O'Sullivan's Saturday NBA Playoff Picks: Timberwolves vs Grizzlies, Raptors vs Sixers, plus series plays
Ja Morant will need to tune out Patrick Beverley's chirping.@Timberwolves on Twitter

O'Sullivan's Saturday NBA Playoff Picks: Timberwolves vs Grizzlies, Raptors vs Sixers, plus series plays

Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies, 3:30 pm Eastern, Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers, 6 pm.

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In the spirit of full disclosure, when I learned that Paul George had tested positive for COVID, I “withdrew” my Clippers bet. Then I went to bed super-annoyed when Los Angeles led New Orleans by nine late in the third quarter. It’s sad when waking up this morning, seeing that the Clippers had blown that lead and realizing that you “won” your “withdrawn” pick makes you feel happy. (sigh)

Follow my picks on Twitter: @OSullyPicks

Seattle O’Sullivan 2021-2022 NBA Season so far: 203-229-7, -$839.94

NBA Playoffs: 2-3, -$11.50.

(Wednesday: 0-1, -$11)

(Standing Caveat: The universe is chaotic. Life is unpredictable. Things happen. Like injuries. And COVID protocols. In following Seattle O’Sullivan’s betting advice, be advised that you should always monitor your bets during the day to make certain unforeseen things have not occurred which might change your wagering opinion. Thank you.)

Minnesota Timberwolves at Memphis Grizzlies, 3:30 pm Eastern

The Pick: Minnesota +6.5 (-110), bet $22 to win $20

Memphis has been great all year, surprising everyone with their tenacious play even without star Ja Morant. But this is a new level for them: playoffs. Playoffs with expectations. Minnesota, on the other hand, is playing with house money. An underrated subplot of this series will be the Timberwolves’ Patrick Beverley, who will be guarding Morant and making it his mission to annoy the crap out of the superstar. Even when you know Beverley is just trying to get under your skin, he does. I expect both teams to come out super-amped and perhaps a bit ragged. Minnesota actually won the season series between the two teams, 2-1. I’m not saying the Timberwolves win today, but it’s gonna be a donny-brook…

The Pick: Minnesota to win series +260, bet $5 to win $13

Strictly a value play. I’ll adjust game by game to make sure this is hedged if Memphis plays as expected, but I think a lot has been assumed of the Grizzlies, and it’s possible they’re not quite ready yet.

Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers, 6 pm Eastern

The Pick: Philadelphia -4 (-110), bet $22 to win $20

Given unvaccinated Sixer Matisse Thybulle will not be able to play the games in Toronto, this qualifies as a must-win for Philadelphia. The Sixers have been in relative chaos since the James Harden trade, or rather, since the Ben Simmons saga, or rather, since Moses Malone provided a steady presence in 1983. Because of that, it’s become sexy to pick Toronto to win this series. No doubt the Raptors will be tough to play. But the best player on the floor is Sixer center Joel Embiid. Despite his drop-off, I still think the second best player on the floor is James Harden. Having the two best players should be enough to win a seven-game series, and with the handicap of not having Thybulle in their road games, Philadelphia will have a heightened sense of urgency today…

The Pick: Philadelphia to win series -180, bet $36 to win $20

I think the Sixers are actually undervalued, here. They’ve got home court advantage and the possible M.V.P. I believe they respond to the nay-sayers in this round. Next round? (shrug)

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