NBA Picks: Trail Blazers vs. Lakers

Jeff Grant

Friday, February 22, 2013 1:26 PM GMT

Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 1:26 PM GMT

The Portland Trail Blazers and Los Angeles Lakers have gone above the total in four of their last five meetings, as the two rivals prepare to face off at the Staples Center Friday night. Where are we looking to place our NBA picks this time around?


Let’s take a closer look at the NBA betting line for this Western Conference affair that tips off at 10:30 p.m. ET in Southern California.

Fading

Portland has lost six games in a row, including a 102-98 setback to the Phoenix Suns as six-point home favorites Tuesday night, while going OVER the total for the seventh time in eight opportunities.

The Trail Blazers have allowed 108.5 points per game on 51.9 percent shooting over that stretch, which could lead to trouble in this spot, with the Lakers ranked sixth in the NBA in scoring.

The big turnaround?

Los Angeles has alternated wins and losses over its last seven affair, as it captured a 113-99 victory over the Boston Celtics as 6.5-point home favorites Wednesday night, while going OVER the total for a second consecutive contest.

The national sports media has been waiting for the Lakers to turnaround their season on a weekly basis during the 2012-13 NBA season, but lacked consistency on both ends of the floor.

I’m not interested in backing an underachieving team that has gone 8-13 against the spread versus losing teams thus far.

Virtually no success in this building

NBA handicappers shouldn’t be surprised that the Trail Blazers were nearly sent out as double-digit road underdogs in the eyes of the NBA odds makers, considering they’ve lost 10 of their last 11 road games versus the Lakers.

Portland is 5-20 SU all-time in regular season play versus Los Angeles at this venue, but the team getting points has grabbed the cash in 24 of the last 35 meetings in this series.

Bryant and Howard 

The OVER has a great chance to improve to 5-1 in the last six meetings in this series, with Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard combining to average 57 points per game in two games versus the Trail Blazers this season. The All-Star duo teamed up for 40 points versus the Celtics last time out.

[gameodds]5/219070/43/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers play the total as one of their NBA picks, as the OVER is 2-0 in the Trail Blazers’ two road games with a number between 200 and 204.5, while the Lakers have gone above the betting total in three of its four home games within that point range.

NBA Pick: Over 202.5 at 5Dimes

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