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The Portland Trail Blazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder will both be looking to improve on their records when they play this Monday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena. Portland comes into this game following a loss to the Dallas Mavericks in its last game. Meanwhile, Oklahoma City comes into this game off of a road win against the Houston Rockets in its most recent game.
Portland Blows Big Fourth Quarter Lead In Dallas
The Trail Blazers are currently 11 games over .500 on the season and look poised to make it to the NBA playoffs once again this season. However, the team enters Monday night after blowing a double-digit fourth-quarter lead against the Dallas Mavericks yesterday. Specifically, the Trail Blazers lost on the road by one point after entering the fourth quarter with a 14 point lead. In that game, Portland’s offense struggled as it only scored 101 points on just 31% from the three-point line. Now, Portland will look to forget about that game and will try to move forward with a road win in this one.
The Portland Trail Blazers are led by star point guard Damian Lillard who has been fantastic this season. Last season, Lillard averaged 26.9 points per game along with 6.6 assists. However, he has managed to duplicate last year’s excellence this season as he is currently leading the team in scoring with 26.1 points per game while shooting over 90% from the free throw line. As the best player on this year’s team,
Thunder In Midst Of Three-Game Winning Streak
Oklahoma City started its season with the hopes of contending in the Western Conference. However, the team looked lost early on as the team lost its first four games of the season. Since then, the Thunder have won 36 of its last 51 games. The team’s initial struggles had to deal with the absence of former MVP Russell Westbrook for the majority of the season but he has been amazing since his return. Westbrook is currently on a historic run as he has recorded a triple-double in nine straight games which is tied for the NBA record.
In the team’s last game, Westbrook was phenomenal as he had the 126th triple-double of his career. Against the Rockets, he had 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as he led the Thunder to a five-point win. With another quality opponent on deck, expect Westbrook to play well once again.
The Thunder’s defense is the main reason for the team’s success this season. With athletic wings like Paul George on the roster, it is extremely difficult to find open shots against this team. The Rockets found that out the hard way in the second half of Saturday’s game as the team only scored 42 points in the second half. This defensive performance after halftime helped pave the way for the Thunder to win that game despite trailing by a whopping 22 points at the half. Look for this team to play some elite defense this Monday if the team plans on covering this game.
- Under is 40-18 in Thunder last 58 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
- Under is 21-10-1 in Thunder last 32 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Under is 4-1 in Trail Blazers last 5 Monday games.
- Under is 17-7 in the last 24 meetings in Oklahoma City.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Although the Trail Blazers have a lot of offensive weapons, I cannot back them here against the Thunder in this one. I think that the Thunder have the superior roster and the better defense in this contest by a large margin as the team is coming off of an extremely emotional comeback victory on the road in its last game. Meanwhile, Portland enters this game off of a fourth quarter collapse and is on the second night of a back-to-back. I think that Westbrook will take over this game with another triple-double as the Thunder win this game comfortably. Give me the home favorite in this one as a result.
Prediction: Thunder -6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
Although both teams possess a lot of offensive weapons, both teams have extremely underrated defenses. Oklahoma City has a lot of big men that are fully-capable of protecting the paint which is what Portland’s offense likes to do the most. Meanwhile, Portland’s offense only scored 101 in its last game and is entering this one with no rest. I expect to see this team struggle offensively throughout as this game will land in the 220s. I think that this number is too high as a result so I think the under is a solid play.
Prediction: Under 231