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Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder - 4/19/14 Game One

Memphis Grizzlies (50-32) at Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23)

NBA Basketball: Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 9:30 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)

The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -7 -- Over/Under: 192.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The Memphis Grizzlies and Oklahoma City Thunder will kick off game one of the NBA playoffs on Saturday. The Thunder won the season series 3-1.

The Grizzlies have been one of the hotter teams in the NBA lately, winning five straight and losing only seven games since the beginning of March. On the season, the Grizzlies average 96.1 points on 46.4 percent shooting and allow 94.6 points on 45 percent shooting. Of course, the Grizzlies rely heavily on defense and have won 15 of their last 17 games when holding their opponent under 100 points. The Grizzlies defense is even better on the road, as they hold teams to an average of 93.1 points away from home. The Memphis Grizzlies are 36-43-3 ATS overall and 18-20-3 ATS on the road.

Memphis Grizzlies at Oklahoma City Thunder - 4/19/14 Game One

USA TODAY Sports

The Thunder have lost two of their last three games, but enter the playoffs 100 percent healthy and rested. On the season, the Thunder average 106.2 points on 47.1 percent shooting and allow 99.8 points on 43.6 percent shooting. Russell Westbrook has provided a huge spark since returning from injury and averaged 26.2 points in the month of April. However, Kevin Durant has struggled with his stroke lately, shooting just 20.6 percent from three in his last five games. During that stretch, the Thunder are shooting just 26.5 percent from downtown. The Oklahoma City Thunder are 43-37-2 ATS overall and 23-16-2 ATS at home. 

The Grizzlies are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 Conference Quarterfinals games and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall. The Thunder are 8-2-2 ATS in their last 12 home games and 8-3-1 ATS in their last 12 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. The Grizzlies are 6-2-1 ATS in the last 9 meetings in Oklahoma City, while the favorite is 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings.

Call me crazy, but I like Memphis and the points. The Grizzlies are a veteran ball club that is playing their best basketball of the season. The Thunder have also struggled shooting the ball from deep lately and that could continue with Memphis playing elite level defense. The Grizz are a slow paced team that should control the tempo of this game and keep things closer than expected.

Take Memphis and the points. 

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Memphis Grizzlies +7

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