Featured Video from Scott Steehn
Portland takes on New Orleans on Friday night in Western Conference action. Portland is 41-26, good for fifth place in the Western Conference. They are just a 1/2 game behind Houston for the fourth spot. The Pelicans are all but out of the playoff race at 30-340 and 9.5 games behind the eighth and final playoff spot. Portland has won both games this season in the series by double digits at home.
Big road win for Blazers
Portland is coming off a 125-104 win over the LA Clippers on Tuesday. That was an impressive road win considering the Clippers are fighting for a playoff seed in eighth place and were 20-12 at home. C.J. McCollum had an outstanding game with 35 points on 12-of-21 shooting. He had 23 of those points in a fourth quarter that saw the Blazers dominated the Clips, 40-20. Damian Lillard (12 assists) and Jusuf Nurkic (12 rebounds) both had 20 points apiece for the Trailblazers. Portland shot 49 percent from the field and shot 12-of-31 from beyond the arc (38.7%), while the Clippers were held to 40 percent shooting.
.@dame_lillard finished with 20 points, 12 assists last night.
*insert dime emoji here* pic.twitter.com/MIE2RX13kS
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 13, 2019
One thing that has made Portland a bit more dangerous is their bench. The addition of Enes Kanter (13.4ppg, 9.9rpg) has helped the bench. He had 14 points and nine against the Clippers and 21 and eight against Phoenix in a 127-120 win. Lillard leads the squad with 26 points and 6.5 assists, while McCollum adds 21.4 points on 46.3 percent shooting (37.9%). Nurkic is a beast inside at 7-0, 275 with 15.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. Portland averages 114 points per game (8th) on 46.5 percent shooting (12th) and 35.9 percent three-point shooting (8th). They allow 110.5 points per game (13th) on 45.6 percent shooting (13th) and 36.5 percent three-point shooting (26th).
They are tank-tastic!
New Orleans has lost four straight games. Management wasn’t sure before the trade deadline whether to look for next season, but with Jrue Holiday (abdominal) out until late March and Anthony Davis playing about 21 minutes a game, the Pels are basically shutting it down. Davis played 21 minutes in their latest defeat, a 130-113 loss to Milwaukee at home on Tuesday. In those 21 minutes, Davis had 21 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks. This was a mismatch even though the Bucks were only up by eight at the half. The methodically built the lead and pulled away in the fourth quarter. Julius Randle led the Pelicans with 23 points in 35 minutes. New Orleans did have seven players in double figures but shot a dismal 10-of-47 (21.3%) from beyond the arc and allowed the Bucks to shoot 49.5 percent.
Defensively, this New Orleans team is awful. They are allowing 115.6 points per game (27th) on 46.6 percent shooting (21st) and 36.1 percent from beyond the arc (21st). Offensively, they are the opposite, averaging 115.6 points (3rd) on 47.6 percent shooting (5th). Davis, despite now playing 34 minutes per game, is averaging 26.5 points and 12.2 rebounds on 51.5 percent shooting. Randle adds 20.8 points and 8.7 rebounds on 52.6 percent shooting. Holiday, also known for his defense, was averaging 21.2 points and 7.7 assists.
New Orleans is:
- 1-4 ATS last 5 after a SU loss.
- Underdog is 0-4 ATS last 4 in series.
- 7-1 ATS last 8 road games.
- 6-1 ATS last 7 after a SU win.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
New Orleans is playing the first of a back-to-back so Davis might not even play one of these games. The Blazers’ improved bench play allows them to play tough in these situations, where they have to play the front end of a back-to-back. The bottom line is that Portland’s backcourt is going against Elfird Payton and Frank Jackson. Expect another blowout Portland win.
Prediction: Portland -8
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams have gone over in four straight meetings. Portland has gone over in five of their last six games. The Pels move the ball and score a ton of points, but they don’t defend. The Blazers are 18-7-1 Over their last 26 overall. New Orleans is 6-1 Over their last 7 after a SU loss.
Prediction: Over 235.5
Half-Time Side Pick
I might take New Orleans in the first quarter with Davis playing most of it but I’m taking the Blazers in the half. That backcourt advantage is just too much for the Pels.
Prediction: Portland -4
Half-Time Total Bet
Portland could score as much as 60 in the first half but the Pels won’t score more than 50. The Blazers do play defense and New Orleans has struggled at home lately scoring points.
Prediction: Under 114 first half