Wednesday’s NBA Predictions and Betting Tips (May 19, 2021)

| May 18, 2021 10:47 am PDT

The 2021 NBA play-in tournament rages on with two more games on Wednesday. After Tuesday’s action started in the Eastern Conference, Wednesday features an epic clash between LeBron James and Stephen Curry.

That’s right, the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are fighting for their playoff lives as they host the Golden State Warriors in a tense meeting.

The San Antonio Spurs travel to Memphis to battle the Grizzlies in the other game, which is understandably a ho-hum affair given the theatrics of Bron vs. Steph.

Regardless, there are two NBA games to bet on, so I’ll push out my NBA picks and predictions for Wednesday, May 19th.

NBA Predictions for Wednesday, May 19th

  • Grizzlies to beat Spurs
  • Warriors to beat Lakers

Memphis hosts the Spurs, who backed into this play-in tournament by losing their last four games. San Antonio has great coaching and nice history, but they just don’t look like a playoff team and are 2-8 over their last 10.

The Grizzlies got the short end of the stick with last year’s play-in atmosphere, but I think they give themselves a shot with a nice home win here.

Memphis is in better form, as they ended the year above .500 and have won six of their last 10 games. The Grizzlies are just 18-18 at home, but they’re 2-1 in the season series against the Spurs and have a distinct advantage defensively.

The real allure of this slate comes from the clash between the Warriors and Lakers, which features a showdown between Stephen Curry and LeBron James.

Most would assume the Lake Show would win here, but injuries kept them from staying among the elite, and one game is all it takes.

The Dubs will be the more desperate team here, and in a one-game setting, I have to think Stephen Curry will go all out and give the Lakers a run for their money.

In the name of drama, what’s better than the Warriors punching their playoff ticket and also seeing the defending champs on the brink of elimination?

NBA Upset Picks for Wednesday

  • Warriors to beat Lakers (+172)

This sounds like a reach, but it isn’t. The Lakers have shown their flaws over the past two months, and beyond their two superstars, it’s pretty arguable this team isn’t quite as good as everyone thought they were.

At least, the results haven’t been what you’d hope for.

Add in aging and banged-up James and the safety net of winning a second game if they lose here, and the Lakers feel somewhat vulnerable.

It doesn’t help that James appeared to hurt himself yet again at the end of his most recent contest.

But the big thing for me is that Curry has been unstoppable all year. He won the 2021 NBA scoring title, and he’s been so good that James himself declared him this year’s NBA MVP.

James knows what he’s up against.

I doubt he gets the hardware, but Curry has been a tough assignment for even the best of defenders, and he has had no qualms in regards to who he’s taken out along the way.

His recent victims include the Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns, while Curry and his Warriors have been red hot in May, going 8-1 to close out the year.

Golden State doesn’t seem like a world-beater, but this team went 37-26 with a healthy Curry (2-7 without). The Dubs also play at a fast pace but happen to own the 5th most efficient defense in the league.

Are the Lakers the more stacked team? Absolutely. Would they win a seven-game series? For sure. But for one game, I love Curry and co. at this +172 price.

Best NBA Bets for Wednesday, May 19th

  • Grizzlies (-4) -110
  • Spurs vs. Grizzlies Over 222 (-110)
  • Warriors (+4.5) -105
  • Warriors vs. Lakers Over 219.5 (-110)

I just have very little faith in the Spurs. You’d think they actually have enough talent to be pretty competitive and be better than 33-38, but here they are.

This ultimately is a bad matchup for them. They can’t stop Jonas Valanciunas down low, and Dillon Brooks is part of a gritty Memphis defense that will give DeMar DeRozan fits on the perimeter.

I also like the Over here. Memphis plays fairly fast, and all three of the previous meetings between these two teams this year have easily surpassed this 222 mark.

Golden State feels like a really fun underdog pick, but if you don’t want to go that far, at least consider them against the spread. The Dubs did get a win from the Lakers early in the year, and they’re on fire right now.

L.A. hasn’t been themselves all season, and they’re also just 32-39-1 ATS this year (12-17 as home favorites).

Regardless of which side of the game you like, of course, this 219.5 total feels too low. Both teams have very good defenses when they’re clicking, but the Warriors still play fast, and Curry’s outside flame-throwing can break this game wide open.

These teams ranked 30th and 29th for the Over hitting this year, but that’s due to high game totals for the Dubs and the Lakers not having their two best players half the time.

It’s just a low total for what should be an intense game, and I think it exceeds expectations.

Like these bets? Consider taking them over to the top sites for betting on the NBA.

Noah Davis
Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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