Portland Trail Blazers (33-22) vs Oklahoma City Thunder (36-19)
NBA Basketball: Monday, February 11, 2019 (Chesapeake Energy Arena)
Line and Odds: Oklahoma City Thunder (-5.5), O/U 231
Free ESPN NBA Picks Portland Trail Blazers Vs Oklahoma City Thunder
In tonight’s Western Conference match up, the 4th seeded Blazers take on the 3rd seeded Thunder. Both teams are red hot, and we should have a great game on our hands.
The Thunder are on a three game win streak, and they’re 9-1 in their last ten. They own a 19-7 record at home, and 20-14 against Western Conference opponents. Their last game in Houston was an absolute thriller. Russell Westbrook tied Wilt Chamberlain’s record with his 9th straight triple double, and Paul George out-dueled James Harden with 45 points to Harden’s 42. If Westbrook and PG keep the ball rolling tonight offensively, they should have no problem against a Portland defense that ranks 16th in defensive rating.
One main concern for the Thunder tonight is their defense, which may come as a surprise given that they rank 3rd in the league in defensive rating. In their last ten however, OKC’s top rated defense has slipped to 11th in the league, a respectable standing, though a far cry from their dominance earlier in the year. While they rank 2nd in steals per game, they’ve slipped to 19th and 20th in points off turnovers and second chance points respectively. Thus a second concern is for OKC, and specifically Westbrook (who had 10 turnovers last game), to take care of the ball better. Furthermore, Steven Adams needs to keep Jusuf Nurkic off the glass to limit second chance points as much as possible.
Portland is 7-3 across their last ten contests, though they dropped their last game against Dallas due to the clutch play of Luka Doncic. Nonetheless, the team’s been solid lately and they’ll be looking to bounce back tonight. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are both scoring well over the past ten, which is a great sign for Portland. Lillard is averaging 27.1 points and 7.6 assists over their last ten, and McCollum’s scored at least 30 points in three of their last five. Jusuf Nurkic has been great as well, and he tends to feast against OKC. In their two matchups this season, Nurk is averaging 22 points and 11.5 boards to go along with 1.5 blocks and 2 steals per game. Against a team that has struggled with giving up second chance points recently, Nurkic will be key.
Look for Seth Curry and newly acquired Rodney Hood to have an impact tonight as well. Curry had a 22 point game a few contests ago against Atlanta, and Hood is averaging 11 points on 64.3% from the field in his two games with Portland thus far. If they can provide significant production off the bench, Portland should be in good shape tonight.
Portland is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games
Portland is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
The total has gone OVER in 6 of Portland’s last 7 games
Portland is 5-11 SU in its last 16 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Portland’s last 13 games on the road
Oklahoma City is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
Oklahoma City is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Oklahoma City’s last 16 games
Oklahoma City is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Oklahoma City is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
ESPN NBA Scores Oklahoma City Thunder Vs Portland Trailblazers
While both teams are performing well lately, the Thunder’s performance has been far better. Even with OKC’s slight defensive struggles (relatively speaking), Westbrook and George are on an absolute tear offensively. Adams is a consistent performer, and Ferguson and Schroder compliment the offense well. I’m taking the Thunder to win and cover tonight.
Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder (-5.5)