Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder - 10/29/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Oklahoma City Thunder (59-23) at Portland Trail Blazers (54-28)
NBA Basketball: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 10:30 pm (Moda Center)
The Line: Portland Trail Blazers -6.5 -- Over/Under: 203.5 See the Latest Odds
The Oklahoma City Thunder kick off their season with a visit to the Moda Center to battle the Portland Trailblazers.
Often criticized for taking too many shot attempts, Russell Westbrook will now have the reins taken off him to start the season as the Oklahoma City Thunder will be without Kevin Durant for at least a month. Being a professional athlete, Westbrook deflected all questions about the upcoming challenge in typical fashion, saying that it will be a team effort. However, things recently went from bad to worse as Reggie Jackson just joined the injury ward along with Jeremy Lamb and Anthony Morrow, so get ready to see plenty of shot attempts for Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. Durant has said that he won't make the mistake of getting back on the court too soon, so it's going to be up to coach Scott Brooks to find a way to keep the team afloat in the crowded West until reinforcements arrive.
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Meanwhile, the Portland Trailblazers have the luxury of returning a fully healthy starting five that are coming off the franchise's best season since 2000. The offseason additions of Chris Kaman and Steve Blake add much-needed depth to one of the least productive benches in the league last season, and given the continued development of Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge, this team looks primed to deep in the playoffs this season.
In ATS trends, the Thunder are 8-2-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings and 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings in Portland. However, the Thunder have never been this shorthanded, so despite the dominance over the Blazers, I'm actually taking the favorites at home to cover the spread. As good as Westbrook is, there just doesn't seem to be enough scoring to keep up with this Blazers squad.