NBA Pick: NBA Playoff Play of the Day Wednesday

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 4:00 AM GMT

Every day during the NBA Playoffs, LT Profits Sports seeks that one single playoff play that has the best chance of cashing. Here is their Playoff Play of the Day Wednesday.

Look for the team with the best record in the NBA to at the very least get off to a fast start in an elimination game Wednesday night when the fifth seeded Portland Trail Blazers (59-33, 25-21 away) pay a visit to those San Antonio Spurs (69-24, 37-10 home) in Game 5 of their Western Conference semifinal from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX at 9:35 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT with the Spurs leading the series 3-1.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has San Antonio as a favorite for the first half of this contest with the current line at -5 with odds of -106.

The Blazers managed to avoid being swept in this series by prevailing 103-92 in Game 4 after losing the first three games, but that may have been just a temporary reprieve with that game back home in Portland. They now must go on the road to San Antonio where they were blown out in the first two games of this series by 24 and 17 points respectively.

One common thread in those first two games here in the Lone Star State as well as in Game 3 in Portland was that the Spurs got off to very fast starts and were never headed, as San Antonio had halftime leads of 26, 19 and 20 points in those first three contests. We now expect another fast start returning home with a chance to put the Blazers out of their misery, and we actually prefer the first-half line here over the full-game line, which at -8½ is vulnerable to the back door.

Just about the only good quarter that Portland played during the first half of any of the first three games was the first quarter of Game 2, and even there it trailed 29-26 at the end of the quarter before the Spurs pulled away with a 41-25 second stanza. Look for more of the same tonight as a Portland offense that ranked 22nd in the NBA in points against during the regular season has had no answer for a Spurs’ offense that ranked second in field goal percentage at 48.6 percent.

The Spurs also led the NBA in three-point shooting during the regular year at 39.7 percent, and that shooting has not cooled off during the playoffs, where San Antonio leads all post-season teams in shooting overall at 49.5 percent while ranking third in three-point shooting (38.4 percent).

Even the underrated San Antonio defense, which finished sixth in the league in points against and eighth in field goal percentage allowed during the season but basically took the first round series vs. Dallas off until Game 7 has re-emerged in this series, limiting Portland to 42.0 percent shooting through four games.

Even in their Game 4 victory, the Blazers shot only 43.9 percent compared to 44.3 percent for the Spurs while facing less resistance, as Portland got off an amazing 98 shots from the field. And for the first time in the series, Game 4 was tight at halftime with Portland holding a 50-48 lead before gaining some separation after the break.

That was vs. a Spurs team though that did not play with the same sense of purpose that it displayed the first three games, a far cry from what we expect tonight, which is an all-out effort by the Spurs from the outset just like the first three games, leaving themselves some leeway in the event the Blazers make a second half run with their season on the line.

With all of this in mind, we recommend a first-half play on San Antonio is a Game 5 elimination game at home on Wednesday.

[gameodds]5/286094/?r-1=238-92-43-349-192/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Spurs -5 (-106) (First Half)