NBA Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Trail Blazers vs. Lakers Game 4 (Monday, August 24)
Photo by Ashley Landis-Pool/Getty Images. Pictured: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers drives to the basket
- The Los Angeles Lakers eye a 3-1 series lead when they take on the Portland Trail Blazers at 9 p.m. ET in Orlando.
- The Lakers won Game 3, 116-108, but the final score wasn't indicative of the Blazers' offensive struggles in this series.
- Brandon Anderson explains why he likes Portland's team under in Game 4 below.
Trail Blazers vs. Lakers Betting Odds
|Blazers Odds||+7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Lakers Odds||-7.5 [BET NOW]|
|Moneyline||-315/+260 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||224.5 [BET NOW]|
|Time||9 p.m. ET|
The Lakers beat the Blazers 116-108 in Game 3, winning their second in a row to take a 2-1 series lead. LeBron James had 38 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, and dominated as Portland got 20-point games from Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum and Carmelo Anthony, but it was not enough.
If you missed the game and only read that, you’d think this is a pretty standard outcome. The usual Blazers scored, the Lakers stars were better and Los Angeles did enough to win.
But the reality is that Portland completely and totally ran out of gas and looked like it was on empty for almost the entire fourth quarter. Those three Blazers scorers each played at least 42 minutes, and Jusuf Nurkic played 35 and it looked like about 10 too many. Portland had no answers on defense and nothing left in the tank.
Game 3 may look close, but anyone who watched it saw a Lakers team that was fresher and better and never really in danger. Does Portland have anything left to make one more push?
Portland Trail Blazers
The worry with Portland at this point is that it just doesn’t have enough on either end. There’s no need to worry about Portland’s defense. That question has long since been answered, and it ain’t good. But it’s hard to believe in the Blazers offense against L.A. at this point, too.
Portland didn’t score 30 in any quarter in Game 3, which means it has failed to do so now in 10 of 12 playoff quarters, and one of the two successes was a complete garbage-time Game 2 fourth quarter. This actually felt like a solid offensive effort from Portland, with McCollum and Melo both putting up big scoring lines, but CJ scored 28 on 25 shots and Anthony had 20 on 20. Those two combined for exactly zero free throws.
And I know, you want to talk about the 43-19 free-throw differential in Game 3. And sure, the Lakers got a few kind whistles. But you know what doesn’t draw fouls? CJ and Melo jacking contested jumpers all game, that’s what. That’s just not good enough offense, and it wasn’t good enough in Game 3 even with both of them hot much of the game.
And if Portland can’t win with hot shooting games from both CJ and Melo, then I’m not sure what its other options are, outside of another 50 piece from Dame. Lillard played through that dislocated finger and didn’t show any signs, but he’s Portland’s only hope to win another game in this series.
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Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers continue to dominate this game on the defensive end. CJ and Melo are shooting contested jumpers, but credit the Lakers for forcing those shots time and again, too. Portland was absolutely blitzing teams in the Orlando bubble, averaging over 126 PPG. L.A. has held the Blazers below 99 PPG here. If you have to score only 100 points to win and you’ve got LeBron James and Anthony Davis, I like your chances.
LeBron finally looked like “Playoff LeBron” for the first time in a Lakers uniform. That 38-12-8 was on only 18 shots and partnered with great defense, and it was the first time he looked engaged and in attack mode for the series. Portland had no answer for him, which is to say Anthony was his primary defender. Davis was huge too with 29 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists of his own. L.A. will be tough to beat when those two guys put up lines like that.
The Lakers still aren’t getting much help from their teammates. Rajon Rondo remains doubtful for Game 4 and the Lakers offense still looks stuck in mud in the half court. When Portland scores it stays in this thing, but the Lakers are running off every missed jumper and crushing the tired Blazers in transition. Portland’s only shot is to make enough shots to stop that from happening.
Betting Analysis & Pick
I still have real worries about the Lakers offense, but I’m not sure it’s going to matter in this series. Portland’s offense just isn’t producing, so unless Dame has one of those Bubble MVP games in him, I’m not sure Portland can score enough. The Blazers looked like a team that was running on total fumes … with about eight minutes left. I’m not sure it has anything left.
Portland’s winning script at this point is a huge Dame game and for Melo and Gary Trent Jr. to hit a barrage of threes like they did so often in the seeding games. I don’t buy it. Shots don’t fall for exhausted teams.
We played the Portland team under 108.5 last time and gritted out a half-point win even with the Blazers’ highest-scoring game of the series.
I’m on the under 108.5 again. Even if Portland has another outburst for one quarter, I just don’t see enough scoring to get there.
I’d play down to 107.
The Bet: Blazers team total under 108.5 [Bet now at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]