February 3, 2014 at 3:46 PM #53161
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
PDX vs Wizards Betting
The Portland Trail Blazers have seemingly come down to earth following their hot start, but they’re still one of the top contenders out West, and they’re coming off of a close win over the Toronto Raptors. The Washington Wizards, on the other hand, have been a .500 team all year, but they’re coming off of a blowout win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. These two teams will face off at the Verizon Center Monday night.
Portland (34-13) at Washington (23-23)
Monday, Feb. 3 7:00 p.m. ET at Verizon Center
The Portland Trail Blazers got the win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, but it wasn’t the way they wanted to walk away victorious. After jumping out to a big lead early, the team crumbled late and let Toronto come back in the fourth. It took a big-time effort from both Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, but as they say: A win is a win.
Against Washington, Portland needs to jump out to a lead early, but keep it late. The Wizards are just 11-11 at home this year, but they’re finally back to the Verizon center after a long road trip, and the home-court advantage will clearly be on their side.
Defensively, look at the point guard position as the top concern for Portland. John Wall is one of the league’s up-and-coming floor generals, and while the same can be said about Lillard, Wall has an assassin’s mentality that will help him torch a subpar perimeter defender.
Lillard needs to be on top of his defensive game, but more specifically, Robin Lopez must be prepared to rotate and help when Wall inevitably penetrates the middle. Defensive points in the paint have been a problem for the Blazers this season, but a collective effort will minimize what the Wizards can do.
On the year, the Washington Wizards are 13th when it comes to defending the three-point line. That puts them in the upper-half of the league rankings, but they must be excellent against the Trail Blazers if they hope to win.
Portland is currently second in three-point percentage, and there’s a clear correlation between when they shoot well and they win; and more specifically, when they don’t shoot well, they lose. Luckily for the Wizards, they’re not too shabby themselves. Even if they don’t step up defensively, they rank fifth in their own three-point percentage. For that reason, expect a lot of points scored in this one.
Unfortunately for Washington, a lot of points suits Portland well. The Blazers are scoring 108.3 points per contest, which is good enough for first in the NBA, while Washington is recording 98.7—the league’s 19th best mark.
Look for this one to be close late, but with Portland escaping in a high-scoring contest.
Prediction: Portland 113 – Washington 108
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