NBA Play In Tournament – Expert Picks (5/19/2021)

After an uneventful opening night of the NBA Play-In Tournament, we’ll see if these next two games can grab our attention. If you’re looking to catch the games on TV tonight, ESPN will handle both games- San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies & Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers.

After having a 57% rate of success during the NBA’s regular season, I did open the playoffs with an 0-2 blemish last night. Here are two more free NBA picks to get things back on track.


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San Antonio Spurs at Memphis Grizzlies (-4.5) – Total: 222.5

A ton of money (both public and sharp) is pouring in on the Grizzlies, and that explains why the initial three-point spread has since risen to four (-4). Memphis is the home team for this game, and undoubtedly the better team on paper. So, why is the spread not bigger?

The Spurs lost their last four games, and 10 of 12, heading into the play-in matchup but did play against some brutal competition (PHX x2, UTA x2, BKN, NYK, MIL, POR, PHI, BOS, MIA) in that span. During the regular season, San Antonio was a strong road underdog at 14-8-1 ATS. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies did go 6-4 over their last 10 games, but they only went 3-7 ATS over that stretch- a lot of that against weaker competition. As a home favorite this season, Memphis was only 12-11 ATS, failing to cover in its last four attempts.

I’m going to take the underdog Spurs here in hopes that this line grows in their favor even more. I think +5 is a very realistic area this spread can get to if you wait it out.

Betting Pick: Spurs (+4.5)


NBA Play In Tournament – Expert Picks (5/19/2021)

Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers (-5) – Total: 218

Both teams took a hit on their implied team total (ITT), but it was the Warriors getting a -1.8 decrease, which probably spells trouble for them tonight. Stephen Curry is only one man, and I would expect LA to have all of its focus on him tonight. Look, it’s totally possible that he could have a big individual night. However, I’m just not sure what the rest of Golden State is going to do in this spot.

The Lakers are back to full health and that should be trouble for the Warriors. Without a doubt, Golden State is going to be lacking and size, making that the ultimate death blow. LeBron Davis and Anthony Davis can get a lot more done together than Curry can do solo. The Lakers have won five of the last six meetings (4-2 ATS) against the Warriors.

It’s worth noting, the initial 220.5-point game total dropped 2.5 points down to 218 since the open.

Betting Pick: Lakers (-5)


Al Walsh
Al Walsh Chief Sports Writer