Free NBA Picks: Lakers vs. Trail Blazers

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:49 PM GMT

The Los Angeles Lakers haven’t enjoyed much success in closing out back-to-back situations this season, as they hit the road to face the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday night.


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting odds for this Western Conference matchup at the Rose Garden, with the opening tip scheduled for 10:00 p.m. ET.

Take a look at our predictions for the First Round Playoff Matchups.

Playoff push

Los Angeles has won four of its last five games, including a 104-96 victory over the New Orleans Hornets as 8.5-point home favorites Tuesday night, while going OVER the posted total of 193.5.

The Lakers currently hold a half-game lead over the Utah Jazz for the eighth and final playoff spot out West, while they’ve compiled a 21-11 straight up (SU) and 13-18-1 against the spread (ATS) record during the second half of the season.

Going in the wrong direction

Portland has dropped eight consecutive games, including a 96-91 defeat to the Dallas Mavericks as 3.5-point home underdogs Sunday, while going UNDER the posted total of 206.5.

The Trail Blazers are 1-7 ATS during their current losing streak, but they’ve gone 22-16 SU and 18-18 ATS at home during the 2012-13 NBA season.

A lot of minutes

Even with the playoff implications of this affair, I have no desire to back the Lakers with my sports picks at this type of number on the SBR odds page, considering they’ve gone 1-5-1 ATS when their starting players combined to play more than 160 minutes the previous day.

Los Angeles shooting guard Kobe Bryant has been playing an extraordinary amount of minutes down the stretch, as coach Mike D’Antoni has been dealing with a limited bench due to various injuries on the roster.

Must be respected at home

It’s hard to ignore that the Trail Blazers have dropped all three of their games as home underdogs this month, but they’ve still won 12 of 14 meetings with the Lakers at this venue.

The underdog has compiled a 25-11 ATS in the last 36 games in this series, while at least one team has scored 100 or more points in the last six.

[gameodds]5/224439/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NBA picks, as the OVER is 10-5 in the Trail Blazers’ last 15 games when playing with two days rest, while these two teams have gone above the number in five of the last six meetings.

I suggest waiting to see if a lower number gets established in the market, as only one was available when shooting an SBR video early Wednesday morning.

NBA Pick:  Over 202.5 at BetOnline