- The Memphis Grizzlies face a tough task in the form of the Utah Jazz.
- The Jazz were the NBA’s best team, while the Grizzlies came in around 15th in the league.
- The Jazz have -1400 odds to win the series.
LAS VEGAS - Two teams that weren’t expected to be in the positions they are currently in are set to face off in the 1-8 matchup in the Western Conference.
The Utah Jazz are the first seed in the West, and weren’t expected to be going into the season - they excelled all year, and are now in the position of having to live up to their regular-season performance.
The Memphis Grizzlies are the eighth seed in the west and weren’t expected to be going into Friday’s matchup with the Golden State Warriors.
Thanks to the heroics of Ja Morant, the Grizzlies defeated the Warriors in overtime to take the eighth seed away from them in the play-in tournament.
The Jazz are obviously favorites in the series, as every one seed will be, and the Grizzlies are not being given much of a shot by the online sportsbooks.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Utah Jazz Series Winner
- Memphis Grizzlies +750
- Utah Jazz -1400
The simple fact is that the Jazz dominated the regular season in the NBA. They led the league in Basketball-Reference’s SRS statistic, which measures overall performance, and were a top five unit in the league in both offensive and defensive rating.
This, of course, means they lead the league in net rating, at +9.3. In other words, per 100 possessions (the average game is around that), the Jazz outscored their opponents by 9.3 points.
It also means, in short, that they were the best team in the league, and they proved it all season. The Grizzlies, with all due respect to the performance they put in against the Warriors on Friday, were not that. Their net rating is +1.0, which is 15th in the league. Their expected win-loss record based on their underlying statistics was 38-34, which would have been 15th in the league.
Their actual win loss record was 38-34, which, unsurprisingly, is 15th in the league.
This is the best team in the NBA going up against the fifteenth best team in the NBA. The result seems obvious.
At some point, laying the favorite here begins to look like a solid play for sports betting fans.
Game 1 of the series kicks off at 9:30 p.m. EST, and airs on TNT.