Portland Trail Blazers @ Oklahoma City Thunder | NBA Playoffs Betting Tips and Predictions
The Portland Trail Blazers took care of business at home and take a 2-0 lead in the best of seven series into Oklahoma City. The Thunder have not been a good road team this year. But turning it around and taking both games at home is going to be easier said than done—especially since they have not played well.
Spread: Thunder by 7.5
Money Line: Thunder -315; Trail Blazers +265
*Odds via 888sport
Portland Trail Blazers
For the Trail Blazers, a case could be made that all they have to do is maintain what they have been doing. They have been scoring over 100 points a game and holding their opponents to less than 100. They have been shooting better than 40 percent from three-point range while holding the Thunder to less than 20 percent. If they can keep that up, it may be enough to keep winning. But the Thunder are bound to come out playing harder at home on both ends of the court. So, they will have to figure out how to up their own game to match or surpass Oklahoma City’s intensity. Damian Lillard had this to say about Game Three, via ESPN: “A series doesn’t start until you win a game on the road. I also know how capable their team is. We have to maintain our focus, stay sharp and understand how well we played in the first two games is not going to be good enough in the third game, especially on their home floor…”
Oklahoma City Thunder
Coming back from a two-game deficit is pretty hard to do, but not impossible if a team can make the right corrections and start playing better basketball. Since the 1969 postseason, there have been 20 teams that managed to overcome an 0-2 start to win the series. It has actually happened at least once in each of the last three postseasons. The Thunder did sweep the Trail Blazers during the regular season winning by two, nine, nine, and eight (in OT). So, it is not impossible for them to get it together and beat Portland, but they do need to bring their ‘A’ game and, so far, they haven’t come even close to it. The key, of course, will be Paul George and Russell Westbrook getting their respective games together. During the regular season, they averaged 38 and 29.5 points a game respectively. So far, George is averaging 26.5 points a game and Westbrook just 19. Game Two was tied at the half before things fell apart in the second half.
Portland Trail Blazers @ Oklahoma City Thunder Head-to-Head
Oklahoma City dominated Portland with a four-game sweep during their regular season series. The first one was close and saw the Trail Blazers lose by two. But the other three were all won by eight or nine points. From a historical perspective, the Thunder leads the Trail Blazers in their all-time regular-season series, 120-116. However, in the 16 postseason games between the two, they are tied with eight wins apiece. The last time they played in the playoffs was the first round in 1991; Portland won, 3-2. The Trail Blazers lead the current series 2-0.
Odds and Predictions
The Thunder have been a good home team this season, but not a great one. If they are going to have a chance at getting back in the series, they will need to figure out some way to get their offense on track. They were one of the higher scoring teams in the NBA during the regular season (114.5 points/game; seventh in the NBA). To that end, they have to figure out what is wrong with their three-point game. So far in the series, the Thunder have made just ten of 61 attempts. While it is likely safe to assume that they will play a better game at home, the Trail Blazers have been beating the Thunder in every aspect of the game. Oklahoma City will need to look like an entirely different team if they are going to win.
Expert Betting Tip
What the Thunder need, they can’t get with just a change of scenery and a couple of days off. Take Portland to win (+265), straight up and against the spread (+7.5). As for the over/under (221.5), the Thunder will probably crack 100 this time as will Portland. The two will come close to the over but will not quite make the over.
Take the under.