The Washington Wizards could not stop Stephen Curry last night. Few really can, but giving up 11 three-pointers and 51 points in all played a huge hand in the Wiz failing (by a lot) to beat a +9.5 point spread. It was worth a shot, but looking back, I don’t know if any picks I was excited about ending up working out.
I’ll eat the loss, but fortunately it’s been a hot start for me to this point and I’ll take a strong 5-2 NBA picks record into Thursday night’s four-game slate.
It’s a tame schedule for NBA betting purposes, but there figures to be some value to take advantage of. The game I have my eye on resides in Orlando, where the Magic welcome the Portland Trail Blazers to town.
Orlando has kept their head above water to this point at 2-2, but they historically are not a very good team and they don’t necessarily have some mystique at the Amway Center. Portland feels like the easy call to get a big road win here, while the Blazers have gotten off to a solid start of their own at 2-1.
The only question is if you want the Blazers as a straight up winner or if the spread is worth attacking one way or the other. Let’s dive in to find out:
Portland Trail Blazers (-3, -110) @ Orlando Magic (+3, -110) Total: 215 (-105/-115)
The Blazers are undoubtedly the better team in this matchup. They won their division last year and again have the look of a playoff contender in the west. That’s a lot more than can be said of the Magic, who are seemingly always inches away from being a dumpster fire.
The one edge the Magic have here is that they’re at home, but they were just 17-24 at the Amway Center last season. I don’t see it as something to really get you off the Blazers, especially when you factor in that they responded pretty well (10-7 last year) as the road favorite. They also went 12-5 when favored away from home last year, so Vegas lends a helping hand here.
The series data also favors the Blazers, who swept the season series (2-0) a year ago, have won three straight in the series and have ripped off four wins in the last five meetings.
Orlando does like to slow things down offensively, so it’s possible that disrupts the Blazers a bit here on the road. I don’t think it’s enough to get the win, however.
The Magic have some solid offensive pieces in Evan Fournier, Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic, but the Blazers have defenders to neutralize them at every turn. Orlando does not have the impact defenders to slow down Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum on the perimeter, however, while Jusuf Nurkic figures to feast down low.
I love the Blazers to win and it takes a very small amount of line shopping to find a pretty palatable -155 moneyline at Sportsbetting.ag. That’s not what I’d call elite betting value, but the -3 point spread feels a bit tricky on the road. You’re probably fine there with the Blazers at -110, but I’m much more comfortable just getting the win and moving along.
There is not much value on this slate, especially considering I deal with Eastern Conference games exclusively here at TSG. Let’s cheer the Blazers on to a win at -155 and live to fight another day.