NBA Picks: Trail Blazers vs. Thunder

Joe Freda

Sunday, March 24, 2013 1:49 PM GMT

Sunday, Mar. 24, 2013 1:49 PM GMT

The Portland Trail Blazers have gone 4-1-1 ATS in their last six contests, including a pair of SU wins as underdogs. Will the Blazers come up with another cashed ticket or will OKC cruise as big ‘chalk?’

Sunday’s NBA betting has Terry Stotts’ club end a five-game road trip against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who return home after splitting duels in Orlando and Memphis.

Thunder, Durant hold off Magic

Oklahoma City ended a two-game losing skid with Friday’s 97-89 victory over the Orlando Magic, while falling shy of cashing as a 14-point road favorite. Thunder forward Kevin Durant came away with a team-high 25 points, hitting 7-of-14 field buckets.

Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka picked up his third double-double in seven games, finishing with 14 points and 13 boards. The 23-year-old added five blocks, while mate Russell Westbrook notched nine of his side’s 17 assists.

The battle’s 186 points dipped below the ‘total’ of 207 ½, moving the UNDER to 5-1-2 in OKC’s last eight games. Thunder mates Kevin Martin and Nick Collison united for 26 points off the bench, while logging three rebounds each.

Blazers, Matthews upset Hawks

The same night of action saw Portland notch its latest victory, with a 104-93 triumph as a 7 ½-point road dog against the Atlanta Hawks. Blazers guards Wesley Matthews and Damian Lillard combined for 50 points, drilling 9-of-13 buckets from three-point land.

Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge logged a team-high 13 boards, while finishing with 20 points and his squad’s sole two blocks. The Blazers edged Atlanta in rebounds, 48-41, while outscored by the Hawks in fast break points, 23-11.

The contest’s 197 points ducked beneath the ‘total’ of 201 ½, making the UNDER 2-0-1 in Portland’s last three duels. Blazers forward Nicolas Batum notched four of his squad’s eight steals, while held to five points in 39 minutes of action.

Back Portland as a big dog

NBA odds with 5Dimes.eu opened Oklahoma City as an 11-point home favorite, while first listing the ‘total’ at 206. Early wagers on the Thunder and UNDER moved the numbers to 11 ½ and 205 ½.

I am taking the points here, looking for Portland to stay within cashing range. The Blazers have collected at a 4-1 ATS clip in their last five spots as an underdog of nine points or more, while putting up 105 PPG in their last six road matchups.

Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and J.J. Hickson have quietly stood among the Western Conference’s top six scorers (21.1 PPG) and rebounders (10.8 PPG), respectively. The pair each came away with a double-double in November’s trip to Oklahoma City, while Aldridge went on to hang 33 points on OKC in January’s 87-83 home defeat in Portland.

The Blazers look for revenge here after pulling to trail in the rematch by one point with 21 seconds remaining, hitting a scoreless spell down the final stretch. Portland has continued to be undervalued against the league’s top clubs, going 18-6-2 ATS in its last 26 spots against foes with winning records.

[gameodds]5/222496/43-169-999996-92/us[/gameodds]

Oklahoma City has a 0-3 spread record in its last trio of affairs as ‘chalk’ of 9 ½ points or more, with another battle looming here at too high of a premium. Look for the Thunder to pull off a tight win, while Portland gets the money in a hard-fought cover.

Free NBA Pick: Portland Trail Blazers + 11 ½ (5Dimes.eu) 

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