NBA Picks: Relentless Trail Blazers A Great Pick Against Curry-Less Warriors

Jay Pryce

Saturday, May 7, 2016 1:08 PM UTC

Saturday, May. 7, 2016 1:08 PM UTC

The Western Conference Semifinals shifts to Portland on Saturday night, as the Trail Blazers, down two games, get another shot at the Steph Curry-less Warriors in Game 3. Get your free NBA pick!

Golden State Warriors vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Golden State Warriors (79-10 SU, 48-37-4 ATS)
Earlier in the week, there was guarded optimism around the Warriors locker room that reigning MVP Steph Curry may return early from a sprained MCL for Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals in Portland, but he remains out after limited practice midweek. Protected by a knee brace, Curry did some light shooting on Friday, yet appears unfit to return for tonight and possibly the next game as well. Keep checking his status and the MLB odds.

Even without its leading scorer, Golden State continues to win in the postseason. It’s 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS in the playoffs minus Curry, claiming victory by 12.8 points per game. The last outing was the grittiest of all. Suffering a 17-point deficit to Portland in the first half, a Klay Thompson trey with 5:33 remaining in the game gave coach Steve Kerr’s squad its first lead, and it took off from there. A surreal fourth quarter comeback ended with a 110-99 Warriors victory and a remarkable cover of the 9.5-point spread.

One has to wonder if Golden State can keep making up for Curry’s absence, especially on the road. All but one game, their 97-96 defeat to the Rockets in Houston, took place at Oracle Arena. Since 2014, the Warriors are 1-4 SU and ATS away from East Bay with Curry sitting, losing on average by 7.4 points. On offense, they score roughly six points less than the betting market suggests, averaging just 100.4 points per game in the very limited sample.

Since 2002, number one seeds sweeping the first two meetings of a playoff series are 6-8 SU and 5-9 ATS in Game 3. Historically, this is the most likely spot for the favorite to drop a game with its first experience of a hostile atmosphere in the matchup. Facing a fired-up defense and chock-full of high-leverage situations, the number one seed has scored more than its projected team total in only four of the 14 games.

The Warriors are 18-4 SU and 12-10 ATS in their last 22 playoff games against Western Conference opponents. The UNDER is 16-6 in this stretch with the Golden State defense holding teams to 95.7 points per game.

Portland Trail Blazers (48-42 SU, 47-40-3 ATS)
After double-digit losses in the first two games of the series, Portland is now 3-13 SU and 4-12 ATS versus Golden State in their last 16 meetings. Coach Terry Stotts’ crew has tipped off as 6.9-point underdogs on average in the stretch. If there is a glimmer of hope headed into Game 3, two of the victories occurred in the four games with a line under 5 points.

The Trail Blazers have to find a way to outperform Golden State from the 3-point area. With most of their scoring coming from the backcourt, the team relies on the three heavily. It’s 28.6 attempts and 10.5 made ranked fifth and fourth respectively in the league. When Portland shoots better from downtown then their opponents at Moda Center, it is 22-3 SU and 17-7-1 ATS, winning as a dog in seven of eight games. When outdone by their foes, Damian Lillard and company are 9-10 SU and 7-11-1 ATS.

In the Stotts era, the last seven matchups between these two at Moda Center sees each team shooting better than 40 percent from the arc, pushing the total over in five contest with an average 220.2 combined score.


Final Analysis
Portland must be sick over giving away Game 2, contemplating what the team can do to break this Golden State hex. Three games to prep, and home-court advantage will likely help tonight. Lillard put up 51 and 40 points at Moda Center in the two regular-season meetings against the Warriors this season, and one can expect another big effort tonight. Golden State may fell Curry's absence on the offensive end for this one. Trail Blazers +3.5 is the free MLB picks.

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Free MLB Pick: Portland Trail Blazers +3
Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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