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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Indiana Pacers Gambling & NBA Handicapping Prediction

Portland vs Indiana NBA Betting Odds

The Portland Trail Blazers and Indiana Pacers are scheduled to face off Friday on ESPN, and if all goes according to plan, it will be the perfect display of offense versus defense. [ad-4468020]

Portland (35-14) at Indiana (38-10)
Friday, Feb. 7 7:00 p.m. ET
Spread: Indiana -6

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The Blazers, one of the league’s top offenses, are coming off of a nationally televised win over the New York Knicks. The Pacers, one of the league’s top defenses, are coming off of an equally impressive win over the Atlanta Hawks. The two squads face off at 7:00 p.m. ET in a possible 2014 NBA Finals preview.

Portland

The Portland Trail Blazers are coming off of a 94-90 win over the New York Knicks, and while that win came against a struggling Eastern Conference opponent, it came in a fashion that Portland is unfamiliar with: It came with defense.

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The Blazers’ impressive offense has struggled as of late. That’s not likely to change against the Pacers—one of the league’s most impressive and dominant defenses—but it does shed light on the fact that Portland can win in more than one way.

On the year, the Blazers are scoring the league’s most points per game at 107.7. Unfortunately, they’re giving up 103.1 points per contest, which is the fifth-worst mark in the league. Luckily for them, they’re going up against a team that is just 20th in scoring.
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Portland’s No. 1 priority is stopping Paul George. Lance Stephenson and David West are certainly cover-worthy as well, but those two can’t hold a candle to what George has done on offense this season. If you shut down George, all you have to do is outscore a handful of mediocre offensive players, and that will be the goal for Portland come Friday evening.

Indiana

The Pacers are one of the best defensive squads in the NBA, but their matchup against Portland comes down to how well they can defend the three-point line. On the season, Portland is second behind the San Antonio Spurs in that category. Luckily for Indiana, it is also second in defending that category, giving up just 33.2 percent from beyond the arc on the year.

In the first meeting between these two teams, Portland got the upper hand. It had home-court advantage, and it won 105-102. This time around, Indiana has home-court advantage, and it has a much stronger record in its recent schedule.

The Blazers have struggled as of late, and while their win over New York is important, it’s not as noteworthy as it would have been in recent years. The Knicks are struggling, and defeating them isn’t as impressive as defeating the Pacers will be.

Unfortunately for Portland, the Pacers are riding a three-game winning streak, and that momentum should carry them to a solid win over the Blazers at home.

Prediction: Indiana 95 – Portland 85

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