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Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers - 12/23/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Portland Trail Blazers (22-6) at Oklahoma City Thunder (13-15)

NBA Basketball: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Chesapeake Energy Arena)

The Line: Oklahoma City Thunder -5.5 -- Over/Under: 200.5 See the Latest Odds


The Oklahoma City Thunder hope to have Kevin Durant back when they host the Portland Trailblazers tonight.

The Portland Trailblazers were on an absolute tear, winning five straight including twice against the Spurs before they ran into James Harden and the Rockets last night. Damian Lillard had 18 points while CJ McCollum had 17 off the bench, but with LaMarcus Aldridge missing in the lineup, the Blazers had nowhere near enough firepower to take down the Rockets who were led by Harden's season-high 44 points. This game was done and dusted by halftime but you can't be too hard on the Blazers because you just can't replace Aldridge's 22.8 points and 10.7 rebounds that he's been averaging on the season. Despite the loss, Portland is still an impressive 22-7 overall and 10-5 on the road.

Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trail Blazers - 12/23/14 NBA Pick, Odds, and Prediction


Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder gave us a reminder of how good they were when Kevin Durant returned to the court and lit up the scoreboard, but they've returned to mediocrity in their last two games without him. After sneaking past the Lakers in a one-point win on Friday, the Thunder returned home to face the Pelicans and lost by 101-99 despite 29 points from Russell Westbrook. Reggie Jackson added 19 points and five assists off the bench while Steven Adams had 12 points, but in the end the Thunder were just too dependent on the scoring of Westbrook who shot just 10 of 27 from the field. Durant is listed as questionable to return tonight, but if he does, the Thunder will have a great chance to creep closer to .500 as they are 7-2 when he plays and 6-13 when he's out injured.

In ATS trends, the Blazers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall and 5-2 ATS in their last seven games playing on zero days rest, while the Thunder are 6-1 ATS in their last seven home games and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games against a team with a winning record.

Head to head, the Blazers are 3-8-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings overall and just 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in Oklahoma City.

Durant will miss his third game in a row tonight since injuring his ankle on Thursday which is a big loss for the Thunder, but the playing field will be pretty level if Aldridge is out for the Blazers. With that being said, I'd double check the lineups before tipoff and take the Thunder at home if Aldridge doesn't suit up.

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