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Charlotte Bobcats vs. Portland Trail Blazers Gambling & NBA Handicapping Prediction

Charlotte vs PDX NBA Betting Odds

The Portland Trail Blazers have garnered attention this season for their winning ways, but the Charlotte Bobcats deserve attention as well. [ad-4468020]

Charlotte Bobcats (14-19) at Portland Trail Blazers (25-7)
Thursday, Jan. 2 10:00 p.m. ET
Spread: PDX -11
Total: 201

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Despite being stuck in the basement of the league the past few years—not to mention the butt of many jokes—this group is looking like a playoff hopeful, and while part of that is the inferior play of the entire Eastern Conference, you can’t ignore the improvements they’ve made.

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These two squads are set to face off in Portland, Ore. on Jan. 2 at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Charlotte

The Bobcats, for as well as they’ve played this season, are coming off a shellacking at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers. This team has performed adequately against their disappointing Eastern Conference foes; however, they’re a step behind when it comes to superior competition.

Unfortunately for this squad, that’s what it will be dealing with on its current West Coast swing.

Against Portland, look for Kemba Walker to take full advantage of a point guard battle featuring little defense.

The Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard has improved this season on that end of the floor, but he’s still allowing his opponents to do damage in one-on-one battles.

Portland’s interior defense isn’t good enough to make up the difference—despite the addition of Robin Lopez—and Walker should look to have a field day—especially in crunch time, as both Walker and Lillard are top-four players when it comes to points scored with the game on the line.

As bad as the Bobcats have been on offense—they’re just 29th in the league in terms of points per game—they’re third in points allowed.
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They give up 93.8 points per contest, which is going to be crucial in this contest.

Portland

The key narrative in this one is Charlotte’s defense versus Portland’s offense. As good as the Bobcats have been on defense this season, they’re going up against the No. 1 offense in the entire NBA in terms of efficiency and points per game (108.3).

The Blazers are led by LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, but their three-point shooting—first in the NBA when it comes to percentage—comes from all across the roster.

In the starting lineup, Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum are big-time playmakers (both early and late in contests), and off the bench, look for Mo Williams and Dorell Wright to create a spark.

Defensively, Portland must improve if it wants to take down playoffs opponents in a seven-game series; but luckily for them, they’re facing the Bobcats in this one, not the San Antonio Spurs or Oklahoma City Thunder.

Look for the Blazers’ offense to find enough of a spark to make this one a convincing win at home to start the New Year.

Prediction: Portland 108 – Charlotte 95

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