Free NBA Pick: Thunder vs. Blazers NBA Odds
Looking for Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers free NBA picks & NBA Playoff odds? NBA betting sees the Thunder taking on the Blazers on Sunday April 14th, 2019 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Cappers Picks provides complimentary expert handicapping picks on all NBA basketball matchups so stay tuned for more FREE daily NBA playoff hoops predictions like this Thunder Trail Blazers matchup.
2019 NBA Playoffs – Round 1
(0-0) Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers (0-0)
Date: Sunday April 14th
Time: 3:30PM EST
Venue: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon
NBA Moneyline Odds: off
NBA Betting Odds: Trail Blazers -3
NBA Betting Total: 225
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The Trail Blazers and Thunder could very well be the two teams with the most bad blood facing off in the first round of the playoffs. Although Paul George recently told media members he felt bad for the fallen Jusuf Nurkic, there has to be a part of George and the Thunder that realizes the advantage they now have.
The Trail Blazers, however, signed Enes Kanter for the home stretch, and while he has his flaws (more on that later), he’s an able-bodied big who can be a difference maker on offense.
These two teams face off in the first game of this seven-game series on Sunday afternoon in Portland, Ore.
Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder, if they are smart, should look to the New Orleans Pelicans for the blueprint on how to take down the Trail Blazers.
No, not this year’s Pelicans. Last year’s squad wrote the book on how to get the ball out of Damian Lillard’s hands above the three-point line (sometimes as far as halfcourt).
With no Nurkic, the Blazers won’t be able to use their starting center to make plays out of the elbow and above the three-point line. That was going to be a big part of their offensive attack, but with it no longer in the cards, the Thunder should be able to trap without fear of Steven Adam’s man doing much damage—at least on the first pass.
Offensively, the Thunder need one thing, and it’s what they’ve needed all season: Russell Westbrook to be even remotely efficient.
This team also needs Paul George healthy (his mysterious shoulder injury shouldn’t keep him out of any games, but when he’s less than 100 percent, it’s a big deal for this team). But what it mostly needs is Westbrook to hit mid-range jumpers and keep his deep balls to a minimum.
If the Thunder lose this game, there’s a good chance it’s because the point guard shot OKC out of it.
Portland Trail Blazers
Enes Kanter isn’t going to replicate Nurkic. Kanter isn’t even half the defender Nurk has become, and he doesn’t have the ability to make plays out of the elbow or above the three-point line—something that’s going to be painfully obvious if the Thunder do, in fact, trap the same way New Orleans did a year ago.
What Portland has going for it, though, is a power forward in a small forward’s body. Al-Farouq Aminu can shoot off curls or pass out of the elbow. Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard can be counted upon in a pinch in those situations as well, but Aminu is going to be something of a quiet X-factor; as his shot and passing from 15-23 feet goes, so will the team.
All that said, at its core, Portland is Damian Lillard’s team. The franchise point guard didn’t live up to his supermax contract a year ago, and now it’s time for him to prove that he plays best with a chip on his shoulder.
Rip City is counting on it.
NBA Betting Trends:
OKC are 8-21 ATS in their last 29 Sun. games.
Over is 16-5-1 in POR last 22 home games.
Over is 18-8-2 in POR last 28 games as a favorite.
Free Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers NBA Prediction: Nurk absence is obvious.
The Blazers are favored by three, likely because of OKC’s recent struggles. But their lack of a defensive, playmaking center is going to be a problem.
4* Free NBA Playoff Betting Pick: OKC ATS
The Blazers have lost 10 straight playoff games entering this contest.
Make it 11.
NBA Free Game 1 Score Prediction: Oklahoma City Thunder 116 – Portland Trail Blazers 110
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