NBA Pick: Trail Blazers, Hornets ‘under’ 196

LT Profits Sports Group

Sunday, March 10, 2013 5:00 AM GMT

The Blazers exploded for 136 points vs. the Spurs, but that may be giving us value on the ‘under’ Sunday as neither Portland nor New Orleans reached 100 points the last seven meetings.

The total could be artificially inflated by a one-game anomaly Sunday night when the Portland Trail Blazers (29-32, 9-22 away) pay a visit to the New Orleans Hornets (21-42, 11-20 home) at New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, LA at 7:05 ET.

The posted total at 5 Dimes is 196 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -105.

Shockingly, the Blazers went into San Antonio and blew out the Spurs 136-106 on Friday, thanks largely to scoring 46 points in the fourth quarter!

The shooting percentages on that contest look like they came out of a video game, as the Trail Blazers went 53-for-86 for an amazing 61.6 percent from the field overall including 12-for-21, 57.1 percent on three-point attempts. Probable Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard led the way with 35 points and Portland had three other players score at least 20 in the rout.

Keep in mind though that we are talking about a team that is ranked 14th in the NBA in scoring and offensive consistency has not been a Portland strong suit. Remember also that the Blazers only scored 63 points the last time there two clubs met on February 13th right here in this building in a 99-63 Hornets’ victory, and that was really not much of an aberration for this head-to-head series.

That is because that game marked the seventh consecutive meeting between these clubs where neither team reached 100 points, with those seven games averaging just a combined 175.7 points! The highest scoring game among the seven saw a total output of 192 points and that was the only meeting to get out of the 180s, so the ‘under’ would rather easily be 7-0 compared to tonight’s posted total.

The Hornets showed some improvement for a while after a terrible start this season, but they have now regressed back to their poor early-season form by losing eight of their last 10 games, a streak that even included a loss to the Orlando Magic here at home on Monday. They are playing the second of a back-to-back following a 96-85 loss at Memphis last night.

The Hornets are ranked just 23rd in the NBA in scoring with 94.3 points per game, and believe it or not, that already low average has dropped even more to only 93.0 points per game this season when playing with no rest.

An important reason for that is when the Hornets improved offensively for a stretch, it was keyed by point guard Eric Gordon returning from his torn ACL suffered last season. However, New Orleans has been nursing him along by resting him in the second game of back-to-backs, and the results have been positive as he is averaging 16.6 points per game. The bad news for the New Orleans offense is that Gordon is expected to sit as usual tonight after playing last night.

Thus, let us try to take advantage of what looks like an inflated total by going ‘under’ on Sunday.

[gameodds]5/220786/19-238-93-92-1096/us[/gameodds]

NBA Pick: Trail Blazers, Hornets ‘under’ 196 (-105)