The Boston Celtics could be on letdown alert Tuesday night when they continue a Western Conference road trip by visiting the Portland Trail Blazers. Which way to lean at SBR’s top-rated sportsbooks? Read on for an in-depth look at this interconference match up and a free pick.
Boston Celtics vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Tuesday, April 13, 2021 – 10:00 PM EDT at Moda Center
Considering there is only about a month left in the 2020-21 NBA regular season, one might think that every team has played the other 29 clubs at least once by now. However, that’s not the case for the Celtics and Blazers as they face off in Portland on Tuesday night for the first time this season. It’s the second game of a TNT doubleheader; SBR also will have a preview of the first game, Clippers at Pacers. Boston will host Portland on May 2.
This series has resulted in a sweep the past three seasons and it was Boston doing the sweeping last year, winning 118-106 in the Pacific Northwest and 128-124 in the Orlando bubble. Jayson Tatum averaged 35.0 points in the two games and Jaylen Brown 27.0 points. Damian Lillard had 30 points and a career-high 16 assists in the one game he played vs. Boston. CJ McCollum averaged 22.5 points and 7.0 assists in his two.
Boston leads the all-time series 69-47 and is 31-27 in Portland. The Celtics are 14-5 against the spread on NBA picks in the past 19 as the road team in the series.
Celtics Shock Nuggets
One of the more unlikely results in the NBA happened on Sunday as Boston visited Denver, which entered playing its best basketball of the season on a six-game winning streak since acquiring Aaron Gordon in a trade from Orlando. The Nuggets sure looked like they would make it seven in a row up 14 late in the third quarter, but then the Celtics went on an unbelievable 31-3 run to win their third in a row, 105-87.
All-Stars Jayson Tatum (non-COVID illness) and Jaylen Brown (sore knee) were both questionable but both played. Tatum had 28 points and 10 rebounds – his third straight 20-10 game. Brown had 20 points and eight rebounds.
The unsung hero, though, was Grant Williams. Everything changed when he checked back into the game with 3:15 left in the third. In the final 15 minutes with Williams on the floor, the Celtics outscored Denver by 32 points. He did a tremendous job defensively on MVP betting odds favorite Nikola Jokic.
Tatum, incidentally, was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday. He averaged a conference-best 31.5 points last week along with 8.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists. Tatum scored a career-high 53 points last Friday vs. Minnesota, making him the youngest player in franchise history to reach the 50-point mark in a single game. Larry Bird had held the mark. It’s the second time this season Tatum has won the honor and third time in his career.
The Celtics remain without trade deadline acquisition Evan Fournier as the former Magic guard is in the NBA’s health and safety protocols. He won’t play on this road trip. Boston is 4-0 ATS on the NBA odds in its past four road games.
Blazers Aren’t Beating Good Teams
Portland played the second of a back-to-back on Sunday and it was pretty evident by about the second quarter that the team had heavy legs in a 107-98 home loss to Miami – the Blazers’ fourth defeat in the past six games.
All-Star Damian Lillard was not good, going 3-for-10 for just 12 points in 37 minutes. He might need a game or two off as Lillard has been held to 16 points or fewer in three of his past five and is averaging just 20.2 points this month compared to his season average of 28.7. Lillard did move up to 11th all-time in NBA history on made three-pointers. He is five from tying Jason Kidd for 10th with 1,988.
Two Portland big men, Jusuf Nurkic and Enes Kanter, both had to leave the game briefly due to injuries but both returned so they should be fine here. Nurkic remains on an injury limit after missing much of the season injured.
The Blazers were careless all night with 17 turnovers. The Heat scored nearly a third of their 98 points off of turnovers while the Trail Blazers managed eight points on seven Miami turnovers. The Blazers entered the game leading the league in fewest turnovers per game (11.3),
Portland is 10-7 since the All-Star break, but just two victories have come against winning teams (Miami and Dallas). Of the team’s 19 remaining game, 14 are against clubs currently with winning records.
The Blazers are 4-1 ATS in their past five following an ATS loss, while Boston is just 4-13-1 ATS in its past 18 after a win. Remember that for your sports betting.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.