The NBA always hits a little lull during the NCAA Tournament; the general public isn’t as interested, and with the exception of a few playoff positioning battles and one or two teams jockeying for the final slots, more teams are resting and strategizing than they are bleeding and diving for every loose ball. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does make some wagering opportunities a little trickier. I’m not blaming my two-game losing streak on that variable – in fact we are winning at a nearly two to one clip since the All-Star Game, I’m just saying to look a little deeper into any lines you like in the last four weeks of the regular season.
Let’s see if we can get back on the winning track tonight with a good Tuesday winner.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Golden State Warriors -6 at Portland Trailblazers
The Blazers will look to avoid their longest losing streak in nearly two years tonight while hosting the best team (record-wise) in the NBA. That’s a tough ask. Making things even worse is the fact that LaMarcus Alderidge is likely sidelined tonight. With him sitting next to Wesley Matthews, it’s hard to see Portland derailing the West’s top-seed.
Golden State has already won once at Portland this year about three weeks ago and will look to sweep the season series with a win tonight. The Warriors have won six straight and with a win tonight will be a win away from clinching their first division title in 39 years. Yup. You read that right. THIRTY NINE YEARS. I know no one really cares about divisions the way we do in baseball and football, but that is certainly an accomplishment worth celebrating.
The Blazers have lost three of their lost four home games to Golden State, and most of those were with a non-slumping and healthy roster. Steph Curry is averaging close to 36 points in those games and has shot 50% (19 of 38) from behind the arc for an absolute onslaught of points. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green’s number are way down in road games in general, compared to their blistering home splits (which has a lot to do with the team’s 34-2 home record), but I expect both to fare well tonight; Klay without Wesley Matthews chasing him, and Draymond without LA to worry about on either end of the floor.
I hate to keep fading the Blazers, the NBA’s most star-crossed franchise, but it’s hard to walk away from it right now. I’ll take Golden State, even laying a half dozen, on the road against the injured and slumping Blazers.