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Friday NBA Odds, Picks, Prediction: Lakers vs. Trail Blazers Betting Preview (May 7)

Friday NBA Odds, Picks, Prediction: Lakers vs. Trail Blazers Betting Preview (May 7) article feature image

Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers, Anthony Davis #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers.

  • The Los Angeles Lakers head to Portland to face the Trail Blazers on the second night of a back-to-back.
  • Must-win games are often overstated in the NBA, but the loser of this matchup will likely end up in the play-in tournament with the winner fast-tracked for No. 6 in the West.
  • Austin Wang previews the game, including his bet in the matchup.

Lakers vs. Trail Blazers Odds

Lakers Odds+6.5
Trail Blazers Odds-6.5
Moneyline+225 / -285
Time10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Friday and via PointsBet.

Friday’s night matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Portland Trail Blazers is a high stakes showdown between two teams that will be trying to avoid participation in the NBA’s play-in tournament.

Entering Friday, both teams are tied for No. 6 seed with a 37-29 record. Since they have split the two games this season, this rubber match will serve even more importance as a tiebreaker in the event these teams end up with the same record. Which team will prevail to be No. 6 seed?

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Los Angeles Lakers

With LeBron James expected to miss this crucial game and point guard Dennis Schroder out due to health and safety protocol, the Lakers do not have many playmakers on offense. It will be tough to keep up with the Trail Blazers, who are finally healthy and eager to avoid the Play-In spot for a second consecutive season.

Since the all-star break, the Lakers rank 26th in Offensive Rating (107.4), according to NBA Advanced Stats. I would be wasting my breath explaining how much impact James has on the Lakers’ offense, but did you know the Lakers are 1-5 against the spread this season when Schroder does not play? The Lakers averaged just 102 points per game and their Offensive Rating decreases by 5.1 points per 100 possessions when he is off the court, per Basketball Reference.

Already missing so many key players, the Lakers are also on the second game of a back-to-back after getting blown out to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday evening. Anthony Davis also suffered an injury in the game against the Clippers, so keep your eye on his status with the NBA Insiders tool.

Outside of those three players, there aren’t many other who can generate offense. Kyle Kuzma led the Lakers with 19 shot attempts and the only other player who scored in double figures was Montrezl Harrell. Andre Drummond was ineffective without a ball handler feeding him open looks.

They may be in a good bounce back scenario, but I do not think they have the talent to match-up with the Trail Blazers. While Drummond could provide some interior defense and rebounding, I expect the talented Blazers’ backcourt and perimeter shooting to overwhelm the Lakers.

Portland Trail Blazers

The Trail Blazers have had a streaky, inconsistent season. After a strong start to the season, the Trail Blazers struggled recently as they dealt with some injuries to Damian Lillard and Jusuf Nurkic. However, they have just finished a six-game road trip in which they won (and covered) five out of the six games. This really helps them gain some momentum for the playoffs after it appeared they were falling out of the picture.

Home teams facing a conference opponent after playing four consecutive road games against non-conference opponents have gone 67-44-3 ATS (60.4%) since the 2015-2016 season, per the SDQL. It appears teams in this scenario play above expectations after they come home from a long road trip and face a familiar conference foe. They certainly have the rest and health advantage against the Lakers.

The Trail Blazers may also have revenge on their mind from getting eliminated by the Lakers in the first round last season and should be ready to capitalize on the hobbled Laker squad.

This season, in matchups between two playoff teams (defined as a win percentage of 55% or more) after the all star break, home favorites have gone 22-6-1 ATS (78.6%), per the SDQL database. These above average teams are taking care of business at home as the playoffs get closer.

Lakers-Trail Blazers Pick

The Lakers may be in a prime bounce-back spot after getting blown out the night before, but with Davis not at full health, plus James and Schroder sidelined, I struggle to see how the Lakers stay competitive.

The Blazers must seize this opportunity to get ahead and I expect that they will leverage their veteran experience to blast past the Lakers and take over the No. 6 seed.

With the injuries and back-to-back factored in, I make this line Trail Blazers -8.5 and therefore, I see value in backing the home favorites. I would play this up to key number of -7.

Pick: Trail Blazers -6.5 (up to -7)

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