Portland Trail Blazers @ Golden State Warriors | NBA Playoffs Predictions and Betting
The odds are going to be stacked against the Portland Trail Blazers going up against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. But the Trail Blazers are catching a break—Kevin Durant is out for at least Game One. Now, that didn’t help Houston much, but if Steph Curry didn’t heat up in the fourth quarter of Game Six (finally), this game might be in Portland with the Rockets as the visiting team.
Spread: Warriors by 7.5
Money Line: Trail Blazers +295; Warriors -355
*Odds via BetOnline.ag
Portland Trail Blazers
The series against the Denver Nuggets was certainly not the prettiest thing for the Trail Blazers, but in the end, they found a way to win when they needed to most. That earned them a third straight postseason with a series against the Golden State Warriors. But to finally make it past the Warriors they will need to take the best elements of their game from each series. They will need Damian Lillard to bring the heroics as he did against the Thunder in round one. Lillard averaged 33 points a game (including a 50-point game) and shot an incredible 46.9 percent from the three-point line (26-54). Against Denver, he only averaged 25.1 points/game with a series high of 39 and two games below 15. After shooting so well from three-point range against Oklahoma City, he struggled against Denver (27.0 percent). Luckily, C.J. McCollum was able to pick up some of the scoring slack (30+ points in three games, all wins) and the defense stepped up with tremendous effort in a couple of games (Two and Seven; where they held the 76ers below 100 points). So, if McCollum can step it up on the offensive side of the court, if Lillard can get on track early and often, and the defense can slow down the dynamic duo of Klay Thompson and Steph Curry, they might pull off the upset.
Golden State Warriors
The Warriors should feel a little lucky to be where they are. They have been without one starter (Demarcus Cousins) most of the way. They lost Kevin Durant late in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals, and Steph Curry and Klay Thompson have not been great from behind the arc. Thompson picked it up in Games Five and Six against Houston (12-23 combined), but Curry shot a dismal 27.9 percent. Curry actually kind of struggled from the floor throughout the series against Houston, barely shooting 40 percent (40.3); he shot 47.2 during the regular season. So, basically, the Warriors have been understaffed and are underperforming and are still finding ways to win. But with his dislocated finger still causing him so much pain, it would not be shocking if Curry’s shot continues to struggle. However, that could mean that the Warriors may have to count on Thompson more or pray that Durant can come back sooner rather than later.
Portland Trail Blazers @ Golden State Warriors Head-to-Head
The Warriors and Trail Blazers played four times during the regular season with each team winning twice, once at home and once on the other team’s court. Golden State won the first game by 28 points in late November at home but lost their second home game by a single point in overtime (late December). They bounced back with a ten-point win a couple of days later in Portland but then got thumped by 22 in mid-February. From a historical perspective, the advantage belongs to the Trail Blazers. Of the 229 regular season games they have played against the Warriors, they have won 125 to 104 for the Warriors. However, when it comes to the postseason, Golden State has dominated. The Warriors beat the Trail Blazers in the 2016 Western Conference Semifinals, 4-1, and then swept them in the first round the following year.
Odds and Predictions
If the Trail Blazers are smart, they are going to defend the three-point line as hard as they can and force Thompson and Curry to work their way inside to score points. Both are capable of working within traffic, but neither are great at it. Should they do so and get their own offense on track (which will not be easy), they could absolutely steal Game One. Golden State is expected to win, but don’t be shocked if the Trail Blazers pull this one out. If they are going to have a shot in this series, they have to take advantage of Durant’s absence. Take Portland to win (+295). If they do not win straight up, they will win against the spread (+7.5). As for the over/under (219), both teams are capable of putting up some points, but neither has been doing it consistently this postseason. Take the under.
Expert Betting Tip
Every option in this game comes with a significant element of risk. There are no ‘sure things’ in this game. But if I had to pick one, the under would be the best recommendation.