The 2022 NBA playoffs continue on Friday night with a pivotal Game 6 matchup. In what is perhaps the most entertaining first-round series, the Memphis Grizzlies came back again to edge the Minnesota Timberwolves 111-109 on Tuesday night. Ja Morant led the way with a 30-point, near triple-double performance and some jaw-dropping plays.
Meanwhile, for the Timberwolves, Karl-Anthony Towns has taken over as the primary scorer the past two games, dropping 33 points in Game 4 and 28 points in Game 5. With their backs against the wall in a win-or-go-home scenario at Target Center, Minnesota will be looking to force a Game 7.
Our betting experts have everything you need to know to bet the only game on the NBA playoff slate Friday night on ESPN.
All odds are provided by Caesars Sportsbook.
What you need to know for Grizzlies-Timberwolves Game 6
Memphis’ depth: Steven Adams (health and safety protocols) won’t play Friday night. Although Adams was already removed from the rotation, Ziaire Williams also being listed as doubtful is meaningful for Brandon Clarke. Clarke has enjoyed a team-high surge in DraftKings points per minute with both Adams and Williams off the court this postseason (a 105-minute sample). Clarke is positioned to be an important interior presence on both sides of the floor in Game 6 and a stellar DFS target and candidate for scoring and rebounding props. He has averaged 18.7 points and 9.3 boards over the past three games.
All tickets cash: This series doesn’t lack exciting players to bet on, but “boring” bets cash all the same and Minnesota has a player producing at a higher rate than the public seems to realize. Jarred Vanderbilt has 31 rebounds over his past three games, and while his numbers are strong, his minute count makes them sticky. Vanderbilt played 28 minutes through Game 2, but since then, he is averaging 29.7 minutes per game. Three different Timberwolves players combined for over 54% of Minnesota’s field goal attempts in Game 5, but that’s not Vanderbilt’s role, so don’t expect a game-breaking performance. However, his prop market is worth a look given his ability to excel on the boards with Adams out.
Stock watches: Defensive props can prove entertaining on this single-slate Friday. Jaren Jackson Jr. paced the NBA in blocks this season by a wide margin and, despite obvious foul risks, has a real shot to hit on his prop (1.5 blocks). The same can be said of Vanderbilt’s steal prop (0.5), setting up parlays on the defensive end.
— Jim McCormick and Kyle Soppe
game of the night
Memphis Grizzlies at Minnesota Timberwolves
9 p.m. ET on ESPN, Target Center, Minneapolis
Line: Grizzlies (-1.5)
Money line: Grizzlies (-120), Timberwolves (+100)
Total: 229 dots
BPI projected total: 227.6 points
BPI win%: Grizzlies (60.1%)
Key players ruled out: none
Notable: The Grizz have failed to cover consecutive games … they haven’t suffered three straight ATS (against the spread) losses since doing so in late December (Dec. 19-23).
Best bet: Desmond Bane over 21.5 points. Bane has averaged 28.3 points, 2.3 assists and 4.0 rebounds over the past three games of this series. His regular-season numbers are very good on the road, averaging 15 FGA and 20 PPG. As the Grizzlies try to close out this series, Bane is in a great position. –Eric Moody
Best bet: Desmond Bane over 21.5 points. Bane has been the most consistently aggressive scorer for the Grizzlies of late, even more so than Ja Morant, who has spent long stretches as a distributor. With Patrick Beverley spending so much time defending Morant, the Timberwolves don’t have an answer for Bane on the perimeter. –Andre Snellings
Best bet: Karl-Anthony Towns over 36.5 points + rebounds. Towns has averaged 30 PPG and 13 RPG over the past two games in this series. The Timberwolves should lean on him heavily as they look to avoid elimination. While Minnesota has averaged 113.2 points per 100 possessions when Towns is on the court, his turnovers are a concern and he will have to get them under control for the Timberwolves — Moody
Bestbet: Anthony Edwards under 32.5 points + assists + rebounds. Edwards hasn’t gone over 32.5 PAR in any of the past four games in this series. His scoring during that stretch has been consistently between 19 and 24 points in each game, but he hasn’t produced enough all-around stats to pass the line. –Snellings
Best bet: Grizzlies (-1.5) This has been as exciting of a series as we could’ve hoped for. However, after all of this, Memphis has demonstrated it has the stronger backbone, and I think that’s the key here. Minnesota wasted its chance by allowing Memphis to rally from a 26-point deficit. In theory, that means Minnesota win must win five of the seven games, and I don’t think that happens –Doug Kezirian
Best bet: Timberwolves (+1.5). The Timberwolves held a players-only meeting on Thursday, and I believe they understand the gravity of their situation. Facing elimination, the atmosphere in Minneapolis will be ratcheted up a few notches. It should be a stellar game for Towns and Anthony Edwards, and even D’Angelo Russell is due for a big night. I think the Wolves will have a strong performance in front of their home fans and force a Game 7. — Moody
Best bet: Ja Morant over 17.5 rebounds + assists. Morant makes memorable shots, but on a game-to-game basis, he has been dominant in this series as a distributor and rebounder. Morant has averaged 11.0 APG and 10.0 RPG over the past four games of the series and has gone over 17.5 rebounds and assists in all four games –Snellings