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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Gambling Preview & Pick

Portland vs Cleveland NBA Betting Odds

What in the world has gotten into the Portland Trail Blazers? Through 25 contests, the team from the Northwest Division has lost just four games, giving it the best record in the entire NBA. [ad-4468020]

Portland (21-4) @ Cleveland (9-14)
Tuesday, Dec. 17 7:00 PM ET @ Quicken Loans Arena
Spread: PDX -4.5
Over/Under: 205

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The Blazers are winning games in every way imaginable, and they’ll look to keep their four-game winning streak alive on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Portland

The Trail Blazers have shown the ability to win down the stretch, but they’re also a threat to dominate from start to finish. Take their last two games, for example: a 139-105 win in Philadelphia, as well as a 111-109 overtime victory in Detroit.

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This team is living by the three, but with LaMarcus Aldridge playing like a true MVP candidate, they’ve yet to “die” when their shot isn’t falling. On the year, Portland is second in three-point percentage and fourth in three-pointers attempted. We know what their game plan is going to be in this one, and it’s up to the Cavaliers to stop it.

Defensively, look for Portland to give up shots at the rim in order to stop three-pointers. Cleveland hasn’t been good from outside this season, and a breakout performance from behind the arc would give them a huge advantage.

Specifically, look for Portland to lock down on Kyrie Irving. The guard is leading the score sheets in Cleveland by a long shot, and allowing anyone else to get off a good look is often better than a contested one from the young star point guard.
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On the boards, LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez need to be active against the likes of Tristan Thompson, Anderson Varejao and Andrew Bynum. The three-headed monster down low can make a huge difference, and while Bynum hasn’t been what the team expected him to be, Portland will need to put a body on him every time he enters the paint.

Cleveland

The Cavaliers are a middle-of-the-road team defensively, as they’re allowing 100 points per game this season. That number is 16th in the NBA, but they’ll have to step up their game in this one, as the Blazers enter not only with the best record, but with the top scoring average of any team across the Association.

Cleveland has to hope for one of two things to happen. First and foremost, the Blazers need to miss shots from the three-point line. When that happens, it means they must make up for it in other areas, and with the length of the Cavs, the mid-range game could be difficult to adjust to.

The other thing Cleveland must see happen is that they control the pace of the game. Portland can play quickly when forced to do so, but they’re also giving up 100.6 points per contest. If the Cavs can get out and run, it will create easy buckets, giving them the opportunity to keep up on the scoreboard.

Unfortunately for the Cavs, the Blazers are a great road team this year, and they’re a group that looks nearly unshakable at this point in the season. Portland will slow down eventually, but don’t expect it to be against the 9-14 Cavaliers.

Prediction: Portland 103 – Cleveland 93

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