These teams both played on Tuesday night and they both emerged victorious as well, with the Portland Trail Blazers earning a 115-104 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder to improve to 17-10 while the New Orleans Pelicans gave the Memphis Grizzlies a 144-113 beatdown to bump their record up to 12-15.
Free Picks: New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trailblazers
Expect A Barnburner At The Smoothie King Center (Season Betting Record: 37-36)
If you were hoping that these teams playing on no rest and coming off of wins would point us in some direction wager-wise, I’m sorry to disappoint. The Blazers are 8-8 against the spread after wins and 2-2 ATS on no rest this season while the Pelicans are 5-6 ATS after a win and 1-2 on no rest. Not exactly numbers that jump at you, so we’re going to steer clear of the point spread here.
What we do like for our NBA picks is the over on the game 231.5 total points prop at -111 NBA odds. Portland has been one of the best offenses in the NBA all season, putting up 115.5 points per game so far, good for sixth in the league. New Orleans is just below them at 13th with 113.2 points per game, though they have been the third-most potent offense since the start of February, putting up 121.8 points per contest in eight outings this month.
New Orleans also ranks tied for second in the league with a 70.4 over percentage this season, behind only the Brooklyn Nets, as you might expect. The Blazers are 12th with a 56 percent over rate, and the total has gone over in seven of their past ten games. Meanwhile, the total has gone over in six straight for the Pelicans and eight of their past ten.
The Blazers have scored 110+ in six of their past eight games and the Pels have done it in 13 of their past 14 contests, and even the one game when they didn’t reach 110, they finished just one short at 109. A defensive showing from either side strong enough to significantly slow the other would be a surprise, so feel confident with the over here.
For another of our best bets for today we look to Zion Williamson. So far, the 20-year-old phenom has been everything his biggest fans said he would be and more. His 24.4 points per game on 60.7 percent shooting from the field put him on pace to become just the fourth player after Kevin McHale, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Wilt Chamberlain to put up 24+ ppg and shoot 60+ from the field in a season. That’s pretty good company.
Williamson has been especially dominant of late, lighting up opponents to the tune of 30.5 points per game over his past four outings. The Duke alumnus is one of the toughest covers in the paint in the NBA, and that’s where Williamson does most of his best work, as evidenced by his league-leading 18.6 paint points per game.
Though he hasn’t played too many games in his short career, Williamson has already acquired a taste for playing the Blazers, against whom he’s averaged 28.0 points per matchup, his fourth highest scoring rate against any opponent. Enes Kanter is a great rebounder, but he’s no rim protector, and without Jusuf Nurkic healthy he’s really all Portland’s got, so it should be a cakewalk for Williamson to cover the over on his 25.5 points prop at solid -115 odds.
- New Orleans has hit the over in 6 straight games
- Portland has hit the over in 7 of their past 10 games
- Zion Williamson is averaging 30.5 points over his past 4 games
- New Orleans and Portland are 23rd and 25th in opponent points per game, respectively, this season
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The Los Angeles Clippers will renew hostilities with the Dallas Mavericks, who they dispatched in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
The Denver Nuggets and the league’s presumptive NBA MVP will look to get off to a strong start against the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1.
The Golden State Warriors will host the Memphis Grizzlies in the final play-in game, which will determine the Western Conference’s eighth seed.
The Washington Wizards will host the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night with the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference on the line.
Alex is an alumnus of Ryerson University's RTA Sport Media program, a contributing NHL, NBA, and MLB writer in the BetPicks.ca team. He has been writing on sports, betting, and fantasy contests for several years, including pitstops as an NFL Editor for theScore and as one of the lead NBA news writers for fantasy sports site FantasyPros. As a lifelong athlete, bettor, and sports fan, Alex is uniquely qualified to help you reach the sports betting success that you've always dreamed of and your wife never believed you could achieve.