Fifth seed Portland Trail Blazers will be in Los Angeles to take on the fourth seed Clippers in opening game of the Western Conference quarterfinals. We have prepared a special game preview for this match complete with NBA lines and other stats that bettors might find useful. So let’s get on the betting action!
Portland Blazers at L.A. Clippers Game 1 NBA Lines Preview
When: Sunday, April 17, 2016, 10:30pm ET
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA
Radio: L.A. Clippers Radio Network
Live Stream: NBA.com
NBA Odds: Clippers -8
Portland was at risk of falling to the sixth seed, but the Mavericks’ loss to San Antonio on Wednesday secured the fifth seed for the Trail Blazers. There was a point when the Portland seemed bound for the lottery, but the resurgence of Damian Lillard and his new backcourt partner, C.J. McCollum, have pushed the Trail Blazers into the postseason.
Portland had a good season this year, which included wins over several big-name teams, including the Golden State Warriors. Against the Clippers, though, Portland had some major issues, going 1-3 vs. Los Angeles during the regular season. Damian Lillard shot 32 percent from the field and C.J. McCollum shot 39 percent against the Clippers.
By contrast, the Clippers shot better than Portland in the season series. The Blazers shot just 29 percent from 3-point range vs. the Clippers.On top of that, Portland had real problems handling the Clippers’ perimeter defense. Chris Paul in dogged Lillard from sideline to sideline while averaging 17 points and 10 assists, hurting Portland’s defense.
Why should you bet on the Trail Blazers?
Sometimes when a team is young and new to the playoffs, they don’t know enough to worry, and so they play without as much stress as a team with a little more seasoning. Most of the Trail Blazers’ roster has no postseason experience, as Lillard is the only starter returning from the team that had a heartbreaking loss in the first round to Houston last year. Lillard, 25 this year, posted a career best of 25.1 points per game, and he also dished out 6.9 assists per contest. McCollum is likely to win the Most Improved Player award this year as he has boosted his scoring average from about 10 points to 20.9 points. He also nails 42.1 percent of his threes. Remember, this is the team that roasted Golden State by 32.
Why should you put your money on Los Angeles?
The Clippers have plenty of motivation this postseason, as they are making their fourth straight trip to the playoffs but have yet to make it past the semifinals. They beat the Trail Blazers three out of four times during the regular season this year, and Chris Paul and J.J. Redick can match Lillard and McCollum in offensive prowess. Redick is the second best shooter from downtown this year, hitting 47.5% of his threes. The Clippers have a definite advantage inside, with DeAndre Jordan able to control both ends of the floor in the paint and Blake Griffin able to bang inside and knock down his deadly mid-range jumper.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
I’m picking the Clippers to defend their home court and control the paint against the Trail Blazers. My prediction is a 112-108 Los Angeles win.