while the Memphis offense has been lagging over the past two weeks, it was second in the NBA in scoring from late March through the end of April, putting up 118.4 ppg.

Since then, Memphis has welcomed back Jaren Jackson Jr, arguably its best scorer when fully healthy, and a borderline-elite stretch threat that creates slashing room and unlocks so many pick-and-roll (or pop) options with Morant.

Yes, San Antonio’s anticipated lack of turnovers will create fewer fast, easy buckets for Memphis, but given the Grizzlies’ glass edge and the Spurs’ questionable paint protection, we’re confident they can make up for that in other areas. 

Again, this Spurs defense ranks just 19th in the NBA on the season. It’s not going to make life that difficult for a peak pissed-off Grizzlies team, albeit one that likely won’t run away with this game. Count on back-and-forth action that drives this one over a measly total. 

PREDICTION: Over 222 (-110)

First-quarter prop pick

On the season, the Spurs are one of the NBA’s worst first-quarter ATS bets at just 30-42. Meanwhile, the Grizz held the NBA’s fifth-best record in the same market (39-30-3) and we like them to come out fired up here. 

Memphis will be by far the hungrier team here, as opposed to an older, slower Spurs squad that had the snooziest home stretch of any team still alive and might be facing a rebuild in the near future. Memphis knows it let a comeback slip away against Golden State, and will want to play from ahead this time. There’s little experience edge the Grizzlies have in most scenarios, but they understand the pressure of a play-in game better than anyone.

The Spurs are a methodical team that can make adjustments and even alter the tempo of this matchup as the game wears on, but backing Memphis in a prop where it has a large edge both record-wise and situationally makes too much sense. 

PREDICTION: Memphis 1Q -1 (-115)

Spurs vs Grizzlies betting card

  • Memphis -4 (-110)
  • Over 222 (-110)
  • Memphis 1Q -1 (-115)

Picks made on 5/18/2021 at 10:05 a.m. ET

NBA parlays

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