Back Wizards +4.5 vs. Trail Blazers for NBA Picks

Steven Suarez

Thursday, March 20, 2014 2:10 PM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 20, 2014 2:10 PM GMT

One of only four games tonight pits two of the most exciting point guards in Damian Lillard and John Wall against one another. Which team are we backing with our NBA picks?

Odds Overview
For tonight's NBA showdown in Portland, the home team is giving away 4.5 points to the Wizards. The O/U stands at 206.5 at most sports betting sites.

The Trail Blazers check in at 44-24 SU and 36-32 ATS, with the Wizards at 35-32 SU and 35-31-1 ATS.

 
Washington Wizards
It's been good to see the Wizards back in the mix as a true contender in the Eastern Conference. They've been playing great basketball heading into tonight.

They were, however, unable to get their road trip off to the best of starts, as they fell in overtime to Sacramento two nights ago. Coming in Washington was a small 1.5-point favorite, but couldn't close the deal in the closing stages.

The Wizards were beat up on the glass (out-rebounded 57-41), but were able to get a balanced scoring effort despite the loss. Six different players scored in double figures.

Marcin Gortat posted a big double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds, while John Wall had a 14/8/3 line with three steals and five turnovers. Bradley Beal added 19 points and six assists, while Drew Gooden had 18 points and six boards off the bench.

They may not have been able to get it done against the Kings, but Washington has been making a lot of money for backers when playing on the road. They have a better straight up record away from (18-16) and are an excellent 22-12 ATS.

 
Portland Trail Blazers
The Trail Blazers aren't playing anywhere near their best basketball at the moment, having lost five of their last seven. In that span they've gone 3-4 against the spread.

Following that recent road trip, which saw them lost four of five, Portland has returned home yet hasn't been able to really snap out of their funk. They fell to Golden State on Sunday and then needed overtime to get past the Bucks, who by the way have the worst record in the entire NBA.

It certainly wasn't pretty against Milwaukee. The hosts were favored by 12.5 points, but never really found their rhythm, shooting 43.3 percent overall and 30.8 percent from three. Fortunately they hit their free throws (24-of-27 for 88.9 percent) and made plays down the stretch when it mattered most.

Individually, four different Trail Blazers notched at least 20 points. Wesley Matthews hit five threes and finished with 26 points, while Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum and Mo Williams all hit the mark too. Robin Lopez was immense inside, recording 15 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.

Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge (back) remains out, with Portland likely to play it extra safe with the playoffs in mind. Batum has really stepped up his rebounding game with LMA out and will have to be really active on the glass again tonight against Gortat and company. Ditto with Lopez.

Take a look at the top NBA Championship Betting Lines

NBA Pick
The Trail Blazers get most of the plaudits for having the better season, but it's the Wizards that have dominated this head-to-head series in recent years. They've won three straight meetings both straight up and against the spread.

What's more, Washington's actually been performing better than their counterparts recently, and we think they have an excellent shot of covering this number tonight.

Portland is really missing Aldridge out there and we have our doubts about siding with them after such a lackluster game against Milwaukee. We'll take the points and back a Wizards cover in our NBA picks this evening.

Pick: Washington Wizards +4.5

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