Portland Trailblazers (53-29) vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (49-33)
Saturday, April 14, 2019 @ 3:30 pm ET (Moda Center)
Line and Odds: Trailblazers +1.5 Over/Under: 225
ESPN NBA Picks Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers
The anticipated rivalry between the Thunder and Trailblazers is set tonight in the Moda Center for Game 1 of the NBA playoffs. Oklahoma is coming into this match-up with a four-game sweep of Portland amongst a jarring of words between Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook. Portland is 1.5 point favorite in Game 1, both teams are riding winning streaks entering this game but one will surely lose tonight.
The Oklahoma Thunder has been, dare I say it, electric this season with Paul George having an MVP season and Westbrook also averaging a triple double AGAIN. Westbrook has been the leader for the Thunder since Durants departure but has gladly shifted the offensive leadership to Paul George and it shows in his averages of: 28 PPG and 8.2 RPG. The scoring tandem of Westbrook and George get even better when they go up against Portland, both of them combine for 67.5 points against Rip City in the regular season. Scoring against Portland will be easy for the Thunder and also moving the ball against them as the Thunder pass 102.8 possessions per 48 minutes, ranking them sixth in the league for Pace factor.
Damian Lillard has been the most underrated superstar of this league in an old NBA team and has led his team to the playoffs with the third seed. Lillard shines when he’s given the ball, averaging 35.3 points a game this season per 100 possessions. He’s also finishing very well at the rim, making 56% of his shots 0-3 feet from the ring. The added support of Jusuf Nurkic will be felt in this game because Nurkic has been averaging 16.5 points and 13 rebounds in their games against the Thunder. Portland will have to rely on Al-Farouq Aminu’s scoring in the paint and a bigger presence on the boards. A match-up that will be exciting to see will be ex-Thunder big Enes Kanter vs OKC’s all-star big Steven Adams, even though Kanter averaged just 3 points and 6 rebounds against the Thunder in those contests.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Oklahoma City is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Oklahoma City is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Oklahoma City is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 games on the road
Oklahoma City is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road
Portland Trail Blazers
Portland is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Portland’s last 6 games
Portland is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home
Portland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home
ESPN NBA Scores and Picks Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
I see a big game for Dame Lillard, he will be given full reign of the offense and is going to drop forty tonight in a duel against the taunting Russell Westbrook. Lillard will be looking for McCollum who’s deadly when his three-point shots are assisted making 73% of his assisted threes. I see a big Game 1 in the Moda where the points will definitely go over Rip City covering the spread tonight.