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Series Bet - Blazers vs. Thunder
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NBA Series Preview - Portland Trail Blazers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

by Kyle Markus

The Portland Trail Blazers shook off some late-season injuries to continue playing well down the stretch, which helped them clinch home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs. That could really come in handy because Portland is facing off against the Oklahoma City Thunder in a series that could be super competitive.

Both of these teams put together quality seasons and seem close in talent level. The Western Conference has a lot of good teams, which could lead to some fantastic playoff series. This should be one of them as it figures to last awhile and could go either way in NBA wagering.

This NBA basketball series between the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder will be held at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon and Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The games will be nationally televised.

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Odds Analysis

The Thunder finished the regular season with a mark of 49-33 on the year. Oklahoma City was sitting in the No. 8 spot for a while and then won five straight games to end the season to move up past the Spurs and Clippers. OKC avoided not just the Warriors in the first round but also the Rockets, so it has to be happy with this draw.

Portland went 52-30 this season. The Blazers won seven of their final 10 games heading into the playoffs. Portland finished the regular season with a sparkling 31-10 record at home and went 21-20 on the road.

Injury Report

Portland standout shooting guard C.J. McCollum missed a big chunk of time during the final portion of the season with a knee injury, but recently returned to the court. He has played in two games since the return.

He had nine points, six rebounds and six assists against the Nuggets on April 7 and then had 11 points and three assists two nights later against the Lakers. McCollum did not shoot very well from the floor, and he will need to battle rust as well as a lack of conditioning in this series. However, Portland is certainly happy to have him back for the postseason.

Oklahoma City superstar Paul George did not play in the team’s regular season finale due to a sore shoulder but the injury does not seem like a big deal. He is expected to suit up for Game 1, but if that doesn’t happen, it will obviously have a big impact on the spread as he is one of the team’s two best players alongside Russell Westbrook.

Season Series

The Thunder might be the lower seed but it has to be feeling confident after the results of the regular season matchups between these teams. They met four times and Oklahoma City came away with victories in every one of them.

The streak began on January 4 when the Thunder went to Portland and eked out a 111-109 win as George scored 37 points. It was more of the same on January 22 as OKC picked up a 123-114 home win behind 36 points from George.

The teams met again in Oklahoma on February 11 and George went for 47 in a 120-111 victory. The Thunder wrapped up the dominant head-to-head showing on March 7 with a 129-121 overtime win.

Free NBA ATS Picks

The Blazers might be the higher seed in this one, and the home court advantage should not be minimized. However, the Thunder have the better team and Portland has not shown the ability to slow down George this season.

Oklahoma City could very well be the favorite as the No. 6 seed in this series and it is the pick to win this matchup and move on to the Western Conference semifinals in NBA wagering.

NBA ATS Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers in six games

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