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Trail Blazers vs. Nets NBA Picks: Fresh Is Best

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Trail Blazers vs. Nets NBA Picks: Fresh Is Best
Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers. Christian Petersen/Getty Images/AFP

After beating the NBA odds Thursday night, the Brooklyn Nets might be too tired to do it again Friday versus the Portland Trail Blazers.

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Brooklyn Nets 

Friday, April 30, 2021 – 08:00 PM EDT at Barclays Center

What’s that? Another chance to put the Brooklyn Nets (43-20 SU, 33-30 ATS) in our NBA picks? Splendid. As you may recall, we were on Brooklyn for Thursday’s road game against the Indiana Pacers, and the Nets got the job done, winning 130-113 as 5-point favorites on the closing line. They made it a bit of a sweat at the end with a sloppy fourth quarter, but for the most part, Brooklyn had little trouble getting in the paint against Indiana’s thin frontline. Score another one for the good guys.

Now the Nets head back home to play the Portland Trail Blazers (34-28 SU, 31-31 ATS), who are both better and healthier than the Pacers – and fresh after taking Thursday off. Brooklyn opened as 7.5-point faves on Bovada’s NBA odds board; as tempting as it is to double up here, the Trail Blazers look like the right pick this time around. Let’s do this.

James Mason

As it turns out, Kevin Durant did indeed play Thursday night, but Kyrie Irving didn’t – he was officially out with a sore right groin, which sounds like exactly the kind of manufactured injury designed to give Irving the day off, rather than play him on both ends of the back-to-back. We expect the situation to be reversed for Friday’s contest, with Irving back in uniform and Durant getting some rest. The Nets should be fine as long as they’ve got one of their Big Three on the court.

Or should we say Big Four? Naturally, we were watching this matchup very closely here at the home office, keeping a close eye on our new hero, the Chosen One himself, Mike James (plus-2.8 BPM). He did well for the most part, although James missed all seven of his field-goal attempts, and there were some ugly moments in the fourth with Brooklyn up big. Still, plus-7 at the end of the day. More impressive was Alize Johnson coming back off the COVID-19 list and dropping 20 points and 21 rebounds on his former club. Oh, and Durant had 42 points and 10 assists. Ho-hum.

Here’s the thing: Because the Nets let Indiana get within single digits in the fourth quarter, they had to bring Durant back onto the court, and he ended up playing 36 minutes. That makes it a near-lock that Brooklyn will find some way to give him Friday night off. FiveThirtyEight appear to have already factored that into their projection for this matchup; they’ve got the Nets up by just half a point. Aside from Zach Collins, Portland have no one else on the injured list for a change, and they’re coming off back-to-back road wins, including a 133-112 romp over Indiana (+6) on Tuesday. I believe that means the Blazers will beat Brooklyn by... let’s see, carry the one... four points. That’s just science.

NBA Pick: Trail Blazers +7.5 (–120) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

Trail Blazers +7.5(-120)
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*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.