If it’s true that depth wins out the longer a playoff series lasts, then the San Antonio Spurs are due to break the home-team trend in their matchup with the Memphis Grizzlies.
With a chance to clinch in Game 6 on Thursday, the Spurs are listed as four-point betting favorites with a 190-point total against the host Grizzlies at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
However, star guard Mike Conley and the Grizzlies are 4-0 straight-up and 4-0 against the spread in their four home games against the Spurs this season, including two during this series. Moreover, the home team has won all nine games between the Western Conference teams.
San Antonio, which is 5-5 SU and 3-7 ATS in its last 10 playoff games when it was favored on the road, can trust that standout forward Kawhi Leonard will be a handful for Memphis defenders. Despite all the attention paid to him, Leonard still shot a respectable 48 per cent during the two games this series in Memphis.
The Spurs can also count on having one of the most diverse offenses and deepest benches in the NBA, with the likes of SG Patty Mills providing scoring when it’s needed.
Memphis, which is 10-6 SU and 10-6 ATS as a home underdog this season, will try to re-ignite its transition game and re-establish Zach Randolph as a post scorer after he was a non-factor in their Game 5 road defeat. The Grizzles were the NBA’s seventh-best defensive team, but have had trouble keeping San Antonio from generating three-point looks, allowing the Spurs to shoot 42 per cent from downtown.
The total has gone over in eight of the Spurs’ last 10 road games in April, according to the OddsShark NBA Database. The total has gone over in the Grizzles’ last seven home games where they were the underdog.
Also on Thursday, Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, who also host a must-win Game 6, are listed as 1.5-point favorites against the Toronto Raptors with a 195-point total.
Milwaukee, which is just 2-7 in its last nine home games against Toronto, must develop a scoring threat other than the ‘Greek Freak,’ but SG Khris Middleton (illness) has been ineffective (7-of-21 shooting) in the past two games.
Toronto has trailed twice in the series, but increased physical play and the switch to a three-guard lineup with Norman Powell replacing C Jonas Valanciunas has helped them turn the series around. The Raptors, who are 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine road games, expect to have a healthy Kyle Lowry running their offense. Lowry soldiered through Game 5 with back stiffness.
The total has gone under in 11 of the Raptors’ last 15 games against the Bucks, including the teams’ last five games in Milwaukee.