The Memphis Grizzlies are back in Utah taking on the Jazz in Wednesday night’s Game 5 in the first round of the NBA Western Conference Playoffs. After losing Game 1 to the Grizzlies, Utah has been able to turn the tables by winning — and covering the spread — in three straight games behind the return of Donovan Mitchell. Mitchell, who missed the last 17 games with an ankle sprain, rejoined the team for Game 2 and has been making up for lost time.

Utah (-9.5) is a hefty home favorite tonight as this young Grizzlies team looks to stay alive and avoid being the first eliminated from the NBA Playoffs. Memphis hopes to continue what has been a strong season in the underdog role.

The Grizzlies are 44-34 (56.4%) against the spread this year in games where the oddsmakers favor their opponents. While 9.5 is certainly a large number, it is difficult to trust the Grizzlies on the road in a hostile environment. To make matters worse, many of the team’s young core are competing in just their first playoff series in their careers.

Over 226.5 Points

The best bet in this matchup is on the total, which is set at 226.5 (-110) at DraftKings Sportsbook. The over is an unblemished 4-0 in this series with plenty of offensive fireworks coming mostly from the guard positions on each team.

Since Mitchell has returned from injury, he has averaged 28 PPG in three games. In those three games, the Jazz have averaged 127.3 PPG as a team, up from its regular season total of 116.4 PPG, which ranked fourth in the NBA. Guards Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson have combined for an average of 37.3 PPG in this series while also establishing a hectic pace of play, which has contributed to high point totals.

The Grizzlies are no slouches on the offensive end either. Memphis has averaged 116.2 PPG through four games in this first-round matchup. Ja Morant (31 PPG) paces the Grizzlies, followed by Dillon Brooks (25.5 PPG), as the young backcourt tandem has found plenty of success in the midrange.

Player Prop: Jonas Valanciunas UNDER 30.5 PTS, REB, & AST

Valanciunas was as reliable of a big man as you could find this season in the NBA. The 7-foot Lithuanian averaged a double-double during the regular season with 17.1 PPG and a career-best 12.5 rebounds. But his production has dropped off due to being matched up with defensive stopper Rudy Gobert.

Valanciunas has recorded three double-doubles in this series, but his numbers are a bit watered down (14.2 PPG & 10.7 RPG). This number seems inflated and, in a close-out game against the NBA’s two-time DPOY, Valanciunas quite literally has a tall task ahead of him.

 

Featured image courtesy of Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports


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