Friday NBA & NCAA Hoops Action Has Two Live Dogs in Portland Blazers & ICU

Charles Stark

Friday, February 2, 2018 2:46 PM UTC

Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 2:46 PM UTC

For Friday basketball we’re going to take a hard look at two underdogs in the NBA and NCAA. Can both of these underdogs keep these games tight?

Portland vs Toronto

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Free NBA pick: Portland +4.5Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

In their only matchup the season Toronto took care of business at Portland winning by double digits, but that was one of the first games of the year and this situation is much different. Odds makers have come out making Toronto a decent home favorite tonight possibly because there might be an injury situation for Portland with Jusuf Nurkic. I’m basing this pick believing that he will play tonight backing Portland plus the points.

The Trailblazers have been playing tremendous basketball winning their last four in a row and seven out of their last eight with their only loss coming at Denver by just three points. They are catching a Toronto team that is coming back from Washington off of no rest and I simply like how Portland matches up with them. Toronto has been extremely solid on both sides of the ball shooting 46.7% and allowing opponents to shoot just 44.8% ranking them eighth and fifth in the NBA respectively.

Although Portland’s offensive statistics are not stellar, like shooting just 45.5%, they have been extremely good on the defensive side of the ball ranking third in the NBA in opponent shooting efficiency, and along with Toronto, also allowing opponents to shoot just 44.8%.

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Illinois-Chicago Flames vs Oakland Golden Grizzlies

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Free NCAAB pick: Illinois Chicago +8.5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

In their only matchup this season Oakland won convincingly on the road at Illinois Chicago by 10 points and oddsmakers have made them a -8.5 favorite tonight. Although they are on the road for my NCAA pick I will back Illinois Chicago plus the points. This a good situation for Illinois Chicago to give Oakland some trouble as they have won four games in a row and seven out of their last eight with their only loss in that stretch being to the same Oakland team.

Oakland is coming off a tough loss at Wright State after winning five games in a row, as well is coming back from a four-game road swing. Although they should come in with some confidence tonight I’ve a hard time believing they’re going to be able to win this game as convincingly as they did the first matchup. Oakland’s defensive statistics are pretty poor across the board allowing opponents to shoot 45.6%, and averaging 29.4 field goals made per game which ranks them 251st and 331st in the country.

Illinois Chicago has been decent enough offensively, but what I like is the fact they been very good on the defensive side of the ball ranking 45th in the country in opponent shooting efficiency along with allowing opponents shoot just 41.8%.

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