NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Trail Blazers

Jeff Grant

Friday, April 12, 2013 12:11 PM GMT

Let’s take a closer look at the NBA odds for this Western Conference matchup, with the opening tip scheduled for 10:00 p.m. ET on NBATV.


The Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers have fallen short of the betting total in all three meetings this year—a trend that could continue Friday night at the Rose Garden.

Take a look at our predictions for the First Round Playoff Matchups.

Home stretch

Oklahoma City holds a half-game lead over the San Antonio Spurs for the No. 1 spot in the Western Conference standings with three games remaining, as it comes off a convincing 116-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors as four-point road favorites Thursday.

The Thunder are 22-12 straight up (SU) and 15-18-1 against the spread (ATS) in the month of April the last two-plus seasons, with the UNDER going 21-13 in that situation.

All is lost

Portland will be watching the NBA playoffs from home for a second consecutive season, as the franchise has dropped nine games in a row, including a 113-106 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers as 6.5-point home underdogs Wednesday night.

The Trail Blazers have gone 1-8 ATS over their current losing streak, while the OVER is on a 6-3 run.

Series history

NBA handicappers definitely need to practice sound money management at the end of the regular season, but it’s still important to note that the Thunder have won six consecutive games in this series, including the last three at this particular venue.

Five of the last six meetings at the Rose Garden have been decided by a single-digit margin, while at least one team has eclipsed the century mark in six of the last seven contests between these two rivals.

Total players will find that the UNDER is 16-7 in the last 23 overall meetings.

Lillard

Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard will undoubtedly walk away with NBA Rookie of the Year honors this year, as he leads all first-year players in averaging 19.1 points per game, but he’s averaged just 16.3 on 38.8 percent shooting in three games versus the Thunder.

He finished with a career-high 38 points in his last effort, but it wasn’t enough, as Portland was playing without multiple starters, which will likely be the case again in this affair.

[gameodds]5/224565/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers take a look at the betting total when the number is released on SBR's NBA betting odds page, as the Thunder and Trail Blazers have gone UNDER the total by an average of 19.7 points in three meetings during the 2012-13 NBA campaign. This pushes me to believe that the UNDER will be the right way to look with our NBA picks tonight.

Recommendation: Under