NBA Picks: Trail Blazers vs. Thunder

Tuesday, December 31, 2013 2:37 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 2:37 PM UTC

Two of the top three teams in the Western Conference do battle tonight and we've got our NBA picks locked in for the showdown.

<p><b>Odds Overview</b></p> <p>Glancing over <a target="_blank" title="Check out live NBA odds, right here!" href="/betting-odds/nba-basketball/">the NBA odds</a> we find Oklahoma City favored by four-and-a-half or five points at the sportsbooks, with the total at either 212 or 212.5.</p> <p>The Thunder are 25-5 SU and are 17-13 ATS, while the Trail Blazers are 24-7 SU and 18-13 against the spread.</p> [/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":251768, "sportsbooksIds":[43], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/] <p><b>Portland Trail Blazers</b></p> <p>The Trail Blazers were bound to go through some troubled times when the schedule got tough and we've reached that period now.</p> <p>Portland got past a difficult home game against the Clippers, winning 116-112, but then they couldn't get the better of Miami. The Heat were even missing LeBron James, but Chris Bosh's late three pushed the defending champions to the win in Portland.</p> <p>Then, last night, the Trail Blazers lost by two in New Orleans. Damian Lillard scored 29 points on 10-of-18 shooting and LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points, eight boards and two blocks in the loss, but Portland was out-scored 68-32 in the paint</p> <p><img style="font-size:1em;" src="" class="imgSelectedPicture article-image" alt="Image preview" id="ctl00_head_ArticleAdministrator_picturePreview_imgSelectedPicture" />It's been a horrific run for those that have been backing the Trail Blazers on a consistent basis. They've failed to cover in seven consecutive games.</p> <p>On the road Portland has gone 12-4 SU and 10-6 ATS, but playing at Chesapeake Energy Arena is a whole different ballgame. Will Aldridge and company rise to the challenge?</p> <p><b>Oklahoma City Thunder</b></p> <p>The Thunder continue to chug along, even in spite of the news of Russell Westbrook's injury.</p> <p>Two nights ago we saw Oklahoma City dominate James Harden and the Rockets in a 117-86 home win. Coming in the Thunder were favored by 4.5 points.</p> <p>This thing was over in a hurry. Oklahoma City came out on fire and never let up, finishing by <a target="_blank" title="NBA Team Statistics" href="/nba-basketball/betting-stats/">shooting 57.3 percent overall</a>, 45.5 percent from three and 81.2 percent from beyond the arc.</p> <p>Kevin Durant scored 33 points on 11-of-17 shooting and added 13 rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block. Reggie Jackson scored 16 points with eight assists, Thabo Sefolosha chipped in 13 points and Jeremy Lamb scored 22 points with five rebounds, five dimes and two steals in the dominating win.</p> <p>It was good to see the supporting cast step up around KD and that's going to have to continue if the Thunder want to stay near the top of the standings while Westbrook recovers.</p> <p style="text-align:center;"><em>Make sure to check out our <a target="_blank" title="Tuesday NBA Picks of the Day" href="/nba-basketball/free-picks/tuesday-nba-picks-the-day-a-36181/">Tuesday NBA Picks of the Day</a></em></p> <p><b>NBA Pick</b></p> <p>The Trail Blazers won the first meeting 114-104 at home, covering as 2.5-point favorites. Aldridge was a monster, putting up 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, while Durant paced the Thunder with 33 points.</p> <p>Tonight we find it hard to go against Oklahoma City to return the favor. The Thunder have lost just one game at home all season long and if they can start well they should be able to stave off the challenge that Portland will present.</p> <p>The Thunder have not only been efficient offensively as of late, averaging 108.0 PPG on 47.8 percent shooting, but they've been terrific defensively as well. They've given up only 93.8 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting in that same span. That's about as well-balanced as you can get.</p> <p>We'll be picking the more rested Oklahoma City team to keep their success going with another win over a good team. Back the Thunder to cash as home chalk for <a target="_blank" title="NBA Picks &amp; Predictions" href="/nba-basketball/">your NBA picks</a>.</p> <p><b>NBA Pick: </b>Thunder -4.5</p>
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