NBA Odds, Betting Picks & Predictions: Trail Blazers vs. Nets (Thursday, Aug. 13)
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard #0 and Jusuf Nurkic #27 of the Portland Trail Blazers
- The Portland Trail Blazers and Brooklyn Nets tip off at 9 p.m. ET in Orlando in what is a must-win game for Portland.
- The Blazers need a victory to advance to the play-in game for the 8th seed in the Western Conference, and they are the favorite Thursday at -9.
- Read Troy Haliburton's full betting preview for Trail Blazers vs. Nets below.
Trail Blazers vs. Nets Betting Odds
|Trail Blazers odds||-9 [BET NOW]|
|Nets odds||+9 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-420/+325 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||237 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard said that he was not interested in coming to the bubble if the Trail Blazers did not have a legitimate shot at making the playoffs. On the very last game of the regular season, the Blazers control their own destiny and need to win in order to secure a place in the Western Conference play-in tournament.
Portland finds itself in this position largely because of the contributions of Lillard, who scored 61 and 51 points in back-to-back games.
The Brooklyn Nets are a team that has found a rhythm in their last few games, amassing a 5-2 record in the bubble. Brooklyn has been one of the more surprising teams in Orlando because its level of expectation was not high coming into the restart due to being so short-handed, but interim head coach Jacques Vaughn has gotten his team to band together with their “next man up” mentality.
The Nets are coming into this last game as 9-point underdogs. With this matchup at 9 p.m. ET — the last game of the day — there will be much more clarity about what the Blazers will need in order to secure their spot. There is a scenario in which they could have already secured the 8-seed and would not have to play their best players.
Brooklyn has already locked itself into the 7-seed so it remains to be seen what type of lineup it will field.
Portland Trail Blazers
Portland is operating at an incredibly efficient offensive clip in the seeding games with a 121.6 offensive rating, while its 56.3% effective field goal percentage is ranked fourth. For the entirety of the season, the Blazers are third in the NBA in shooting 37.8% from 3-point range and also third from the free throw line, shooting 80.3%.
Analytically this is a very solid basketball team in terms of scoring and is equally as inefficient at preventing other teams from scoring the basketball. Portland ranks 27th in the entire NBA with a defensive efficiency rating of 111.6, meaning it gives up nearly 112 points per every 100 possessions.
Normally the Blazers would be in great position to simply outscore opponents, but with news coming out Tuesday night that guard CJ McCollum is dealing with a fractured lower back, it will make that much more difficult. Portland has already shortened its playoff rotation to just eight players, and if McCollum is not going to be at full strength, this puts a lot more pressure on Lillard to continue his super human production — that simply may not be sustainable.
The Nets are in position to potentially rest their top three players after posting a 5-2 record during the restart, including a big wins over the Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee Bucks. Brooklyn played in that game without Caris LaVert, Jarrett Allen and Joe Harris, and could even potentially be down Chris Chiozza, who left the Clippers game with a right abductor tightness.
Chiozza is listed as questionable on the Nets injury report after not practicing Wednesday afternoon. Vaughn indicated that the trio of Harris, Allen and LaVert could possibly play in this game, but that the game flow would ultimately determine how many minutes each player will get.
If Chiozza is unable to go, the Nets will turn to little-known Jeremiah Martin as their backup point guard behind Tyler Johnson. Martin scored a career-high 24 points in the Nets’ latest win against the Orlando Magic and there is a good chance that he could be thrust into action against the hottest player in the league right now.
Jarrett Allen has been a steady force for the Nets and has put up a double-double in three out of his last four games. He has been able to lead the team on the defensive end of the floor by protecting the rim and contributing heavily on the offensive end by providing a significant scoring punch around the basket. The Nets need a strong outing from Allen down low in order to stay competitive in this game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Portland has been one of the most consistent teams to bet on in the bubble with an against-the-spread (ATS) record of 5-1-1, and the Nets have been right behind with an ATS record of 5-2. With the Blazers being favored by such a large margin, it makes it extremely difficult to trust that they can cover the spread against a Nets team that has been playing so well.
The Blazers are coming into this critical game with only a 52.6% chance of winning the game according to ESPN BPI, which does not correlate favorably for being favored by nearly double-digits. Sixty-one percent of the early bets are coming down in favor of the Blazers, but savvy bettors can take advantage of the skewed market by betting on the Nets.