NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Trail Blazers vs. Lakers Game 5 (Wednesday, August 26)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James.
Editors note: The NBA has postponed all NBA playoff games for Aug. 26 after several teams decided to boycott.
Trail Blazers vs. Lakers Odds
|Trail Blazers Odds||+13.5 [BET NOW]|
|Lakers Odds||-13.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-1115/+800 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||222 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9:00 p.m. ET|
Well, it was fun while it lasted.
The Trail Blazers had a tremendous run in the Orlando bubble. Damian Lillard said it wasn’t worth coming if they weren’t going to win games, and Portland won a whole lot of games. They won eight of their first 10 in Orlando, beating Memphis to the 8-seed and even upsetting these Lakers in Game 1.
And then they ran out of gas.
If you’ve watched Portland play these last couple games, you can almost see the fumes rising from the Blazers. They have nothing left, especially by the second half, and now they’re also missing Damian Lillard. Dame is out for at least Game 5 with a sprained knee, and unless the Blazers pull off a miracle without him, that will be the end of their inspiring run.
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Portland Trail Blazers
Remember when the Blazers won Game 1 and we thought they might actually have a chance in this series? It turns out the Lakers just missed a billion shots. It’s been Portland who’s missing all the shots since then. The Blazers have played 13 meaningful quarters this series. They’ve scored 30 points in just one of those quarters, and that was the very first one.
Lillard is the best player on this roster by a mile. That’s why he was the Bubble MVP, and it’s why Portland has no chance without him. Don’t forget, the Blazers are missing three starters now, with Trevor Ariza and Zach Collins also out. Portland is just outgunned without Dame. They were outgunned with him.
C.J. McCollum has struggled in games where he is forced to run point, and Anfernee Simons has been a disaster all season. This will be one long game of those two and Carmelo Anthony taking turns jacking iso jumpers all game. Unless one of them gets hot, this could be over quickly.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers still aren’t scoring the ball so well, especially considering how weak the Blazers defense is, but they have won this series with outstanding defense. Portland is missing shots, but credit LA for pushing them to take bad shots and for limiting Dame as much as they did before his injury.
Anthony Davis has quietly dominated the series with efficient offense and outstanding defense, and LeBron James is averaging a triple-double through four games. Usually the Lakers need their role players to hit enough shots so the two superstars don’t have to do things on their own, but against Portland without Dame, just The Brow and LeBron should be enough.
The Lakers are going to win and close out this series. Unless C.J., Melo, and Gary Trent Jr. get super hot and the Lakers go ice cold again, there’s just no other path to a Portland victory. With all three other Western Conference series suddenly competitive, this is a chance for the Lakers to grab a serious rest advantage, and LeBron knows how valuable that will be.
There are no props available as of this writing, but I’d love to bet a Carmelo Anthony points over. At age 36, this could well end up being Melo’s last game ever, against his buddy LeBron. Portland is out of options. What’s going to stop Melo from jacking up 25 shots on his way out? They can’t set Melo’s points prop high enough. I’d play it up the over as high as 24.5.
In the end, I don’t expect this to be close. I like the Lakers to effectively end things by halftime, so I’m playing LA -8 first half. I don’t want to miss with the backdoor cover later on once Dion Waiters and J.R. Smith are protecting my lead. I expect the Lakers to lead by double digits at the half, so I’d play up to -9.5.
The Pick: Lakers first half -8; Carmelo Anthony points over