It’s Spida time! Donovan ‘Spida’ Mitchell now that the #1 Utah Jazz begin a first-round series against Ja Morant and the #8 Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference playoffs.

NBA Playoffs series Memphis Grizzlies Utah Jazz Spida Mitchell Ja Morant
Donovan Mitchell of the Utah Jazz and Ja Morant from the Memphis Grizzlies exchange pleasantries at the end of a regular season meeting. (Image: Getty)

The Grizzlies won two games in the play-in tournament to lock up the #8 seed. The Grizzlies edged out the San Antonio Spurs in the Nine-Ten Game, then upset Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors in the final play-in game to snag the #8 seed.

The Jazz come into the opening-round series as a huge favorite at -1250 odds to defeat the Grizzlies, according to a recent update by DraftKings.

2021 NBA PLAYOFFS – Series Odds
#1 Utah Jazz (52-20) vs #8 Memphis Grizzlies (38-34)
Utah Jazz -1250 Memphis Grizzlies +720


Utah Jazz vs Memphis Grizzlies – SERIES SCORE
Jazz win 4-0 +200
Jazz win 4-1  -200
Jazz win 4-2 +450
Jazz win 4-3 +700
Grizzlies win 4-0 +6000
Grizzlies win 4-1 +4000
Grizzlies win 4-2 +1600
Grizzlies win 4-3 +1800

In the series score prop bet, the Jazz to win the series in five games is a popular wager at -200 odds and a four-game sweep of the Grizzlies pays out +200 odds.

The Grizzlies are huge underdogs against the Jazz at +720 odds to win the series. If you want to take a flier on a mauling, the Grizzlies are +1600 odds to upset the Jazz in six games and +1800 odds to ship the series in seven games.

Betting the Jazz and Grizzlies

The Utah Jazz and Memphis Grizzlies squared off three times during their regular season series, but the Griz were swept 3-0.

The Jazz come into Game 1 of the playoff series as a -9 favorite over the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies are a popular betting team with a 43-31 ATS record, which is the third-best in the NBA. During the regular season, the Jazz posted a 41-31 ATS record as the fifth-best team covering the spread.

If you prefer to bet unders, the Jazz were 38-33-1 in hitting the under this season. The Grizzlies were 37-37 in over/under betting this season.

The Jazz boast a top five offense and top five defense, which makes them a tough opponent in the postseason because they can beat you in a shootout, or in a classic defensive quagmire.

The Jazz averaged 116.4 ppg, or fourth-best in the NBA. On defense, the Jazz allowed 108 ppg or ranked #5 overall.

The Grizzlies have a solid defense allowing only 110.9 ppg, but they have a mid-tier offense that generates 113.3 ppg.

The Jazz are +700 odds to win the 2021 NBA championship as the fifth-highest team on the futures board. The Grizzlies are a long shot to win the title at +15000.

Utah Jazz: Beware of Spida

Quin Snyder utilizes a three-guard offense that includes Donovan Mitchell (26.4 ppg), veteran point guard Mike Conley (16.2 ppg, 6.1 assists), and Sixth Man of the Year Jordan Clarkson (18.4 ppg). The trio led the Jazz to an NBA-best 52 wins even though they lack the star power of both the LA teams or the Brooklyn Nets’ Big 3.

Mitchell suffered a sprained ankle injury in mid-April and the Jazz shut him down the remainder of the season. Despite the late-season injury, Mitchell insisted on playing in Game 1.

“The goal is to be out there and helping my teammates to try and win a championship,” said Mitchell. “That’s been the goal all year.”

The Jazz are one of the top sharpshooting teams in the NBA and ranked #3 by averaging 38.9% from 3-point range. Joe Ingles leads the Jazz with a blistering 45.1% clip, followed by Conley (41.2%), Bojan Bogdanovic (39%), and Mitchell (38.6%).

The Jazz are also the second-best team defending the trey allowing only 34.1 ppg from downtown. They also allowed the fewest 3-pointers this season.

The Jazz are underrated because they’re equally efficient on both ends of the court. Rudy Gobert has the inside track to winning the Defensive Player of the Year and he’s one of the top rim protectors in the league. If he locks up the Defensive Player of the Year, Gobert will become the fourth player in NBA history with three DPOY awards.

Memphis Grizzlies: Get to know Ja and Jonas

You cannot win a playoff series without stellar rebounding. The Grizzlies were the fourth-best team at wiping the boards averaging 46.5 rebounds per game thanks to Jonas Valanciunas (12.5 rebounds).

The Grizzlies also have Jaren Jackson, Jr. back in the lineup after missing most of the season while recovering from knee surgery. The 6-foot-11 Jackson averaged 5.6 rebounds since his return. Gobert can only box out one player at a time, so either JJJ or Valanciunas will be able to snag the rebound.

Morant led the Grizzlies with 19.1 points and 7.4 assists per game.  Valanciunas (17.1 ppg) and Dillon Brooks (17.2) were both secondary scoring options. Whenever swingman Kyle Anderson (12.4 ppg) has a strong game, the Grizzlies usually win.

Grayson Allen, one of the most hated hoopsters in the NBA thanks to his Duke roots, knocked down several big shots down the stretch during the play-in tournament. He’s averaging 10.6 ppg and shooting 39.1% from 3-point range.

The Grizzlies were able to slow down Curry in the play-in game with swarming defense and excellent help-defense. Will the Grizzlies employ the same strategy against Mitchell?

Check out more series previews and coverage of the 2021 NBA playoffs.

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