Grizzlies Title Odds Fade as Wolves Steal Game 1

Timberwolves Defeat Grizzlies NBA Blue Background

  • The Memphis Grizzlies saw their title odds fade to +1600 after losing Game 1 of their Best-of-Seven series against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
  • Minnesota defeated Memphis 130-117 as +220 Moneyline underdogs on Saturday night.
  • The Grizzlies entered Game 1 as -375 betting favorites to win the series.

The Memphis Grizzlies entered Saturday’s playoff opener as the most heavily bet side among teams competing in the 2022 NBA Playoffs.

According to the early betting data from online sportsbook BetOnline, the 2nd ranked Grizzlies had 71% of the tickets and 97% of the handle to win their first round series against the 7th seeded Minnesota Timberwolves. Memphis was also as short as +285 to win the series in five games according to online sportsbook BetOnline. But then the Wolves stunned the heavily-favored Grizzlies in Game 1.

Wolves Stun Grizzlies in Game 1

The Grizzlies opened and closed as -6.5 point spread betting favorites to beat the Timberwolves in Game 1. Memphis also entered the game as -275 Moneyline favorites to hold court on Saturday night but 2021 top overall draft pick Anthony Edwards had other plans in mind.

Edwards set a Timberwolves franchise record for most points scored in a playoff debut with 36 points, shattering the former record of 28 set by Stephon Marbury in 1997. Edwards’ 36-point outburst is also the 4th-highest scoring playoff debut in the history of the NBA playoffs. He also joined Magic Johnson, Derrick Rose, and Tyler Herro as the only players in NBA postseason history to score at least 35 points in a playoff game before turning 21 years old.

Aside from Edwards’ record setting playoff debut, Minnesota also got a huge lift from Karl Anthony-Towns who bounced back from the worst game of his NBA career against the L.A. Clippers the last time out to score 29 points and grab 13 rebounds with two blocked shots. With Edwards and Towns waxing hot, the Timberwolves not only pulled off the upset as +220 Moneyline favorites but they also picked up their first win in a playoff opener since 2004 when they beat the Denver Nuggets on their way to the Conference Finals. Whether history repeats itself for the Timberwolves remains to be seen. What’s sure is the Grizzlies’ status has taken a hit.

Memphis Title Odds Drop to +1600

The Memphis Grizzlies were among the highly-touted teams entering the playoffs. The Grizzlies finished the regular season with a 56-26 record and entered the postseason as the second seed in the Western Conference. Not only were they heavily-favored to beat the T-Wolves in the opening round of the 2022 playoffs, the Grizzlies were among the top favorites to win the 2022 NBA title.

Prior to Saturday’s games, Memphis had the 7th best odds to win the 2022 NBA championship with their +1200 odds via BetMGM. After losing to the Timberwolves in Game 1, Memphis dropped to +1600 and 8th among the 16 remaining teams in the postseason. The Grizzlies have fallen farther back at +1650 via and +1900 via the FD Sportsbook. Memphis has even dropped back to +2000 via Caesars Sportsbook and Bet365 USA. The other top NBA sportsbooks have yet to put back live their title betting boards after taking them down after Saturday’s games.

Memphis heads to Game 2 as -6.5 point spread favorites to even the series. However, even if the Grizzlies hold court, beat the Wolves and equalize in Tuesday’s Game 2, the Timberwolves have stolen home court advantage. With three games to play in the Target Center, Minnesota now has the perceived advantage as they beat the Grizzlies in their two regular season games at home this season.

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Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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