Don't miss in-form Gareth Freeman's best bet from the weekend's NBA action.
Memphis Grizzlies @ San Antonio Spurs Betting - Sunday 01:10
San Antonio Spurs have genuine hopes of landing the Championship this year but they face a tough test in the first round of the playoffs against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies are a hard working and well drilled team but the quality of Spurs should come through over the course of the seven-game series. The two sides have met four times in the playoffs, with San Antonio sweeping all but one of those match-ups.
Memphis can look back to 2011 for inspiration, when they pulled off a huge first-round upset to dump out the then top-seeded Spurs, but their chances of a repeat this year have taken a huge blow with guard Tony Allen expected to miss the entirety of the series with a calf injury.
Allen has been key to Memphis’ impressive defence this season but the Grizzlies can take some comfort from their recent record against their first-round opponents. The Southwest Division rivals split the regular season series 2-2 as both won their two home games, and the Grizzlies nearly managed a win in their last visit to the AT&T Center less than two weeks ago but lost in overtime.
Allen’s absence is a massive blow to the Grizzlies’ hopes of navigating their way past Spurs but they can still keep it tight. Memphis may have lost their last six games in a row on the road but they rarely take a hammering and only one of those losses came by over a 10-point margin – and that was at clear Championship favourites Golden State.
San Antonio should be able to claim the win but it may not be as straightforward as the odds suggest. The Grizzlies have a sizeable +9.5 handicap so backing the visitors in the point spread looks the best option in Game 1.