Tonight in the NBA I will have a Free Pick in the game between the Portland Trailblazers and the Los Angeles Lakers, which will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. The game has a start time of 10:30 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on ESPN. Current Vegas betting odds have the Trailblazers listed as 10 point favorites, while the total is set at 200.5.
Analysis: The Portland Trailblazers had a nice 4 game win streak and were leading the Clippers by DD for much of the game on Wednesday night, but a late collapse saddled them with a 126-122 loss. Portland is now 48-26 on the year, which includes an 18-18 mark on the road. The Blazers lead the Northwest division by 6.5 game over the Thunder and they currently have the 4th seed in the West. Portland has gone 7-3 ATS in their last 10 after allowing 100 points or more in their previous game, but 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games after allowing more than 125 points in their previous game. The Trailblazers have been a decent offensive team this year, ranking 9th in scoring (102.9 ppg), 17th in shooting, 7th in 3 point shooting and 1st in FT shooting. Defensively the Blazers have been solid this year, ranking 10th in points allowed (98.3 ppg), 9th in defensive FG% and 3rd in 3 point defense.
The Los Angeles Lakers have not had a good year at all as they come in with a 20-54 record on the year. The Lakers come in off a bad 21 point home loss to the Pelicans and have now won just 4 of their last 17 games overall, while they are just 11-25 at home for the season. This has been a long year for this proud franchise. The Lakers have gone 11-1-1 ATS in their last 13 games following a S.U. loss, but just 16-36 ATS the last 52 in the series. The Lakers have been an average offensive team this year, ranking 17th in scoring (98.8 ppg), 25th in shooting, 19th in 3 point shooting and 21st in FT shooting. Defensively the Lakers have been very poor this year, ranking 28th in points allowed (104.8 ppg), 28th in defensive FG% and 24th in 3 point defense.
Pick: I am going with the Under in this game. The 3 games between these teams have averaged just 193.3 ppg with none of the games posting more than 200 points. Portland has played 3 uptempo teams in a row and their offense has taken off in those three games, but the Lakers are not an uptempo team and playing at a slower pace is fine with the Blazers as well. The Lakers have struggled on offense of late, averaging just 93.2 ppg (regulation) in their last 5 games, while Portland has allowed just 89 ppg in their last 3 games on the road. Portland averages 101 ppg on the road, while the Lakers have allowed 102 ppg at home and that's ok because I just don't see LA getting out of the low 90s here. 101-91 sounds about right for this one, especially in a series that has seen 4 of the last 5 go under the total.
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