NBA Pick on Trail Blazers ATS in Game 2 Looking to Draw Even

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, April 22, 2015 2:53 PM GMT

Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2015 2:53 PM GMT

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.

 



After playing one of its worst games all year at the most inopportune time in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs, look for a better performance from the road team Wednesday night when those fourth seeded Portland Trail Blazers (51-32, 19-23 away) again pay a visit to the fifth seeded Memphis Grizzlies (56-27, 32-10 home) for Game 2 from FedExForum in Memphis, TN at 8:05 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT, with Memphis leading the series 1-0.

The point spread at Bet365 has Portland as a decided underdog for this contest with the current line at +6½ with odds of -110.


Fifth Seed Has Home Court Advantage
The fifth seeded Grizzlies have the home court advantage for this series despite being the lower seed, as the Trail Blazers get an automatic top-four seed as the winner of the Northwest Division but the NBA still gives the home court advantage to the team with the better record, and Memphis was four games better in that regard during the regular season.

And being at home could have been a contributing factor in the Grizzlies being much easier winning NBA picks that expected in Game 1 as they prevailed 100-86 as five-point favorites in a game that was not nearly as close as that final score would indicate, as Memphis had a 29-point lead at one point! The Grizzlies were tough at home all season going 31-10 straight up so having that advantage in this series is big.


Blazers Cannot Play Much Worse
Still, the Trail Blazers must find a way to overcome playing in “The Grind House” and frankly Portland cannot play any worse than it did in Game 1. The Blazers picked the worst possible time to have their worst shooting performance of the entire year at 33.7 percent (32-for-95) and they were dominated in just about every important category, getting outscored in the paint 52-38 and in fast-break points 15-6, no thanks to committing 13 turnovers.

And the struggles of Damian Lillard mirrored that of his team as the hero of NBA Playoffs past went just 5-for-21 from the field without making a single three-point bucket (0-6). This was from an All-Star that averaged 21.0 points for the season, second on the team behind LaMarcus Aldridge and his 23.4 points.

Remember though that the Blazers finished ninth in the NBA with their 102.8 points per game this season and they almost certainly cannot play any worse than in Game 1, especially Lillard. And the Portland offense may get a boost as the latest word is that guard Arron Afflalo will give it a go tonight after being our for Game 1 with a strained shoulder. Reserve C.J. McCollum started in Afflalo’s stead and scored just two points in 36 minutes.


Grizzlies Often Struggle to Score
Now Memphis is capable of making good offenses seem worse than they are as the Grizzlies were second in the NBA in points against during the season at 95.1 per game, although a lot of that had to do with ranking 26th in pace rating, as they were only 10th in field goal percentage allowed and 18th in three-point defense. That latter stat was a concern entering the series with the Portland offense ranking eighth in three-point shooting, and it still may be before the series ends.

Because of that pace, the Grizzlies are not exactly offensive juggernauts ranking 20th in scoring with 98.3 per game, and they would have smashed that average in Game 1 if not for letting up with a humongous lead. Thus a strong case can be made that the offensive performances for both teams were anomalous and that neither offense will duplicates its shooting from Game 1 in Game 2.

And it does seem like we are getting good line value on the Blazers here after that opener with this point spread set 1½ points higher following a probable aberration.


Bad Trends for Memphis
The Grizzlies do not reach 100 points as often as most other teams do, and a bad omen here is that Memphis is 2-7 ATS in its last nine games after scoring 100 points or more its previous game. Another bad angle is that the Grizzlies are just 6-13 ATS in their last 19 games following a straight up win.

Look for those bad Memphis trends to continue as Portland does its best to even up the series in Game 2 on the road, at the very least taking this contest down to the wire to cover the seemingly padded point spread on Wednesday.

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NBA Pick: Trail Blazers +6½ (-110)

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