NBA fans and bettors who thought this series between the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves would be one of the most exciting matchups in Round 1 have been proven right at every turn.
It’s been more unpredictable than the weather in April, with wild in-game swings, stunning comebacks and enough highlights to fill a postseason sizzle reel.
In Game 6, the Grizzlies are 1.5-point favorites on the road and a win would put them into the second round to face the Golden State Warriors. The Grizzlies can force a deciding game with a win and keep their postseason alive.
Our NBA betting analysts have three bets they are eyeing as we near tip-off. Here are our best bets for Grizzlies-Timberwolves.
NBA Odds & Picks
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Minnesota Timberwolves
Brandon Anderson: It’s been an up-and-down postseason for Karl-Anthony Towns.
Towns was in constant foul trouble in the play-in game and never really made his imprint on the game, but his teammates bailed him out to get the win anyway. He responded with a huge Game 1, scoring 29 points in a surprise road win for Minnesota.
The next two games brought more constant foul trouble and just 23 points combined before another explosion in Game 4 with 33 points in another win. Game 5 was a mixed bag, more foul trouble but good numbers when he was out there, ultimately in a close loss.
Notice any pattern? When Towns stays out of foul trouble and keeps himself on the floor, Minnesota has been pretty good. But that has happened far too rarely for the Wolves this series.
The fouls aren’t the only problem. The turnovers are a big problem too. Towns averaged 3.1 turnovers per game in the regular season, but he’s averaging 5.0 per game in the playoffs. He had only three in Game 1 but has gone over this line in each of the last four outings, with five, four, six, and seven turnovers.
Towns went under this line in 51 of 74 regular season starts, but he was over it in two of his four Memphis games. The Grizzlies are one of the league’s best teams at forcing turnovers, and their constant pressure has bothered KAT and forced him into some bad decisions.
He’s averaging a turnover every 7.2 minutes on the court this series. At that rate, we only need 25 Towns minutes to go over this line, and we should get that even with foul trouble.
Maybe Towns will have a big game yet, and perhaps the shots will fall. But the mistakes will come along the way, so I’ll just bet on that and ride out the rest.
Brandon Anderson: Morant is at just 22.4 PPG on the series and I broke down why I’m taking the under on his points in this game in today’s props piece.
Morant is averaging 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists over the last four games since Minnesota adjusted its defense. He’s averaging a triple-double and has one triple-double already, and look how close he was in the other three games: two rebounds away once, one board away in another, and one assist shy in Game 5.
That’s why, despite the scoring decrease, I’m also playing Morant to record a triple-double at +450 at BetMGM. That number is priced way off, and the books are basically admitting that since they’re charging -155 for a double-double. That’s conceding a 60% chance of at least 10 rebounds or assists (plus 10 points), and we only need a 29% shot at hitting the other 10 too.
Morant’s rebounding and assists lines are at 8.5 and 9.5. The books are telling us this will be at least close.
Austin Wang: There’s been plenty of back-and-forth going on in this series. However, Memphis is the more complete team and is able to execute better down the stretch. I think Memphis would have comfortably won Game 5 if it was able to make free throws.
The Grizzlies have unleashed a beast in Clarke, who has made a dramatic difference on both ends of the floor. His athleticism has bothered Towns on the defensive end. His energy on the offensive boards and ability to finish has given the Grizzlies some easy buckets.
Road favorites in Game 6 are 28-11-1 (71.8%) ATS dating back to the 2004-2005 season, per our Bet Labs tool.
I expect the Grizzlies to finish the series on Friday night. I’ll bet on the better, more disciplined team to prevail.
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