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Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers Gambling Line & NBA Handicapping Pick

Suns vs Blazers Odds

The Portland Trail Blazers have gone through multiple phases throughout the 2013-14 NBA season. They started hot, got ice cold and have now won four straight in their chase toward home-court advantage.[ad-4468020]

NBA Free Plays
Phoenix (44-31) @ Portland (49-27)
Friday, April 4 10:00 PM ET @ Moda Center
Spread: PDX -4.5
Over/Under: 213

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The Phoenix Suns, on the other hand, are fighting for one of the final two spots in the playoffs. The Suns have been consistently good all year, and now it’s time for them to prove they’re worthy of a top-eight seed before the postseason.

Phoenix

The Suns enter this matchup on a two-game drought, but their recent showing has been brilliant.

Before the mini losing streak, the team won six straight—not to mention eight of nine between March 14 and March 28—and has done everything in its power to make the playoffs despite being considered the worst team out West to start the year.

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Against Portland, the Suns must be willing to play defense both in transition and out on the perimeter.

The Blazers have picked up the pace since LaMarcus Aldridge made his return, and they’re back to second in the NBA in scoring after a brief drop to fourth.

Offensively, the Suns must look to score quickly. Goran Dragic is going to be the key to victory in this one, as his ability to control the pace will help Phoenix take advantage of a subpar Portland squad.
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Portland

You can’t deny the importance of LaMarcus Aldridge on this roster, but his return isn’t the only reason Portland has found success as of late. Terry Stotts has finally establish (and stuck with) a nine-man rotation with the year coming to an end.

The bench, which has been the least productive in the league two years in a row, is beginning to produce, and having depth (as shallow as it may be) is going to be important in a run toward the playoffs.

Since getting Aldridge back in the lineup, the Blazers have scored 105 points per game. The Blazers and Suns are the second- and seventh-best scoring teams in the Association, yet their points against one another have been significantly lower this season.

Portland has proven it can play up to its competition this season, but unfortunately, it’s also shown as of late that it can play down to inferior competition.

The Suns are a team fighting for their playoff lives, meaning desperation will look good on them the rest of the year.

The Blazers have struggled to shoot against the Suns this season, which has led to easy scoring opportunities for Phoenix, and if that theme rings true in this one, the Suns should walk away with another win over a top-tier opponent.

Prediction: Phoenix 99 – Portland 98

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