Blazers vs. Lakers Odds & Pick: How To Bet Portland’s Game 3 Total
Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: Damian Lillard (right) and CJ McCollum.
Blazers vs. Lakers Odds
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|Blazers Odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Lakers Odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-286/+250 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||229 [BET NOW]|
|Time||8:30 p.m. ET|
Well that’s more like it, if you’re a Lakers fan. Los Angeles was a shock loser in Game 1, falling 100-93 with an abysmal 5-of-32 shooting night behind the arc. Many were very worried about the Lakers after their playoff opener, including yours truly, not just long term but maybe even in this series.
Well, 48 hours later, the Lakers are feeling much better. They took control early in Game 2 and coasted to a 111-88 victory that wasn’t even as close as that looks. Portland looked exhausted and without answers, like a team that had been playing playoff games every couple nights for three straight weeks. The Lakers didn’t make any major changes. They just executed a lot better and actually hit a few shots.
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Portland Trail Blazers
In a typical playoffs, the Blazers would get a serious energy lift with a return home for Game 3, where Rip City fans always give the team a spark. No such luck in the bubble. The Blazers will have to pick themselves up and do it on their own. But as demoralizing as Game 2 was, it’s still just a five-game series remaining. The Blazers only need three more wins.
The best part about Game 2 was that Portland’s exhausted starters got a bit of a break by not playing so much or so hard since the game was essentially over at halftime. Unfortunately Damian Lillard was still in the game late and hurt his hand. Fans feared the worst, but it was only a dislocated finger. Dame is expected to play, though he could be wearing a splint. It wasn’t all good news for the Blazers though; Zach Collins will undergo season-ending surgery, leaving Portland with only six reliable bodies.
As maligned as the Blazers’ defense has been, and deservedly so, their offense is what has let them down against the Lakers. After scoring 36 in the first quarter of Game 1, the Blazers scored 22 or fewer points the next six quarters before putting up 30 in garbage time of Game 2’s fourth quarter.
This was the No. 3 offense in the entire NBA! They had averaged 126 PPG in the seeding games, over 32 per quarter. Against the Lakers so far, they’re down to 23.5 per quarter. Lillard has returned to earth, Melo has stunk, and C.J. McCollum and his broken back aren’t producing.
The Blazers were so desperate for an offensive spark that they took young Anfernee Simons out of the deep freeze Thursday. Simons was one of the worst regulars in the league this year and had played four minutes combined the last five games. Portland is getting desperate.
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers didn’t look like a desperate team despite facing a must-win Game 2. No, they just looked like a team that knew they were better. Better than they had looked in Game 1, and certainly better than this banged-up Blazers team.
LA stayed the course, played its usual tough defense, and finally got some shots to fall. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope suddenly remembered how to shoot and hit four 3s, and JaVale McGee played well for the first time in the bubble. Consider that the Lakers blew out the Blazers despite the fact that LeBron had only 10 points, six rebounds, and seven assists.
LA’s offense isn’t exactly clicking yet. They’re still averaging only 102.0 PPG against a bad defense, and KCP won’t hit four 3s every game. Danny Green still looks D.O.A., and the Lakers still don’t have a reliable third option. But with Lillard ailing and the Lakers defense suffocating Portland, it looks like the Lakers are in good shape — at least for this series.
Betting Analysis & Pick
This series is definitely trending in the Lakers’ direction now. It’s still 1-1, and the Lakers still aren’t scoring a ton, but the one thing that’s definitely established at this point is that Portland is not scoring well against LA’s great defense. And it’s hard to imagine that getting any better now that their Bubble MVP is playing with an injured hand.
It wouldn’t be wise to count these Blazers out. They’ve already won eight must-win games in Orlando, and Dame is not one to give up. No one would bat an eye if he came out and dropped 40 in this one, especially in front of a national ABC audience.
Still, I’m not convinced the Blazers will score enough. I’m leaning under here, and I’m thinking Portland’s team under. If the game gets away again, the Lakers could run up the score on a tired, bad defense. Or maybe Portland keeps it close, but if they do, I think it will be because the Lakers struggle to score again.
I’m playing the Blazers team under 109.0. I won’t put it past Portland to keep this game close enough to cover, but when they’re scoring 22 points or fewer almost every quarter, that makes it awfully tough to get to 110. That’s a whole quarter short, if you’re counting at home. I’ll play the Blazers under down to 107.5 if needed. And if Dame does it all on his own, so be it.
Pick: Blazers team total under 109