Portland Trail Blazers vs. Charlotte Bobcats - 1/2/14
Charlotte Bobcats (14-18) at Portland Trail Blazers (25-7)
NBA Basketball: Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 10:00 pm (Rose Garden)
The Line: Portland Trail Blazers -11.5 -- Over/Under: 201 See the Latest Odds
The Portland Trailblazers hope to kick off 2014 with a win tonight when they return home to take on the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Blazers have been going through one of the toughest stretches of their schedule and looked down and out on Tuesday against the Thunder, but like they shown all season, the Blazers are simply unflappable and were able to claw their way to a 98-94 win. LaMarcus Aldridge continued his hot streak with 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Damian Lillard added 21 points and 11 assists, but it was actually Nicolas Batum who really shone in the fourth quarter for me as he held Kevin Durant to just one point after he poured in 36 in the first three quarters. After losing two straight against the Heat and the Pelicans, I was worried that the Blazers will be deflated heading into Oklahoma City but once again they showed how tough they are to improve to 25-7 overall and 13-4 on the road.
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Meanwhile, the Bobcats have lost five of their last six and are coming off an absolute beatdown thanks to the Clippers last night. Al Jefferson and Kemba Walker led the team with 14 points each but the Bobcats shot just 38 percent from the field compared to the Clippers who shot over 55 percent from the field. The second half was particularly ugly as the Bobcats were outscored by 56-29 while getting shown up by Blake Griffin who made jumper after jumper (including a three pointer) to finish with 31 points on 14 of 20 shooting. Prior to the loss, Charlotte didn't lose a game by double digits since a 99-74 loss at Indiana on Nov 27, so this might just be one of those games you have to write down as a rarity.
In ATS trends, the Bobcats are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against a team with a winning record and 11-5-1 ATS in their last 17 games overall, while the Blazers are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a losing record and 1-7 ATS in their last eight games overall.
Head to head, the Bobcats are 1-7 ATS in the last eight meetings overall and 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings in Portland.
In terms of form, there's no denying that the Blazers are in better form, especially coming off such a tough road win, but the Bobcats have been able to hang with just about every team in their road losses this season so I'm thinking about taking them with the points here. However, Charlotte could be a little fatigued coming into this match because they played just last night so I think this could add up to a big win for a Blazers team who has enjoyed plenty of success against Charlotte in the past.