Free NBA Picks: Bet Scorching Trail Blazers -7 Against Bucks

Jay Pryce

Tuesday, February 2, 2016 1:16 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2016 1:16 PM GMT

The Bucks and Trail Blazers clash on Tuesday night, two teams headed in the wrong direction. Milwaukee has dropped five of six, while Portland has come out on top in eight of their last 10. 

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NBA Pick: Blazers -7
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

 

Milwaukee Bucks (20-30 SU, 25-25 ATS)
Milwaukee has dropped five of its last six straight up and against the spread after last night's 111-104 defeat to the DeMarcus Cousins-less Kings. It travels to Portland to take on one of the league's hottest teams. Can it buck its mini-skid against the Trail Blazers? I have my doubts. 

The Bucks success comes from down low. Their 49.4 points in the paint per game ranks first in the NBA. Such high-efficiency shots have the team shooting 46.1 percent from the field, sixth best. Center Greg Monroe, the team's second-leading scorer with 16.6 ppg, is the go-to underneath. He is one of six Bucks to average double-digit points per night.

Milwaukee ignores the other most effective zone on the floor, though: the three-point line. Its 15.7 attempts and 5.5 makes per game from behind the arc each rank second to last in the NBA. 

The turnover game typically determines Milwaukee's fate against the number. Its 15.2 per game is high (23rd in the NBA), but they make up for it defensively, forcing 15.1 (11th). If the defense generates 15 or more in a game, the team is 19-7 against the NBA odds on the season. Hovering near the league average with 14.7 turnovers per game, the Trail Blazers have gifted 15 or more giveaways at home just six times on the season.

 

Portland Trail Blazers (23-26 SU, 25-23-1 ATS)
Portland knocked off the Timberwolves 96-93 last time out for its fourth win in a row. Coach Terry Stotts crew has picked up eight wins in its last 10 games, going 7-3 ATS. The team's shooting has improved a bit during the winning stretch, but its more aggressive defense is leading the way. In the last 10 games, the Trail Blazers have forced 14.3 turnovers per game versus 11.7 prior. Its helped the defense boost it's paltry 12.9 turnovers per game average, third worst in the NBA, slightly.

Portland is carried by their backcourt. PG Damian Lillard (24.2 ppg), SG C.J. McCollum (20.7 ppg) and SG Allen Crabbe (11.2 ppg) are the team’s three top scorers. When the trio scores below their average on a night, the Blazers are 4-10 ATS, slumping to 94.4 points per game. They are 10-6 ATS with 106.4 points per game scoring at or above their combined averages, seeing the team total go over in 14 of 16. Milwaukee allows a 42.7 field-goal percentage to guards, 17th best in the league, but have clamped down in its last 10 for 39.4 percent, fourth best in this span. 

The Bucks enter the contest allowing 24.0 assists per game, yielding .643 per field goal made. The Blazers are 9-1 SU and ATS at home versus opponents allowing 23 or more assists per night, lighting it up for 109.3 points per game with a 47.4 field goal percentage average.

 

Final Analysis
Dating back to 2012, the Trail Blazers have covered eight of the last nine against the Bucks. I expect the trend to continue. Portland is scoring 106.3 points per game over its last 10, while the Bucks allow 106.2 against Western Conference opponents on the road. When the Trail Blazers score 106 or more on a night, they are 17-4 ATS. Wrong place, wrong time for Milwaukee. Portland -6.5 is the NBA pick.

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