Freerolling With The Blazers Over Back-To-Back OKC

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 8:32 PM UTC

Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2019 8:32 PM UTC

The Oklahoma City Thunder are struggling, but are the NBA odds leaning too far towards the Portland Trail Blazers for Thursday’s matchup?

<p style="text-align:right"><em><strong>Jason’s 2018-19 NBA picks record through Mar. 5:</strong><br />17-15-1 ATS, 0-4 ML (minus-9.35 units), 22-9 Totals</em></p><h2 style="text-align:center">Oklahoma City (39-25 SU, 33-31 ATS) at Portland (39-25 SU, 37-27 ATS)</h2><p style="text-align:center"><strong>Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT<br />Free NBA Pick: Trail Blazers ATS<br />Best Line Offered: <a href=";book=5dimes" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Top Rated Sportsbook!">5Dimes</a></strong></p><p>[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3570036, "sportsbooksIds":[238,93,19,1096,999996], "LineTypeId":1, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p>This is a tight spot. On the surface, Thursday’s game between the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Oklahoma City - Portland Betting Odds">Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers</a> looks like an easy <a href="" target="_blank" title="More NBA Picks">NBA pick</a>; the Thunder have dropped their last eight games ATS, while the Blazers are 6-2 SU and 7-1 ATS in their last eight. What’s not to love about Portland?</p><p>How about those 3.5 points they’re laying on the <a href="" target="_blank" title="Live NBA Odds Board">NBA odds board</a> at press time. According to the hoop nerds at FiveThirtyEight, the Trail Blazers project as 2-point home faves, so it looks like we’ll be paying a premium if we bet on Portland. But it might be worth it. One of these teams also has to play Friday night, and it’s not the Blazers.</p><p> </p><h2><strong>Back-to-Back Is A Bad-Ass Fact</strong></h2><p><a href="" target="_blank" title="Cold Cuts: Wolves The Right NBA Pick Versus Struggling Thunder">When we last checked in</a> on OKC, they were getting their giblets frozen in Minneapolis. The first game of their four-game road swing went just like we planned it: Thunder 120, Timberwolves (+2) 131. And that was with Paul George (plus-6.0 BPM) back in the lineup after a three-game absence. The rust was evident, as George shot 8-for-25 and posted a minus-10 on the day.<br /><br />George will presumably be in more of a groove come Thursday. But this is where things get interesting: Oklahoma City will be at Staples Center on Friday to play the Los Angeles Clippers. This being a back-to-back situation for the Thunder, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them hand out some “load management” passes – maybe even to George. That possibility encourages us to stick with Portland, who have Friday off.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"pt\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;If you stare at the TV long enough, you'd believe Russell Westbrook is back playing with Norris Cole, Semaj Christon, Kyle Singler &amp;amp; Josh Huestis.&lt;/p&gt;— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;6 de março de 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;"}[/]</p><h2><strong>Triple-Double Trouble</strong></h2><p>We’re definitely not going to be recommending the total for this particular contest. Portland have been driving the ‘over’ to the pay window this year at 34-29-1, including 17-14-1 at the former Rose Garden. That’s what they do; Damian Lillard (plus-6.1 OBPM, minus-1.2 DBPM) is at the wheel, and CJ McCollum (plus-1.8 OBPM, minus-1.9 DBPM) is riding shotgun. There’s plenty of beef in the frontcourt to help balance things out, but this is still an offense-first club.</p><p>As for the Thunder, they’ve split the totals down the middle at 32-32, but that includes a 19-14 road record for the ‘under.’ And that was the right pick in five of their last six games overall. The arrival of Markieff Morris (minus-3.0 OBPM, minus-1.4 DBPM in seven games) has contributed to their malaise, but mostly, it’s about Russell Westbrook (plus-1.9 OBPM, plus-4.1 DBPM) and his constant string of inefficient triple-doubles. Westbrook’s 42.4-percent rate on field goals is his worst since his sophomore year in 2009-10. As long as he’s struggling, the Thunder should be worth fading – but only for a small sum this time, given the odds and the projections.</p>
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