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Phoenix Suns vs. Portland Trail Blazers NBA Gambling Preview & Pick

Phoenix vs PDX NBA Betting Odds

The Phoenix Suns were expected to be one of a handful of teams tanking the 2013-14 NBA season, but as it turns out, they’ve taken the league by surprise, winning five of their first seven games. On Wednesday night they’ll face the team that they defeated on opening night by 13 points. [ad-4468020]

Phoenix Suns (5-2) @ Portland Trail Blazers (5-2)
Wednesday, Nov. 13 7:00 PM PT @ Moda Center
Spread: Portland -6.5
O/U: 201.5

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The difference this time around is that the game is in Portland’s home arena, and the Blazers have won three straight to gain momentum early in the year.

Phoenix

The Suns have looked great early in the year, and it’s because of their newfound attention to defense. The team is allowing just 96 points per contest, which is good enough for fifth in the entire Association.

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Unfortunately for the Suns, they’re going up against the seventh-best scoring team in the NBA, meaning they’ll be faced with the unfortunate task of stopping LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard and Wesley Matthews.

Offensively, the Suns may be middle-of-the-pack, as they’re averaging 100.3 points per contest, but they have a breakout candidate of the year in Eric Bledsoe.

The point guard has finally been given the chance to start, and he’s taking full advantage, averaging 20.9 points, 7.3 assists, 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game.

Bledsoe will look to challenge Lillard, who while being a better defender in his sophomore season, is still the defensive weakness in the Trail Blazers’ starting lineup.
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The first time these two met, the Suns out-rebounded the Blazers by eight. That will be a category worth watching, as Miles Plumlee will be the best rebounder on the court in this one.

Portland

If the Blazers have one glaring weakness, it’s their play in the post. They’re dead last in points in the paint, and they’re also last in points allowed in the paint. Defensively, the Blazers have to worry more about the perimeter players penetrating the middle than the bigs posting up.

Offensively, don’t expect the Blazers to play with their backs to the basket much throughout this one.

The team’s most reliable option, LaMarcus Aldridge, has been extremely successful this year with his mid-range jumper. He has it in his arsenal to play around the rim, but he’s more comfortable shooting the 15-20 footer, and he’s made a living off of it so far.

As for the rest of the crew, look for a lot of three-pointers to be flying Wednesday night. Portland takes the seventh-most three-pointers of any team in the league, and more importantly, they’re No. 3 when it comes to three-point percentage.

Phoenix is directly behind them in attempts, and they’re 14th in long-range percentage.

Expect home-court advantage to play a role in this one. The Moda Center hasn’t been rocking the way it has in the past this year, but it’s still a dangerous place for opponents to play, especially when the Blazers have a winning streak under their belt.

Historically, the home team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings between these two.

The score has gone over the projected O/U in 17 of Portland’s last 23 home games, which points to a high-scoring showdown in the Blazers’ favor.

Prediction: Portland 108 – Phoenix 101

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