Los Angeles vs Portland NBA Betting Guide
In the Western Conference quarterfinals, the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Clippers meet as the fifth and fourth seeds, respectively. At the beginning of the season, no one thought Portland would even sniff the playoffs, as four of the starting five had left town — LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews and Robin Lopez through free agency and Nicolas Batum through a trade. The Clippers almost fell apart before they begged DeAndre Jordan to renege on his verbal commitment to Dallas in the free agency period, and then they almost imploded, as Blake Griffin broke his hand in a fight with a team staffer. These two teams open a playoff series rife with question marks. Find out the updated NBA online betting odds here.
Los Angeles Clippers vs Portland Trail Blazers NBA Betting Guide
Why should you bet on Portland to win?
While Chris Paul and J.J. Redick make a formidable backcourt, the Trail Blazers’ pairing of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum have an even higher ceiling. Their ability to force turnovers and push the ball will largely determine Portland’s fortunes in this series. The pair combined for 46 points per game this season, but they will need to score more than that to get through this series with a win. If those two falter, the scoring falls off dramatically, as Al-Farouq Aminu, Allen Crabbe and Miles Plumlee lead a group that plays well in smaller roles but should not be expected to step up and take a dominant role when it comes to scoring. This is a team that went 18-4 between January 10 and March 1 and beat Golden State by 32 at home, so this is a team that can dominate.
Why should you put your money on the Clippers to win?
Los Angeles has a much stronger frontcourt than the Trail Blazers, starting with Jordan’s 12.7 points, 13.8 boards and 2.3 blocks per game. He can dominate the paint and the rim on both ends of the floor. Blake Griffin (21.4 points, 8.9 boards, 4.9 assists) can bang inside but also can slide out to nail a mid-range jumper. Paul Pierce is still lethal coming off the bench, and Wesley Johnson and Cole Aldrich provide some depth inside. The Clippers also have a terrific backcourt, with J.J. Redick and Chris Paul as the starters. Redick led the NBA this season in three-point percentage (47.5%), and they combine for 35.8 points per game. Jamal Crawford, a solid Sixth Man of the Year candidate, and Austin Rivers both give the team even more backcourt options. This is a team that is fast and deep — and is hard to beat inside.
Expert Pick and Final Series Prediction
As dominant as the Clippers are inside, I like the dynamism of Portland’s offense more. Portland has also shown that they can get key stops when they need to. I’m predicting Portland in six.