Thunder at Trail Blazers - 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 -8 -- Over/Under: 201 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN, FSN-OK, KGW
The Oklahoma City Thunder and Portland Trail Blazers square off Wednesday night at the Moda Center.
The The Oklahoma City Thunder enter the season opener as a banged up basketball team. Not only is Kevin Durant out for a couple of months with a leg injury, but key contributors Jeremy Lamb and Reggie Jackson are also expected to miss this game with injuries. That really puts a ton of pressure on star point guard Russell Westbrook and power forward Serge Ibaka to carry the team until some of their teammates come back. We’ve seen before just how bad the Thunder can struggle when Durant and Westbrook aren’t playing at an elite level, and now all of the workload is being given to just one guy. There’s no doubt the Thunder will still be in playoff contention by the time Durant returns, but being forced to go to your third string shooting guard in the season opener is never a way you want to begin the season.
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The only key injury the Portland Trail Blazers have entering this matchup is LaMarcus Aldridge, who is dealing with a groin injury but is probable. Steve Blake is questionable with an illness. Other than that, the Trail Blazers are ready to build on last season's success and start it with a win on primetime television. The Trail Blazers have all the pieces a team would need to make a deep run in the West starting with star point guard Damian Lillard. Wesley Matthews really started to shine late last season on the offensive end and is starting to become the complete player Portland was hoping to see. With Robin Lopez in the paint, the Trail Blazers are one of the more balanced teams in the league and are quickly emerging as one of the NBA’s best. Even against a banged up OKC team, this is a statement game for Portland.
The Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. the NBA Northwest. The Trail Blazers are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games and 1-8 ATS in their last 9 games overall. The Thunder are 4-1-1 ATS in the last 6 meetings in Portland.
While I know Westbrook and others have a lot of pride, the Thunder are just so banged up outside of Durant that I’m not sure how they have enough bodies to compete with a healthy Trail Blazers team at home. I hate laying a big number here but we have no choice.