NBA Pick: Trail Blazers vs. Rockets in Game 5

Jordan Sharp

Monday, April 28, 2014 7:45 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 28, 2014 7:45 PM UTC

The Blazers have taken a commanding 3-1 series lead, but the NBA Odds are favoring the Rockets in this elimination game. Will Portland put them away, or will Houston force Game 6 back in Portland?

LMA Leads The Charge
Remember back in November and December when the NBA was falling in love with the Blazers? I do, and after a stretch where they weathered the LaMarcus Aldridge injury, the Blazers are back into the discussion of whether or not they can win the West. They have the Rockets close to being one of the first teams sent home this postseason, but the NBA Odds have the Blazers as +5 ½ underdogs to the Rockets, with a total of 213 ½.

Aldridge has been unstoppable this series, and even if the Rockets start to double team him or make him give up the ball, the Blazers have proven they have enough capable scorers on the perimeter to compliment Aldridge. Damian Lillard has been good in this series as well despite the defense from Patrick Beverley, and if Aldridge is getting doubled, you can bet Lillard will be the main benefactor.

However a wager on the spread seems unlikely for me in this one. Instead I’m going for a wager on the total, which is sitting at 213 ½. This happens to be the lowest total of all five games in this series, and with how the trends have gone with these two teams in the last few seasons, I’m quite surprised. In fact, I think the over has some of the best NBA Odds value of all the Wednesday evening games. These two teams are both offensive minded teams, and even at home the Rockets are going to give up a lot of points to this talented team from Portland.


The Sharp Pick
The last ten to twelve times these two teams have played one another in the regular or postseason, the total has gone over, and at 213 ½, why not ride the trends while their on fire? Even with the series at 3-1, the Rockets aren’t going to roll over at home, and furthermore, Houston won’t stop the Blazers’ offense here.

Going back to their regular season meetings, the Rockets and Blazers have now played a large number of games against one another this season. In their last seven meetings, the Blazers have scored an average of 116 points per game against the Rockets, yet the total is unmoved for Game 5. I see this as a great wager to make some profit on Wednesday night, and with the trends on our side, the over has to be the play.

Houston’s offense will improve a lot going back home, and the threat of elimination could really be a kick-starter to that potent offense we have seen from Houston this season. James Harden has been taking enough shots to make his elbow fall off in this series, while Dwight Howard has shot the ball only 30 times in the last two games. The Rockets need to diversify their offense some more, and I think you will see that work to their advantage in Game 5. Take the over, and add it to your NBA Picks.

My Pick: OVER 213 ½

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