Defense is Key Factor in Going 'Under' With Tonight's Trailblazers vs. Nets NBA Picks

Charles Stark

Monday, April 6, 2015 11:37 AM GMT

While the country is watching the NCAA national championship game you can take the under in the only NBA game today when Portland visits Brooklyn.  Read more and see why the under is a solid play for today’s matchup.

Every game counts
Both teams have something to play for. Brooklyn is still trying to get into the playoffs while Portland is looking to get home court in the first round of the playoffs. It is getting down to the wire which is why I think both teams will focus on getting stops.  Brooklyn REALLY needs to start do something defensively, they got absolutely demolished against Atlanta.  Although the Nets have allowed 52% shooting from the field in the last three games they are not that horrible defensively. At home on the year they have allowed 45% shooting from the field and just below 36% from beyond the arc. Those numbers are not anything to shout about and are in the bottom part of the NBA as far as ranking go. But Hollins is a good coach, and knowing that this stretch now is make or break time I think they will bring their best effort on the defensive end against the Blazers.

 

Portland more than just offense
When most people think of Portland they might focus on Aldridge putting up a double double or Lillard taking crunch time shots, but in actuality they are very well rounded defensive first team. On the year Portland is ranked 8th in the NBA in opponent shooting from the field at 43.9% and ranked 4th in the league in opponent shooting beyond the arc at 33.7%. They are also 5th ranked in assists against at 20.4 per game, this overlooked stat is excellent to see how a team is limiting ball movement. Again, when you think of defensive teams the Trailblazers might not come to mind but in the assists allowed category they are better than Chicago, Golden State, and San Antonio, three of the perennial defensive teams in the league.  Portland does like to push tempo ranked 7th in the league in shots attempted per game at 85.8, but what surprises me that even in how much they run, they are ranked 10th in the league in scoring defense at 97.9 per game.

 

Recent numbers and THE number
NBA odds makers have set this total at 202 which seems about right due to recent play. In the last three games both teams have pushed the pace or have been pushed as far shots attempted goes.  Portland has averaged 87 shots per game in this time span while Brooklyn has averaged 83 shots.  This might be due to the match ups they have had, while Portland has played New Orleans, the Lakers, and Clippers the Nets have faced the Hawks, Raptors, and Knicks. Four of those teams our teams tonight played all like to push the pace (NO, Clippers, Hawks, and Raptors). 

I just don’t see this game going over 200. This game is important to both teams and they have been playing above their averages recently as far as shooting percentage, shooting percentage against, and shots attempted per game. I am looking for both these teams to focus in on their defense as they prepare for the playoffs.  While everyone is watching Wisconsin beat Duke (my prediction) I recommend a play on the under in this matchup. Take it with confidence and add it to your NBA picks for the day.

NHL Pick:  Portland/Brooklyn under 202 at BetOnline