Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers
|Date & Time||Sunday April 14, 2019, 3:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Portland -3.5 -- Over/Under 225
The Oklahoma City Thunder pay a visit to the Portland Trailblazers at the Moda Center in Game 1 on Sunday afternoon.
The Oklahoma City Thunder were one of the streakiest teams in the league, but they’re coming into the playoffs with plenty of momentum as they won their last five games to finish with a 49-33 record which earned them the sixth seed in the Western Conference. Russell Westbrook led the way with season averages of 22.9 points, 11.1 rebounds and 10.7 assists per game to finish with his third straight season averaging a triple-double, Paul George had a great season as he led the team in scoring with 28.0 points with 8.2 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game, while Dennis Schroder was solid off the bench with averages of 15.5 points and 4.1 assists per game. The Thunder went through some slumps in the regular season, but they’re dangerous against any team when they’re hot, so they like their chances this year.
Meanwhile, the Portland Trailblazers have consistently been one of the best teams in the league all season as they won 14 of their last 17 games to finish with a record of 53-29 which earned them the third seed. Damian Lillard led from the front with season averages of 25.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game, CJ McCollum averaged 21.0 points and 3.0 assists per game before going down with a late injury, but he is ready to go, while Jusuf Nurkic averaged 15.6 points, 10.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game before suffering that horrific injury on his left leg which saw him undergo surgery. It is such a shame that Nurkic went down late in the season, but Enes Kanter has played well in his absence and should be a good matchup against the Thunder’s Steven Adams.
Looking at the betting trends, the Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record, 4-13 ATS in their last 17 against the Western Conference and 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall. The Trailblazers are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 games playing on three or more days rest, 7-24-2 ATS in their last 33 Conference Quarterfinals games and 0-3-1 ATS in their last four games against a team with a winning record.
Head to head, the Thunder are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings and the under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
Lillard has played so well this season to keep them on the right track despite losing McCollum and Nurkic late in the season and now they’re sitting pretty with home-court advantage in the first round. However, the Thunder have all the confidence in this matchup after sweeping the Trailblazers in the regular season, but each of those meetings was decided by single digits, so we’re in for a close series here. The Thunder are 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings and I think that trend continues here as the series kicks off with the Thunder stealing home-court advantage.