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Game 1: Trailblazers vs. Suns NBA Free Pick | Preview

SUNDAY APRIL 18, 2010 – Portland Trail Blazers vs Phoenix Suns

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NBA Playoffs odds – Portland Trailblazers at Phoenix Suns, Game 1 preview

Team records:
Atlanta (53-29, 48-34 ATS)
Milwaukee (46-36, 53-28-1 ATS)

The Portland Trailblazers faced a tough challenge when they drew the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the NBA Playoffs. It got even tougher when they learned Brandon Roy would miss the postseason with an injury. The Blazers begin their quest for an upset Sunday night in Phoenix.

Matchup: Trailblazers at Suns

Time: Sunday at 10:30 p.m. ET
Venue: US Airways Center
Spread: Phoenix -8
Over/Under: 204

Pardon the pun, but Phoenix (54-28, 48-32-2 ATS) was one of the league’s hotter teams over the last month and a half of the season. In mid-February the Suns were a solid 32-23, but an 88-80 win over the Hawks launched an impressive 22-5 run. Phoenix closed out the regular season with a three-game winning streak, including a 7-3 run against the spread.

The Suns were slightly sharper at US Airways Center, too, going 7-2-1 against the spread in their past 10 home games.

Phoenix will simply try outgunning the undermanned Trailblazers. Six different players averaged at least double figures, including leading-scorer Amare Stoudemire. Stoudemire was great against the Blazers this season, averaging 23.0 points and 11.3 rebounds in three meetings. He’s playing very well right now; the forward has led Phoenix in scoring in seven straight games, averaging 26.4 points in that span.

Of course, the fuel that powers this engine is Steve Nash. Nash looked as good as ever this season and will be a major factor. Online Sports Betting at Sportsbook

Portland (50-32, 45-35-2 ATS) was decidedly mediocre in April, winning four of its last seven games to close out the regular season. The Trailblazers still delivered solid results at the sportsbook, though, going 6-4 in their past 10 games against the spread.

Taking Portland on NBA odds when playing away from home was a bit riskier, as the Blazers are 5-4-1 against the spread in their past 10 road games.

The Blazers must come to terms with losing Brandon Roy. Roy led the team with 21.5 points per game this season, but he’ll miss the postseason after being shut down for knee surgery. To make matters worse, he was Portland’s best player against Phoenix this season, as he averaged 25 points and eight rebounds in two meetings with the Suns.

Much of the offensive success now relies on LaMarcus Aldridge. He’s more than capable of a big game and averaged 21.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in April.

Bucks vs. Hawks Free NBA Playoff Pick

Portland won two of its three meetings with the Suns this season, though Phoenix took the most recent match up on March 21. Regardless, losing Roy was a devastating blow. Even if Aldridge steps up, there isn’t enough in the cupboard to make up for it. Bet on Phoenix.

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Ian Van Den Hurk has covered amateur and pro sports for years, including a successful run handicapping anything from football to mixed martial arts. Looking for more sports betting tips and expert sports handicapping articles from Ian V? We've got your back...


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