2018 Playoffs Prediction & Game 4 NBA Odds: Trail Blazers at Pelicans

Posted by Jordan Walters on Thursday,April 19, 2018 9:51, EDT in

The sixth-seeded New Orleans Pelicans got more than what they were even looking for in their first two games at No. 3 Portland in the Western Conference playoffs: a shocking sweep. Now the series heads back to what should be a wild Big Easy for Game 3 on Thursday night. The Pels are slight NBA odds favorites.

How to Bet Blazers at Pelicans NBA Odds & Game 4 Info

When: Thursday, 9 PM ET
Where: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans
TV: NBA TV
Stream: NBA.tv
Radio: 620 AM (Portland) / 99.5 FM (New Orleans)
NBA Odds: Pelicans -3 (216)

Latest NBA Betting Trends

  • Portland is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
  • Portland is 1-6 SU in its last 7 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Portland’s last 6 games
  • New Orleans is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
  • New Orleans is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 15 of New Orleans’s last 23 games at home

Why Bet on Portland’s NBA Odds?

Right now, I’m not sure I would. The Blazers were clearly the third-best team in the West for most of this season but stunningly are down 2-0 after losing both at home as NBA betting favorites against New Orleans. No one – no one, not even members of the Pelicans – expected a road sweep. I do expect the Blazers to play desperate on Thursday or they will be swept.

Portland lost 97-95 in Game 1 and then 111-102 in Game 2 on Tuesday. Damian Lillard hit 7-of-18 shots and 1-of-7 3-pointers for 17 points, three rebounds, four assists, a steal and seven turnovers in Game 2. He frankly has been awful in the two games. Lillard was triple teamed at times, but still managed to hit a big three-pointer and also four-point play, the latter of which tied the game with 7:31 left in the fourth. He is 13-of-41 shooting through the first two games.  Lillard did pass Kevin Duckworth for sixth all-time on the Trail Blazers playoff scoring list. He needs 10 points to pass Cliff Robinson for fifth place.

One guy who played well in Game 2 was Al-Farouq Aminu, who hit 5-of-10 shots and four 3-pointers for 14 points, 15 rebounds and one assist in 36 minutes. Aminu did everything he could tonight after going for seven points and seven rebounds in Saturday’s Game 1. Aminu is the first player in franchise history to have 14-plus points, 15-plus rebounds and at least four three-pointers in a playoff game. He is just the 10th player in NBA history to record those numbers in the postseason.

Who Came Back From Injury?

Moe Harkless returned from a 10-game absence after minor knee surgery and hit all five of his shots, including a 3-pointer, for 11 points, five rebounds and a block in Game 2. Portland’s bench outscored the New Orleans reserves, 36-15, in Game 2.

Jusuf Nurkic suffered a left leg contusion and didn’t return to the game on Tuesday, finishing with 13 points, three rebounds, a steal and a block in 15 minutes. He returned to the bench and was expected to return, but it didn’t happen.  Rookie Zach Collins came off the bench and hit 5-of-11 shots and two 3-pointers for 12 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes – Collins could start over Nurkic in Game 3.

Swingman Evan Turner (toe contusion) is questionable for Game 3. If Turner can’t play, that could open up more minutes for Harkless, who might start.

Why Bet on New Orleans’ NBA Odds?

Are the Pelicans a safe bet in Game 3 vs. the Trail Blazers?

Because their backcourt of Jrue Holiday and Rajon Rondo is vastly outplaying the supposedly superior duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. Holiday hit 14-of-24 shots and two 3-pointers for a playoff career-high 33 points, three rebounds, nine assists and a steal in Tuesday’s win. Holiday hit a huge 3-pointer with the game on the line and is now averaging 27 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.5 3-pointers in the series. He’s also playing great defense on Lillard.

Rondo came through with 16 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and two 3-pointers on 6-of-11 shooting in 39 minutes of Tuesday’s Game 2. He hit a crucial 3-pointer from the corner to cap a 9-0 run and gave the Pelicans a 108-100 lead with 39 seconds left that sealed the win. Rondo is now averaging 11 points, 9.0 rebounds and 13.0 assists in the series.

Anthony Davis hit 9-of-18 shots and a 3-pointer for 22 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and two blocks in Game 2.  Nikola Mirotic sprained his left ankle twice on Tuesday, but stayed in the game and finished with 17 points, eight rebounds, two blocks and three 3-pointers.

Will Mirotic Be in Game 3?

Mirotic believes he’ll be fine for Game 3: “I twisted it twice. I stepped on a fan’s foot, but it was not that bad [a sprain]. Then I twisted it by myself,” he said. “I wanted to stay on the floor and finish the game. I’m sure with two days of treatments, I’ll be ready to go next game. Nothing to be worried about.” Mirotic is averaging 16.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 3.5 3-pointers in the first two games of this series.

The Pels shouldn’t get too comfortable. The Trail Blazers were down 0-2 in the first round of the 2016 NBA Playoffs before reeling off four straight wins to beat the Clippers in six games. The last time the Pelicans had a 2-0 lead in a playoff series was the 2008 Western Conference Semifinals, which they went on to lose to the Spurs in seven games.

Expert NBA Betting Prediction

I see no reason why to get off the New Orleans bandwagon. Give the points.