MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES (5-1)
at OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER (6-2)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Line: Oklahoma City -5.5, Total: 194
Wednesday night will feature a clash of the titans in the Western Conference with both the Thunder and the Grizzlies looking to build upon their five-game winning streaks.
Memphis is coming off a convincing win against the defending champion Heat, making 14-of-24 three-pointers and holding Miami to just 38% FG in the 104-86 victory, which was also the fifth straight ATS victory for the Grizzlies. The Thunder have three double-digit home wins during their five game surge (3-2 ATS), but struggled to win in Detroit on Monday, eking out a 92-90 win. This game could be a high-scoring affair, as four of the past five meetings have finished Over the total.
Which team will keep its win streak intact on Wednesday? For the answer, connect to NBA Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. Thanks in part to a 5-0 ATS mark on Tuesday Best Bets, the experts are a collective 43-35-2 ATS (55%) in NBA Best Bets so far this year. StatFox Gary is at 63% ATS (5-3), StatFox Scott is 59% ATS (10-7) and StatFox Brian is 57% ATS (12-9-1). As far as Totals go, StatFox Scott is an amazing 17-5 (77%) on Totals for the season.
The Grizzlies are going to be relatively healthy in this game against the Thunder. They’ll be without only backup PF Darrell Arthur, who is out indefinitely with a leg injury. Memphis is on a win streak because of the strong play from their starting five that goes from top to bottom. PG Mike Conley (14.8 PPG, 6.8 APG) is a great game manager who plays with great pace. SF Rudy Gay (team-best 19.5 PPG) and PF Zach Randolph (16.2 PPG, 14.5 RPG) finally have developed some chemistry playing on the court together after injuries deterred them the past two seasons. C Marc Gasol is one of the top five centers in the league and is playing like an All-Star for the second year in a row averaging 14.2 PPG, 7.3 RPG and 5.2 APG. Having a playmaker out of the high post like Gasol is a luxury for Memphis that has given them the advantage in many games over the past two seasons.
Oklahoma City started 1-2 after the abrupt James Harden trade, but since then they have found a comfort zone and are playing well on both sides of the ball. In five home games this season, the Thunder are averaging 104.0 PPG on 51% FG, while allowing just 93.8 PPG on 41% FG. PF Kevin Durant is on a mission this year as he has come out paying attention to more than just scoring, averaging 10.4 RPG and 3.9 APG to go along with his 23.0 PPG. Russell Westbrook (21.1 PPG, 7.5 APG, 5.1 RPG) has also been brilliant for the Thunder and they are a tough team to beat when the two of them are going. Westbrook has 60 points, 16 rebounds and 14 assists in his past two games.