Can the Grizzlies knock the Timberwolves out of the playoffs on Friday night?
The only NBA playoff game of the evening is Game 6 between Memphis and Minnesota. The Grizzlies are up 3-2 in the series and are 1.5-point underdogs ahead of the game (9 p.m. ET, ESPN).
Memphis as an underdog breaks Thursday’s trend. All three teams up 3-2 entering their Game 6s on Thursday night were favored on the road. And all three of those teams closed out the series. Philadelphia took care of Toronto, Phoenix beat New Orleans and Dallas knocked out Utah after Bojan Bogdanovic missed a wide-open game-winner before the buzzer.
Memphis and Minnesota are the only teams left playing in the first round of the playoffs. With those three series ending on Thursday night, seven teams have already advanced to the second round. The winner of the Memphis and Minnesota series will play Golden State in the secound round.
The Grizzlies took a 3-2 lead on Tuesday night when Ja Morant hit a shot at the rim with just seconds left for a 111-109 win. While the series has been back-and-forth — Minnesota won Game 1 and Game 4 — Game 5 was just the second game that was decided by fewer than nine points. The first three games of the series had margins of victory of 13, 28, and nine.
The total for Thursday night’s game is relatively low for the series at 228.5. Game 3 in Minnesota easily went under that number while Game 4 there went over by 8.5 points. Overall, three of the five games in the series so far have had fewer than 228 points.
If you think the Grizzlies are going to win a relatively close game, Memphis winning by 1-5 points is a nice value prop at +400. A Memphis win by 6-10 is also at the same odds and you can also get a Timberwolves win by five or fewer points at +400.
Morant and Karl-Anthony Towns have the highest player prop point totals for Game 6. Morant’s over/under is 27.5 points while Towns is at 25.5 points. Towns has scored more than 25.5 points in three of five games this series while Morant has scored more than 27.5 in two games. Morant had 30 in Game 1 and 32 in Game 5.
Jon Rahm’s odds are extremely low
Jon Rahm entered the Mexico Open as a massive favorite because he’s one of just two players ranked in the top 25 in the world entered in the tournament. After shooting a 7-under 64 in the first round on Thursday, Rahm’s odds are somehow even shorter entering the second round.
Rahm is currently +170 to win the tournament ahead of cut day as he’s tied with five other players atop the leaderboard. The No. 2 favorite after Thursday is Aaron Wise at +1200. He shot a 6-under 65. Brendon Todd is one of the five players tied with Rahm in first and he’s the No. 3 favorite at +1800.
The Reds are favored!
The worst team in baseball is a road favorite on Friday night thanks to Hunter Greene. Cincinnati is a league-worst 3-16 and three games worse than any other team in MLB. But with Greene scheduled to start on Friday night at the Rockies, the Reds are 1.5-run favorites at +145.
The odds are juiced in the Rockies’ favor because, well, the Reds are bad. But Greene has been one of the team’s bright spots this season despite having a 5.27 ERA in three starts. He’s struck out 16 in 13.2 innings and has one of the best fastballs in baseball. We’ll see how his secondary stuff plays at altitude on Friday night.
Who cashed tickets Thursday?
Bettors who had Travon Walker at No. 1 and Aidan Hutchinson at No. 2 made some easy money Thursday night during the NFL draft. The Texans took Derek Stingley Jr. at No. 3. Sauce Gardner went No. 4 to the Jets and then Kayvon Thibodeaux went No. 5 to the New York Giants.
Stingley’s odds dropped to +150 on the morning of the first round as over 22% of bettors had him going third and those bets made up 61% of the money bet on the third pick.