Betting preview for the Western Conference play-in final

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When in doubt, refer to the numbers! In the last two editions of these betting previews involving the Indiana Pacers, I noted the team’s poor defense since losing Myles Turner to injury. In the three regular season games that Indiana had played against Washington, it had failed to show any resistance on defense, allowing the Wizards to average 117.7 points per 100 possessions. Thursday was much more of the same.

Washington wrecked Indiana, posting a 134.5 offensive rating in non-garbage time while going a combined 24-of-34 (70.6%) at the rim and from deep in the first three quarters of play. Russell Westbrook exploited the Pacers' shoddy transition defense, beginning 21.4% of the Wizards’ possessions in non-garbage time with a transition play and leading Washington to averaged 1.167 points per play in the fast break. It was a laugher.

Now, the Wizards will have the honor of keeping this thing going against the top-seeded 76ers in the first round of the postseason. Good luck with that!

Updated odds for every playoff game can be found here.

Updated injury reports for every playoff game can be found here.

Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors (-3.5, 226.5)

Will this game play out similarly to the regular-season series? Golden State took it 2-1 SU and ATS while holding Memphis to just 101.1 points per 100 possessions. In the regular-season finale it was much of the same. The Grizzlies scored just 1.020 points per possession while failing to contain Steph Curry. The MVP finalist dropped 46 points Sunday on 16-of-35 shooting from the floor in his lone game against the Grizzlies this season, and therein lies the key to this matchup.

Golden State did not have Curry available in the two-game set these teams split back in March, and yet it dropped 116 points in a 13-point win in one of those contests. Curry adds a scoring threat from the perimeter that a team like Memphis, which ranks 20th in frequency of opponent attempts from deep and 19th in opponent 3-point shooting (37.4%), will have trouble with. 

The Grizzlies will also have to figure out how to get their offense in gear against a team suited to defend them. Memphis that operates primarily inside the arc, taking 58.8% of their shots from either mid-range, where it ranks fourth in frequency of attempts, or at the rim. Golden State ranks 11th and seventh in those categories defensively, making this an extremely challenging matchup for Memphis across the board. Even in transition, an area that the Grizzlies really thrive, could be an issue.

Ja Morant and Memphis love to get up and down the floor. They rank third in transition frequency and offensive efficiency in transition (131.6) as well as first in points added per possession in transition (+ 4.0). The problem is Golden State ranks no lower than fourth in those three categories, leading the league in defensive efficiency in the fast break (118.5) and opponent points added per possession through transition (+ 1.6)

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Betting Splits: Percentage of handle & tickets from DraftKings for every game on the board, updated every 10 minutes. GO HERE.

NFL Power Ratings3 sets of numbers from Steve MakinenGO HERE.

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Chuck Edel: Kansas State +2.5 vs TCU. View more picks.

Kenny White: Fresno State +3 vs Boise St. View more picks.
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