Things are going from bad to worse for the Portland Trail Blazers. Two more players have been injured ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, keeping the early NBA odds off the board in the process.
Jason’s record as of Apr. 13: 69-71-5 ATS, 8-13 Totals, plus-0.15 units ML
So here we are at the end of another regular season. We’re going into the playoffs in the red for the first time that we can remember, but really, we’re not sweating it that much. These are overnight NBA picks we’re making here, often before the basketball odds have been published. We’re just trying to set the table for you to make a sharp betting decision on game day. As we keep hammering home, wait until shootaround to find out who’s playing before opening up your wallets and/or purses.
That’s the situation again for Wednesday’s season finale (8:00 p.m. ET) between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Dallas Mavericks. Portland continues to fall apart after enjoying excellent health during the first half of the season; Nicolas Batum (knee) and C.J. McCollum (ankle) are the latest Blazers to hit the injured list, and it’s unknown as we go to press whether or not they’ll play against Dallas. The NBA odds are on hold until we find out.
Rub Some Coffee on It
We’re guessing that neither gentleman will be pressed into service. Portland (51-30 SU, 40-40-1 ATS) is locked into the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference playoffs, and with all these players dropping around them like flies, the Blazers are more concerned with getting people ready for the playoffs. They’re 1-4 SU and ATS in their last five games.
As you may recall, the deluge started back on March 5 when Wesley Matthews (16.1 PER) suffered a torn left Achilles tendon and was lost for the season. His replacement, Aaron Afflalo (8.3 PER), has had a rough go of it since joining the team at the trade deadline, and now he’s out as well with a strained right shoulder. Afflalo should be back in 1-2 weeks, and Portland needs him to get it together with Dorell Wright (13.4 PER, foot) not expected back until May, if the Blazers make it that far.
Meanwhile, LaMarcus Aldridge (22.9 PER) has sat out two games with a sore foot, and while Wednesday’s matchup is relatively meaningless, head coach Terry Stotts says he hopes Aldridge can play. It looks like we can rule out Batum (13.1 PER), who was due to have an MRI on Tuesday. McCollum (13.1 PER) didn’t need an MRI and is considered questionable to face Dallas.
The Chandler Parsons Project
There’s more shenanigans where that came from. The Mavericks (49-32 SU, 35-44-2 ATS) are locked into the No. 7 seed in the West, and they’ve got two key players listed as questionable for Wednesday: Chandler Parsons (16.3 PER) and Devin Harris (14.8 PER). Wait, this just in: Both Parsons and Harris have been ruled out for this contest. Not a big surprise there, especially with Parsons, who had already missed three games with a swollen right knee.
Fading the Mavericks has been a juicy proposition for a while now, regardless of injuries. We hate to sound like a broken record, especially when nobody under the age of 30 knows what a broken record sounds like. But Rajon Rondo (12.3 PER, minus-1.0 BPM) has not been a good fit since arriving in Dallas, and his acquisition cost the Mavericks some quality bench depth in Brandan Wright (25.8 PER) and Jae Crowder (12.7 PER), along with Jameer Nelson (9.9 PER) and a pair of draft picks.
Oh, by the way, Dirk Nowitzki (19.3 PER), Tyson Chandler (19.8 PER) and Monta Ellis (16.6 PER) all sat out Monday’s 109-92 loss to the Utah Jazz (–7 at home). Some of these players might come back for the home finale, but since we don’t know, we’re going to shift gears and take the OVER, which went 32-27 across the league during the past seven days. Tired legs plus scrub replacements plus not caring about the win equals less defense.
NBA Pick: Take the OVER