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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers
NBA: Tuesday, April 23, 2019, Moda Center, Portland, Oregon, 10:30 PM ET
The No. 6 seed Oklahoma City Thunder will take on the No. 3 seed Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 of their Western Conference First Round series Tuesday night at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. The Thunder is on the verge of elimination after losing Game 4 111-98 as 5.5-point home favorites. Oklahoma City has won the regular-season series 4-0, but the Trail Blazers are dominating the Thunder in the playoffs.
The Thunder is looking to avoid another early playoff exit
The Oklahoma City Thunder (50-36; 43-43 ATS) bounced back from a couple of losses in Portland with a 120-108 win in Game 3, but Billy Donovan’s boys blew it all with a 111-98 defeat in Game 4 on the home court this past Sunday. They fell short, losing all four quarters in the most important game of the season so far. The Thunder shot only 37.5% from the field, scoring just 22 points in the paint against the team that is without its starting center. OKC is now in a very difficult situation and on the verge of its third straight elimination from the playoffs in the first round.
Russell Westbrook had an excellent Game 3, but he was terrible on Sunday. Russ had 14 points on miserable 5-of-21 shooting from the field along with nine rebounds and seven assists, but the Thunder fans shouldn’t care about his triple-doubles anymore. The reason is simple – Westbrook is hitting just 36.3% of his field goals and 30.4% of his 3-pointers in this series, making more damage than goods. Paul George scored 32 points in Game 4, also with some poor 8-of-21 shooting from the field. The Thunder superstars didn’t get much help from their teammates, as only Dennis Schroder stepped up with 17 points off the bench.
The Trail Blazers are searching for their first conference semifinals since 2016
The Portland Trail Blazers (56-30; 48-37-1 ATS) are one step away from the Western Conference semifinals after a 111-98 victory in Game 4 at Oklahoma City on Sunday. The Trail Blazers put on another strong defensive performance, as they are limiting the Thunder at 102.8 points per contest in this series. The Blazers shot 41.1% from the field on Sunday, but they made 15 triples out of 35 attempts from deep and 22 out of 23 free-throw attempts. They allowed just six offensive rebounds to their rivals while recording ten steals and eight blocks. The Trail Blazers will try to reach the conference semis after two straight first-round exits.
Damian Lillard is a true leader of this Portland team. He had 24 points on Sunday, scoring 15 in the third quarter when the Blazers pulled off. Also, Lillard played terrific defense on Westbrook. C.J. McCollum accounted for 27 points on 10-of-20 shooting from the field, hitting five treys out of nine attempts. Al-Farouq Aminu posted 19 points and nine rebounds, while Maurice Harkless had a double-double with 15 points and ten rebounds. The Trail Blazers are scoring 109.3 points per contest in this series, shooting 44.1% from the field and 41.5% from beyond the arc, allowing the Thunder to make 41.3% of its field goals and just 30.8% of its 3-pointers.
Portland Trail Blazers:
- 18-2 SU and 13-6-1 ATS in the last 20 games at home
- 9-5 SU and ATS in the last 14 meetings with the Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder:
- 0-11 SU and 3-8 ATS in the last 11 playoff games on the road
- 2-6 SU and ATS in the last eight road meetings with Portland
- 3-6 SU and ATS in the last nine road games as underdogs
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Trail Blazers are well-known as a tough team to beat on the home court, so the Thunder will have a tall task to earn another game in Oklahoma. The Blazers have won 18 of their last 20 outings at Moda Center and six of their previous eight home meetings with the Thunder. On the other hand, they lost both home H2H duels in the regular season, but the Blazers are playing with a lot of energy on both sides of the ball at the moment, so I’m backing them to close down the series tonight and cover the spread along the way.
Prediction: Portland Trail Blazers -3.5 (-110)
Full-Game Total Pick
The under has hit in three of the previous four games in the series, and it is 7-3 in the last ten H2H matchups between OKC and Portland. The Thunder’s best chance to win this game is by speeding up the tempo and improving its offensive execution, but the Trail Blazers will put on a tough, physical battle at the defensive end, so I’m backing the under.
Prediction: Under 220.5 points (-110)
Full-Game Prop Bet
The Blazers won the opening game of the series by five points, while all other three games were decided by a double-digit margin. I expect to see a close game tonight, considering how much is at stake for the visitors, so I think we’ll see a similar clash to that opener. Hereof, I’m taking the winning margin of one to five points (any team to win).
Prediction: Winning Margin: Any Team by 1-5 points (+170)
Half-Time Side Pick
The Trail Blazers had a lead at halftime in the series on two occasions along with one OKC’s lead and a tie in Game 2. The Blazers pulled off in the third quarter in two of their three wins, while the Thunder is in a win or go home situation, so I’m backing the visitors to keep it close in the first half.
Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder +2.0 (-110)