NBA odds favor Spurs at home vs Memphis Grizzlies in Game 5

By: Brad Young | Tuesday, April 26, 2011

‘Chalk’ tends to prevail in the NBA Playoffs, but there are a couple of interesting developments in the Western Conference where top-seed San Antonio has its back against the wall against eighth-seed Memphis.

The surprising Grizzlies have taken a 3-1 series advantage in this first-round series, and have covered all four contests.  In fact, Memphis (49-37 straight up, 56-29-1 against the spread) has now covered the previous nine encounters with the Spurs.  The ‘over’ is 7-2 the last nine meetings in San Antonio.

The Spurs are 0-5 during the Tim Duncan era when trailing 3-1 in a playoff series.  Postseason NBA teams with a 3-1 advantage have ended up winning the series a robust 95.9 percent of the time.

San Antonio (62-24 SU, 44-40-2 ATS) is hoping to avoid becoming the third top-seeded team in the Western Conference to get eliminated in the first round.  Dallas was knocked out in the opening round of the 2006-07 postseason, while Seattle was eliminated in a five-game series back in 1993-94.

Don Best's Real-Time Odds opened the Spurs as a 6 ½-point home favorite over the Grizzlies, while the total is listed at 188 ½.  NBA-TV will provide coverage of Wednesday’s Game 5 beginning at 5:30 p.m. PT from AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Memphis throttled San Antonio in Monday’s Game 4 as a 1 ½-point home underdog, 104-86, while the combined 200 points went ‘over’ the 188 ½-point closing total.  The ‘under’ had cashed the previous two outings in this series.

The Grizzlies took control of the contest by outscoring the Spurs in the third quarter, 30-15, turning a two-point halftime deficit into a blowout victory.  Memphis finished the game with advantages in rebounding, 39-37, and assists, 22-16.  The Grizzlies connected at a 51-percent clip (41-of-81) from the field, and 42 percent (5-of-12) from behind the arc.

Point guard Mike Conley paced a balanced attack with 15 points and seven assists, while forward Darrell Arthur added 14.  Power forward Zach Randolph stepped up with 11 and nine rebounds in the triumph, while center Marc Gasol had nine and nine.

San Antonio shot 47 percent (35-of-75) from the field, and 28 percent (5-of-18) from 3-point land in the setback.  Point guard Tony Parker led all scorers with 23 points, but he also had seven turnovers.  Shooting guard Manu Ginobili accounted for 14 and four assists, while center Tim Duncan had just six and seven boards.

Memphis led the league in turnovers forced during the regular season with 16.5 per game and steals with 9.40.  The Grizzlies converted the Spurs’ 17 turnovers into 20 points in the blowout victory, while also recording eight steals.

Memphis opened the series with a Game 1 triumph as a 6 ½-point road underdog, 101-98, while the combined 199 points toppled the 196 ½-point closing total.  The Grizzlies also took Saturday’s Game 3 as a two-point home ‘chalk,’ 91-88, while the combined 179 points went ‘under’ the 191 ½-point closing total.  The Grizzlies are now 47-19 ATS their last 66 games overall.

San Antonio recorded its lone victory in this series last Wednesday in Game 2 as an eight-point home favorite, 93-87.  The combined 180 points failed to eclipse the 194 ½-point closing total.  The Spurs have seen the ‘over’ go 12-4 their past 16 outings overall.

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