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NBA Playoff Pick Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets Pick, Odds, Prediction 4/20/14

Houston Rockets (54-28) vs. Portland Trail Blazers (54-28)

NBA Basketball: Sunday, April 20, 2014 at 9:30 pm (Toyota Center)

The Line: Houston Rockets -5 -- Over/Under: 216.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: TNT

The Portland Trailblazers and the Houston Rockets tip off their first round NBA Playoff series in Houston on Sunday.

The Portland Trailblazers did all they could do at the end of the season to earn home court advantage in the first round of the NBA Playoffs but fell just short losing a tiebreaker to the Rockets whom they finished with the exact same record as this season. Portland was 23-18 on the road this season, 9-1 in their last 10 games, and won their last five. La Mrcus Aldridge appears healthy and he leads Portland averaging 23.2 points and 11.1 rebounds, Damian Lillard is averaging 20.7 points and 5.6 assists, and Wesley Mathews is averaging 16.4 points. As a team the Blazers are averaging 106.7 points and they are shooting 45 percent from the floor including 37.2 percent from beyond the three-point arc while defensively they are allowing 102.8 points and their opponents are shooting 45.1 percent. The Trailblazers didn’t win in Houston this season but the last meeting went to overtime.

NBA Playoff Pick Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets Pick, Odds, Prediction 4/20/14

USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets didn’t finish the regular season strong but their body of work over the course of the season was good enough to get them the home court for this series. The Rockets are 33-8 at home, 5-5 in their last 10 games, and 31-21 against the Western Conference. James Harden leads Houston averaging 25.4 points and 6.1 assists, Dwight Howard is averaging 18.3 points and 12.2 rebounds, and Chandler Parsons is averaging 16.6 points and 5.5 rebounds. As a team the Rockets are averaging 107.7 points and they are shooting 47.2 percent while defensively they area allowing 103.1 points and their opponents are shooting 44.3 percent. The Rockets won three of their four games against the Trailblazers this season.

Portland is 4-0 against the spread in their last four road games, 5-2 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 1-9-1 against the spread in their last 11 Conference Quarterfinals games. Houston is 6-2 against the spread in their last eight home games against a team with a winning road record, 1-4 against the spread following a loss, and 1-4 against the spread in their last five games. The underdog is 11-5-1 against the spread in the last 18 meetings of these two.

This is one of the tougher series and I want to see a game before I even venture with a Premium Pick so with it being a free pick I am going to go with the home team laying what looks to be a reasonable number though it is just a lean. 

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