Portland Trail Blazers and the Memphis Grizzlies collide in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, in what should be a closely fought series if the NBA odds were any indication. The following is a preview of this Western Conference showdown complete with NBA picks.
Regular Season Preview:
No.4 Portland Trail Blazers finished the season with 51-31 SU record, which included a 40-41-1 ATS record. At home, they emerged with a solid 32-9 record, amongst the best in the league, along with a 22-18-1 ATS record. Road form was their only downfall as they went 19-22 SU and 18-23 ATS.
In their last ten games, the Trail Blazers went just 4-6 SU, highlighted by a four-game losing streak. They lost six of their last nine games, the only wins were against LA Lakers, New Orleans and Minnesota. Since March, they lost 12 of their 25 games to only just creep above a .500 winning percentage.
No.5 Memphis Grizzlies finished the season with a 55-27 SU mark and a 41-40-1 ATS mark. At home, they were a stellar 31-10 SU and 21-19-1 ATS mark. On the road, they went 24-17 and 20-21 ATS.
Not unlike the Trail Blazers, the Grizzlies lost steam down the stretch to finish 5-5 SU in their last ten games. That said, they did win three of their last five games.
Head-to-Head Record 2014-2015
Interestingly, the Memphis Grizzlies swept the series with the Portland Trail Blazers, winning all four games. They won 112-99 in November as the 3.5-point underdogs on the road before extending their lead to two straight wins behind a 102-98 win at home as the 2.5-point home favourites on the NBA betting board. In February, they descended on the Trail Blazers as the 1.5-point road underdogs only to win 98-92. Finally, in their last meeting in March, they won 97-86, easily covering as the 3-point home favourites.
Recent Playoff Trends:
The Portland Trail Blazers are making their fourth NBA playoffs appearance in the last six years and second straight appearance following last season's exit in the Western Conference semis to San Antonio in Game 5 of the series. In 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, Portland were first round casualties, losing to Phoenix and Dallas, respectively. Each time in six games. The ensuing two seasons they sat out the playoffs.
Memphis Grizzlies reach a fifth straight NBA playoffs. Although they were first round casualties last season after losing to Oklahoma City in Game 7 of their series, they reached the Western Conference Finals the year previous (l. to San Antonio 0-4). That's their best run in recent memory and they'll be looking to improve on that score this time around.
NBA Playoffs Odds:
Memphis Grizzlies rank amongst the middleweights of the NBA playoffs, marched at +2000 NBA odds to win it all. In the Western Conference, they emerge as the fifth overall favourites in the current field of eight teams that are going into the first round, brimming with hope for NBA glory.
While the Portland Trail Blazer are seeded higher than the Memphis Grizzlies, they fall short of the mark in basketball betting estimation. They are the +3300 long shots in the competition proper and the seventh overall favourites in the Western Conference at +2000 NBA odds.
Breaking Down The Series:
Portland Trail Blazers +155 To Win Series
Memphis Grizzlies -175 To Win Series
NBA Betting Verdict:
Although the Portland Trail Blazers are seeded higher, the Memphis Grizzlies appear to be the choice NBA pick to win this series after clinching home advantage. Largely down to home advantage the Grizzlies are priced better on the NBA Playoffs odds board. But also, over and above home edge, the Grizzlies have the 4-0 edge in the head-to-head series during the regular season, which should send them into this matchup filled with confidence. By that same token, it suggests this isn't a good matchup for the Trail Blazers.
The Trail Blazers started the season brightly, but a slew of injuries undid their campaign. As if losing Wesley Matthews wasn't enough, the injury bug extended to Arron Afflalo and more. It's not surprising therefore to have them trading so low on the NBA odds board.
Still, this could be a competitive series that could go the distance. The Trail Blazers have nothing to lose as the +150 underdogs and could give the Grizzlies, who can be inconsistent at times, a run for their money as the -175 favourties. We're taking the Grizzlies on our NBA picks to advance.
NBA Picks: Grizzlies To Win Series in Six