Trail Blazers are the NBA Pick as Dogs at Cleveland

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 6:42 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 6:42 PM UTC

Each day LT Profits Sports seeks an overlay side that has a better chance of cashing than its spread, offering long term value. Here is their Side Value Play for Wednesday.


The red-hot Eastern Conference team could be overvalued vs. a very good Western Conference team Wednesday night when the underdog Portland Trail Blazers (32-13, 12-8 away) pay a visit to the hot Cleveland Cavaliers (26-20, 15-9 home) at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, OH at 7:05 ET in a game available on FOX Sports Ohio.

The point spread at Pinnacle Sports has Portland as a road underdog for this contest with the current line at +5½ with positive odds of +102.

Cavaliers Won Seven Straight
The Cavaliers have been playing the kind of basketball lately that most expected them to play all year after signing LeBron James and trading for Kevin Love during the off-season with that duo joining Kyrie Irving for a new and younger version of the Big Three. Cleveland has now won seven straight games with the seven wins being by an average of +13.9 points. Thus the Cavs have closed the gap to 3½ games behind first-place Chicago in the Central Division.

The Blazers meanwhile should be fresh for this game having not played since being the winning NBA pick back home in the Great Northwest Saturday 103-96 over the Washington Wizards. Portland was scheduled to open this road trip in Brooklyn on Monday night, but that game was postponed due to the blizzard that hit the east coast.

Cleveland on a Back-to-Back
With all due respect to LeBron & the Cavaliers, they seem to be at a disadvantage here in terms of rest, as while the Blazers have now had three days off, Cleveland is playing the second game of a back-to-back following a 103-95 road win at Detroit on Tuesday, and since that was a closer game throughout than some of the other wins during the Cavaliers’ winning streak, they did not really get a chance to rest their regulars late in the game.

Irving (38) and James (32) combined for 70 points in the win while playing 42 and 36 minutes respectively. If there is just the slightest drop-off in those performances tonight, the Cavaliers will need a lot more out of Love after his quiet seven-point, eight-rebound effort in Detroit.

And not to take anything away from what the Cavaliers have done since James returned, but the most impressive win during the seven-game winning streak was probably the win at home over the Thunder on Sunday, and remember that Oklahoma City has had problems beating teams with winning records on the road so far this season. That makes Portland the biggest challenge for Cleveland since the streak began.

Portland the Three-Seed in West
The Blazers are the third seeds in the much stronger Western Conference at 32-13, and they got a totally unexpected boost when LaMarcus Aldridge returned in the win over Washington Saturday after it had been previously announced that he would miss six to eight weeks after tearing a ligament in his thumb. Instead Aldridge postponed the surgery and elected to play through the pain, and apparently successfully so with 26 points and nine rebounds!

Remember also that the Blazers have been a good road team this season going 12-8 straight up while traveling and they have also had good success vs. the East going 18-3 straight up overall including 6-1 straight up on the road vs. the lesser of the two conferences. And Portland needs to continue to win as it is only one game behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the two-seed in the West and even a still-manageable five games behind the top seeded Warriors.

Blazers Romped First Time
Finally, the Blazers had a fairly easy time vs. the Cavaliers in Portland the first time these teams met this season prevailing by 19 points 101-82 as 2½-poing home underdogs, holding Cleveland to 36.5 percent shooting in that contest while shooting a very good 49.3 percent themselves.

All things considered, this looks like a lot of points to give to a team that seem capable of winning this game outright, so take the generous spread with Portland when it visits Cleveland on Wednesday.

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NBA Pick: Trail Blazers +5½ (+102)

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