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Portland Trail Blazers vs. New Orleans Pelicans
NBA: Friday, March 15, 2019, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, 8:00 PM ET
The Portland Trail Blazers will face off against the New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference showdown at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, to wrap up the series. The Blazers have a chance to swap the Pelicans after a couple of wins on the home court (128-112 and 132-119). Portland is the No. 5 seed in the West, while New Orleans is way behind at the 12th spot of the conference standings.
The Trail Blazers are looking for their third win in a row
The Portland Trail Blazers (41-26; 38-29 ATS) are coming off a 125-104 victory at the Los Angeles Clippers this past Tuesday to record their second straight win and third over the last five outings. The Blazers put on a terrific performance in the fourth quarter, beating the Clippers 40-20 in the final period. They shot 49.0% from the field while making 27 assists and tallying 58 points in the paint. It was the Blazers’ third win in their last five showings on the road, covering the spread four times in that span. Portland is just half a game behind Oklahoma City and Houston, so the Blazers will be highly motivated to extend their winning streak tonight.
Damian Lillard is leading the way for the Blazers, averaging 26.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game while making 45.0% of his field goals. C.J. McCollum is tallying 21.1 points per contest on 46.3% shooting from the field and 37.9% from downtown, while the big man Jusuf Nurkic is posting 15.3 points and 10.3 rebounds per game. The Blazers are scoring 113.8 points per 100 possessions (5th in the league) on 46.5% shooting from the field (12th) and 35.9% from beyond the arc (8th), allowing 110.3 points in a return (16th in the league) on 45.6% shooting from the field (13th) and 36.5% from beyond the arc (27th).
The Pelicans will try to avoid their fifth consecutive defeat
The New Orleans Pelicans (30-40; 34-35-1 ATS) are on a four-game losing streak following a 130-113 defeat to the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday night. Anthony Davis played just 21 minutes, scoring 21 points and 12 rebounds, while Julius Randle led his team with 23 points in 36 minutes on the floor. The Pelicans are 0-4 ATS during their losing streak, while they are 0-4 straight up and 1-3 ATS in the last four games on the home court. Their season is already ruined, so the Pelicans can be relaxed for the rest of their games.
With Anthony Davis playing limited minutes, Julius Randle and Jrue Holiday are leading the way for the Pelicans, but Holiday is currently sidelined with an abdomen injury. Randle is averaging 24.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game over his last ten outings, while Elfrid Payton is posting 10.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 8.8 dimes over his previous ten appearances. The Pelicans are scoring 112.1 points per 100 possessions (9th in the league) on 47.6% shooting from the field (4th) and 34.5% from downtown (24th), surrendering 112.1 points in a return (23rd in the league) on 46.6% shooting from the field (20th) and 36.1% from beyond the 3-point line (22nd).
New Orleans Pelicans:
- 0-4 SU and ATS in the last four games overall
- Over is 8-4 in the last 12 games overall
Portland Trail Blazers:
- 8-3 SU and ATS in the last 11 games overall
- 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS in the last eight games on the road
- Over is 7-2 in the last nine games overall
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Trail Blazers desperately need a win here, while the Pelicans don’t need to try hard at all. The hosts will miss Jrue Holiday which is a huge blow, especially at the defensive end, so they will have a difficult time to slow down Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. The Blazers are playing in a good form, covering at a steady pace away from home, so I’m backing them to beat the Pelicans by nine or more points.
Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers -8.0 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
Both Portland and Nola are executing well at the offensive end, and both teams can struggle on the other side of the ball. I’ve mentioned Jrue Holiday’s importance for the Pelicans’ defense, so we should see a bunch of points by the Blazers’ dynamic backcourt. The betting trends are suggesting the over, and I cannot argue with it. The last four H2H duels between these two foes are also finished in the over.
Prediction: Over 235.5 points (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
Four of the Pelicans’ last five home losses came by ten or more points, while five of the Blazers’ last six road wins came by ten or more points. Hereof, I expect the Blazers to grab a comfortable win, but I don’t think it will be a blowout by 20 or more points. Still, the short-handed Pelicans will have a difficult time to make this game interesting to watch.
Prediction: Winning Margin: Portland Trail Blazers by 16-20 points (+600)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Pelicans were leading at halftime just once in their last five games overall and in their previous five outings at home. The Trail Blazers were leading at halftime in four of their last five games overall and in three of their last five showings away from home, so I’m backing the visitors here to cover at halftime.
Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers -4.0 (-110)