NBA Betting Picks: Los Angeles Lakers at Portland Trailblazers

NBA Betting Picks:  Los Angeles Lakers at Portland Trailblazers

The Los Angeles Lakers are furiously trying to make up ground and qualify for the playoffs but they’ve got a tough assignment on Wednesday night as they take on the Portland Trailblazers in ‘The Rose City’. The Lakers beat the New Orleans Hornets at home on Tuesday night which combined with a Utah Jazz loss to Oklahoma City has them in the post season–for now. Entering this game the Lakers hold a 1/2 game edge over the Jazz but Utah holds the tiebreaker.

This has been a disappointing season for Portland but they’re by no means a pushover and especially on their home court at the Rose Garden Arena. While they haven’t been as fearsome at home as in the past they’ve got a winning record. More importantly, the Rose City has been a nightmare for the Lakers over the past decade. Los Angeles is on a 4-17 SU run at Portland including a ten point loss earlier in the season. Dating back to 1996 the Blazers are 26-12 SU/ATS against the Lakers at home. Portland does have some injuries to deal with–forward JJ Hickson is questionable while guards Nicolas Batum and Wesley Matthews are both ‘out’. The Lakers will possibly be without guard Steve Nash who is listed as ‘questionable’ for this contest.

Portland has struggled of late losing seven straight games going 0-6-1 ATS but they’ll be very dangerous in this spot. They’ve been off since Sunday and you can expect a great effort to not only end their losing streak but to deny the hated Lakers a playoff bid. Los Angeles has not been a very strong road team this year going 14-26 SU/15-25 ATS and will be catching a young Blazers team in the second of back to back games.

The final piece of the handicapping puzzle is the price on this game–the Lakers are a -5 point favorite which is more of a reflection of the ‘must win’ situation in which they find themselves rather than the talent disparity between these two teams. Handicapping theory 101 dictates that betting against teams in ‘must win’ situations is a long term profitable strategy so we’ll gladly take the points with a Portland team that has been making the Lakers’ lives miserable on the banks of the Willamette River for well over a decade.