The Memphis Grizzlies blew up their team on Wednesday. With one trade, they may have exploded their title hopes. The Grizzlies gave away leading scorer Rudy Gay in a three-team move that brought back Tayshaun Prince and Austin Daye from Detroit, threatening the chemistry that had turned Memphis into one of the toughest foes in the NBA.
The unselfish Prince will mesh well with their defensive schemes, but losing Gay is going to make it even tougher to live with offensive rivals, starting with Oklahoma City on Thursday night. The Thunder have had four days to prepare for this one following their shock loss to the Lakers, as they look to improve their stellar 19-3 home record.
Memphis will need to heap more of a load onto Marc Gasol, who is great value here to score over 14 points at 1.85. That’s going to mean more energy expended to stop Kevin Durant who is 1.85 to go for 30 points or more, a tally he’s averaged over his last 15 meetings with the Grizzlies.
OKC are favoured by -9 points on the handicap, but Memphis are still capable of keeping this one a lot closer. However, it’s likely that the Thunder’s eventual path to the Finals just got a lot easier.
Stephen Curry is a doubt for Golden State’s clash with Dallas, but that shouldn’t be too much of a concern for the Warriors, after Jarrett Jack hit 26 points in his team’s win over Cleveland on Tuesday. They’ll also add Andrew Bogut to the line-up, as he continues to play every second game in the early stages of his return from injury.
The Mavericks have won just two of their last five and although they’ve run teams close, there’s little sign that they can haul themselves back into play-off contention. Dirk Nowitzki is 1.85 to score 18 points or less, a tally he’s only managed twice in his last ten games.
With Bogut and David Lee in his way here, bet on the German to come up short and for the Warriors to prevail.
The Euroleague’s game of the week sees Real Madrid host CSKA Moscow in a battle of two teams with title pretentions. The Spaniards are 5-0 and top of their Top 16 group, while CSKA sustained their first loss last week to Malaga.
On average, the teams are combining for 160.1 points and they’re available at 1.91 to go over 154.5 here. On current form, make sure you also have a look at CSKA on the half-time handicap of +2.5 at 1.90.
Bet of the Day: Take Memphis over Oklahoma City on the handicap at 1.91
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