Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder (-8, 220 o/u)
A potential first round playoff matchup will take place in Oklahoma City tonight when the high-flying Thunder (44-22, 26-9 Home) host the offensively-gifted Portland Trail Blazers (35-32, 14-20 Away) at the Chesapeake Energy Arena, (7:00 PM Eastern).
Both teams hold a precarious 1.5 game lead in the race for their respective seed: the Thunder are ahead of the Clippers for third, while Portland is trying to hold off both Dallas and Houston for sixth. Most casual fans will be hoping these teams can hang on, because a seven game playoff series would be an offensive showing between two of the game’s best tandems.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are the marquee one-two punch; averaging 52.2 points between the two of them. But Portland’s Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have emerged this season as candidates for the best backcourt in basketball (excluding Golden State obviously).
Neither team is particularly hot entering tonight though. Oklahoma City has lost four of their last six games; all four against teams from the West. Their most recent loss came Saturday when they fell short against the San Antonio Spurs 93-85.
Not long ago the Blazers had their best run of the season and one of the bets in the NBA, winning 18 of 22 games. However, most recently things have gone south, earning just two wins in their last six outings.
The Blazers are one of the best teams against the spread this season, recording a 38-29 ATS mark overall, 19-15 playing on the road, and most impressively, 24-16 ATS when playing against Western Conference teams.
The Thunder are just 26-37-3 against the spread this season, 16-17-2 when playing at home
This is the third game of the season between Blazers and Thunder; each team has won and covered the spread playing at home. Keep in mind Oklahoma City is 6-2 SU in its last eight games when playing at home against Portland but 1-4 SU in its final five games at home overall.
Pick: Blazers +8.
(Photo Credit: James Schumacher (Originally uploaded to Flickr)[https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/])
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