Wizards host the Trailblazers in a battle of a pair of NBA playoff hopefuls from opposing conferences. Washington has a record of 38-28 SU and is currently in 5th place in the Eastern Conference.
Portland Trailblazers vs. Washington Wizards (-1-) 7:05 ET
At 7:05 ET tonight, the Washington Wizards will be motivated by the fact that they trail Toronto by just 1 game in the loss column for the 3rd playoff spot. Portland has played consistently solid basketball all season long, however NBA betting odds placed them as a 2 point underdog for this game. The Blazers now stand in 3rd place in the West, but tied with Memphis in the loss column for the 2nd playoff spot. These two met earlier this season in Portland with the Blazers prevailing (103-96). As you will read below, each of these teams may be without key performers for tonight’s duel. As an overlying theme to tonight’s matchup, it is important to realize that the stronger Western Conference has won 65% of their games against their Eastern brethren with Portland boasting a 20-6 SU mark against teams from the East.
Spanning the All-Star break, Washington had been on a dismal slide of 7-15 SU, 6-16 ATS through March 8th. Last week’s 3-0 SU ATS log against Charlotte, Memphis and Sacramento came by resounding margins of 26, 20 and 16 points. Thus, the concern is that we are looking to fade Washington at the beginning of an uptick. Those last two home victories against Memphis and Sacramento were a bit dichotomous to the Washington performance on this floor, which had seen them go 13-19 ATS prior to those victories. Tonight, the Wiz may be facing injury issues, as key front liners, Nene and Humphries are doubtful for this contest. Without those key cogs, it will be hard for Washington to build on their momentum.
Portland’s consistent performance all year long indicates we will see a solid performance from the highly motivated Blazers. Portland enters on a 8-1 SU ATS run, spanning the time in which they lost starting guard Matthews. Thus, it has been fortuitous that the trade deadline acquisition of Affalo has had a major positive impact. Much like Washington, the recent Portland victories have been for real. In the 9 game hot streak, they have defeated San Antonio by 16, the LA Clippers by 5, the Mavs by 19, Houston by 5 and last night to Toronto by 16. The strong starting lineup of Lillard and Affalo at guard, Aldrich and Batum at forward and Lopez in the center spot makes this one of the most feared teams in the NBA.
Must respect the fact that Washington may have turned the corner from their recent losing streak. But, getting the Blazers as your NBA pick in an underdog role vs. the East is too much to pass up, considering their more reliable, longer term winning streak and their ability to adjust without Matthews in the lineup.
NBA Free Pick: Take Portland Trailblazers at Pinnacle Sports