Free NBA Picks: Lock Trail Blazers -5 At Home Against Wizards

Jason Lake

Tuesday, March 8, 2016 2:23 PM GMT

It's time once again to check in with the Portland Trail Blazers. They've been a solid NBA pick this year, but can they tame the Washington Wizards Tuesday night?

Jason's 2015-16 record as of March 7: 27-32-1 ATS, 6-1-1 Total

Strange things happened over the weekend. On Saturday, the sportsbooks took a bath at UFC 196 when Conor McGregor and Holly Holm both lost their main-event matches. One day later, the Golden State Warriors (–17.5 away) fell 112-95 to the Los Angeles Lakers. According to our painstaking research here at the home office, only twice before has a favorite this big lost straight-up. On March 15, 1994, the Seattle SuperSonics (–17.5 at home) dropped an 89-87 decision to the Detroit Pistons. Four years later, on March 17, 1998, the Washington Wizards (–17.5 at home) lost 90-89 to the Denver Nuggets.

Washington can make amends this Tuesday (10:00 p.m. ET, NBA-TV) with a road win over the Portland Trail Blazers, who felt Detroit's wrath on Sunday, losing 123-103 as 1.5-point road faves on the closing line. And here we are once again without any NBA odds for this matchup as we go to press. Something should be available by the time you read this.

 

The Eals
While we twiddle our thumbs and ponder the vagaries of life, here are a couple of kayfabe point spreads to consider for Tuesday's NBA picks:

FiveThirtyEight (CARM-Elo): Portland –5.5
Basketball-Reference (SRS): Portland –5.38

Seems reasonable. It wouldn't surprise us here at the home office if the spread came out a shade larger; SG Bradley Beal (15.7 PER, –1.1 BPM) and his alter ego, SG Gary Neal (13.7 PER, –3.0 BPM), are both out for the Wizards, depriving them of two quality perimeter shooters for Tuesday's matchup. The Trail Blazers have no injuries to report.

Otherwise, we're looking at two teams charting somewhat similar paths to the playoffs. The Trail Blazers (33-31 SU, 36-28 ATS) are 14-4 SU and 12-6 ATS since January 20, although they did drop the last three games of their recent six-game road trip. The Wizards (30-32 SU, 32-30 ATS) are a bit less impressive at 9-6 SU and ATS since February 5, but impressive nonetheless.

 

Long-Distance Dudley
Last year, we might have auto-faded Washington with Beal sitting out, but even with Neal joining him on the sidelines, the Wiz aren't nearly as vulnerable behind the arc this season. SF Jared Dudley (12.1 PER, +1.1 BPM) has nailed 45.5 percent of his trey attempts this year; that's fourth overall in the entire league, and much more reminiscent of the player who was so useful for the Phoenix Suns five years ago.

Be that as it may, we're on the Portland bandwagon for this one. When these two teams met in January, it was the Blazers prevailing 108-98 as 4-point road dogs, and that was with Beal and Neal combining for 27 points. True, Otto Porter (14.4 PER, +1.4 BPM) didn't play for Washington that day, but he's not much of a threat from long range at 33.2 percent. Another round of artisanal coffee, Jeeves, and may the sphere be with you.

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NBA Pick: Trail Blazers -5
Best Line Offered: at Heritage