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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Orlando Magic Gambling & NBA Handicapping Prediction

Trail Blazers vs Magic Odds

The Portland Trail Blazers are in the midst of their worst struggle of the season, but they have two things in their favor at this juncture: They’re coming off of a near-comeback win against the Miami Heat and they have the Orlando Magic up next—a franchise that wants nothing more than to tank and earn a top pick in the 2014 NBA draft. [ad-4468020]

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Portland (45-26) @ Orlando (19-52)
Tuesday, March 25 7:00 PM ET @ Amway Center
Spread: PDX -5
Over/Under: 207

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Portland

The Portland Trail Blazers went through three major phases of their most recent game against the championship-contending Miami Heat (on Monday, March 24).

The team started out competitive, fell behind in the second and third quarters and then stormed back with a 30-21 fourth period to come within two points at the final buzzer.

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The biggest problem in the contest—aside from an atrocious final play at the buzzer—was the 15 turnovers the team had. The Blazers were careful in the fourth quarter during their comeback attempt, but their careless in periods one through three made the comeback futile.

The other issue for Portland in the loss was awful three-point shooting.

The Miami Heat were far from brilliant, going 5-of-15 from behind the arc, but Portland made just 11 of its 39 attempts.

Against Orlando, Portland will see a far less imposing defense on the perimeter.

The Heat are known for their quick rotations and athletic perimeter defenders, while Orlando, as already noted, has the upcoming draft in mind. The Blazers will earn more open looks, but unlike the contest against Miami, they need to make them early so they don’t have to expend all their energy in a comeback late.
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Orlando

The key to beating Portland, as we saw on Monday and have seen during the second half of the 2013-14 season, is defending the perimeter.

The team is without LaMarcus Aldridge, which means the mid-range game will be virtually non-existent, but the problem is that the Magic are the second-worst team at defending the three-point line, beating out only the Milwaukee Bucks—the team with the NBA’s worst record.

Offensively, Orlando has a real chance at putting together a top-notch performance against Portland.

The Magic average just 96.7 points per contest—the 24th-best mark in the league—but the Blazers are allowing 105.7 points per game on the road, which is the worst in the Association.

According to the Associated Press, via ESPN, Victor Oladipo said after a recent loss, “It’s frustrating when you are trying not to do the wrong thing and bad things just happen. Luckily for Oladipo and the Magic that’s a sentiment both Orlando and Portland share at this juncture.

On Tuesday, it comes down to which struggling team wants it more. The Magic have home-court advantage, but the Blazers are now in danger of losing their spot in the playoffs, giving them the most motivation.

Free NBA Prediction: Portland 111 – Orlando 100

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