New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trailblazers NBA Pick – April 17th

We picked up the win last night, but it wasn’t easy. We took the Golden State Warriors -10 points against the San Antonio Spurs. The first half couldn’t have gone much worse for Golden State, and they trailed by six at halftime. The Spurs were playing inspired basketball, and the Warriors struggled shooting the ball from deep. In the second half, the Warriors finally started hitting some shots, and they eventually pulled away for the 116-101 win and cover. That just goes to show you how big the gap in talent between these two teams right now.

Golden State was playing without Steph Curry and had about the worst first half they were ever going to have, and they still won by fifteen points. This team is just that loaded. It pained me to have to bet against Spur’s head coach Greg Popovich, especially laying so many points, but in the end, even the greatest coach of all time can’t overcome this big of a gap in talent on the floor. My heart tells me that San Antonio will find a way to win at home and make a series out of this, but my brain says this is likely a sweep for the Dubs. For tonight’s pick, I will break down the game between the Portland Trailblazers and the New Orleans Pelicans.

The New Orleans Pelicans are in Portland Tuesday night for game two the best of seven game series with the Blazers. The Pelican shocked Portland in game one and upset the Blazers 97-95. And really the game wasn’t nearly as close as the final score showed as the Pelicans had a double-digit lead much of the second half and led by seventeen points late in the fourth quarter. Portland finished strong and made a game out of it, but as it stands now, their backs are against the wall. The Blazers are -6-point home favorites. The game total over-under is set at 214 points. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM PST from the Moda Center in Portland.

I loved the New Orleans Pelicans in this series before it started. I expected Anthony Davis to be too much for the Blazers to handle. In game one that was absolutely the case as Davis dropped thirty-five points to go with fourteen rebounds, two steals, and four blocks. It was a vintage Davis performance, and he dominated. The other part of this series that I felt fell in New Orleans direction was their point guard Rajon Rondo.

Rondo has a wealth of playoff experience and has had a career resurgence this season with the Pelicans. In game one Rondo commanded the floor and dished out seventeen dimes and pulled down eight rebounds. If Rondo continues to play like this the rest of the series, the Pelicans will be advancing for sure.

Portland played bad in game one. There really isn’t any other way to put it. But in the fourth quarter, they played with a sense of urgency late and managed to find a way to cut a massive lead down to just one point and almost stole the game back in the last seconds. Portland knows if they lose this game the series is over. You never see a team go down two games at home and come back to win the series. It just doesn’t happen. I expect to see Portland play with that same sense of urgency from the tip tonight, it truly is win or go home tonight for the Blazers.

This number was a bit surprising to me. Portland laid five points in game one. They lost the game outright. Now they are bigger favorites in game two? Doesn’t really add up to me. That being said, I am backing the home team tonight. I expect that they are going to play much harder than they did in game one and New Orleans can take it somewhat easy knowing all they have to do at this point is take care of business at home and the series is over.

I wasn’t convinced the Blazers were the better team coming into this series, even though they are the higher seed, and I am still not convinced of that now. But I do know that we are going to see the most effort they can give tonight, and for that reason I expect them to win and cover. I don’t think they will blow them out, and that number is going to be a tough one to cover, but in the end, I see the Blazers winning and covering by the skin of their teeth.

Give me the Portland Trailblazers tonight at home, in desperation mode, laying -6-points!

The Bet: Portland Trailblazers -6 points

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