Portland (2-0) at Oklahoma City (0-2)
When: Friday, April 19th, 2019
Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena,
Oklahoma City, OK
Time: 9:30 ET | TV: ESPN
Opening Odds: Oklahoma City -7/221.5
The Portland Trail Blazers owned one of the highest-scoring offenses in the league this season, but it was their defense that helped them hold serve on their home floor in the first two games of the Western Conference first round series with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Portland was 20th in the NBA in defensive 3-point percentage, but held the Thunder to a historic-low 16.3 percent in winning the first two games of their best-of-seven series that now shifts to Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City for Game 3 Friday night. Guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 62 points in the 114-94 Game 2 victory and Lillard is averaging 29.5 points over the first two games to lead the offensive effort. The Thunder led by as many as 10 points in the first half but Portland took over from their and built a 22-point lead in the fourth quarter in cruising to the Game 2 victory. The difference in the game was obviously the 3-point field goals, as Portland connected on 13-of-32 attempts, while holding the Thunder to the lowest percentage through the first two games of any playoff series in history. The Blazers taking the first two games was a little surprising considering that Oklahoma City won all four regular season matchups including both at Moda Center.
Lillard and McCollum also combined for 11 assists in Game 2, while Maurice Harkless was the only other double-digit scorer with 14 and a team-leading 9 rebounds. McCollum, who missed most of the last three weeks of the regular season with a knee injury, is in playoff form with 33 points in 36 Game 2 minutes. Reserve guard Seth Curry is coming up with timely shots, hitting 5-of-7 beyond the arc through the first two games after shooting 45 percent during the regular season.
The Blazers defense forced Oklahoma City to commit 16 turnovers in each of the first two games and head coach Billy Donovan knows that needs to be cleaned up moving forward. Superstar Russell Westbrook committed six turnovers in Game 2 and was held to 14 points on 5-of-20 shooting with Lillard guarding him all night. Paul George led the way with 27 points in Game 2 on 11-of-20 shooting after making just 8-of-24 in the Game 1 setback, but still managed 26 points. Center Steven Adams made 7-of-8 from the field for 16 points while grabbing nine rebounds in each of the first two games.
I believe the home team has a chance to win each game in this series, but the games in Oklahoma City are going to be closer than expected, as the Portland defense is playing extremely well. McCollum seems to be healthy again and that is a great sign for a Portland team that has been playing well for over a month now. Take the points.
Pick: Blazers +7.5
Trail Blazers are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 Friday games.
Trail Blazers are 24-8 ATS in their last 32 when their opponent allows 100 points or more in their previous game.
Trail Blazers are 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games playing on 2 days rest.
Trail Blazers are 34-14-3 ATS in their last 51 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
Trail Blazers are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 games following a ATS win.
Trail Blazers are 11-5 ATS in their last 16 road games.
Trail Blazers are 15-7-1 ATS in their last 23 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Trail Blazers are 9-24-2 ATS in their last 35 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Trail Blazers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Thunder are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 games playing on 2 days rest.
Thunder are 9-19 ATS in their last 28 games overall.
Thunder are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Thunder are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up loss of more than 10 points.
Thunder are 4-15 ATS in their last 19 vs. Western Conference.
Thunder are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days.
Thunder are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Thunder are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. NBA Northwest.
Under is 5-1 in Trail Blazers last 6 games playing on 2 days rest.
Under is 5-1 in Trail Blazers last 6 games following a straight up win of more than 10 points.
Under is 5-1 in Trail Blazers last 6 games following a ATS win.
Under is 6-2-1 in Trail Blazers last 9 road games.
Under is 6-2-1 in Trail Blazers last 9 games following a straight up win.
Under is 6-2 in Trail Blazers last 8 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 5-2 in Trail Blazers last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
Under is 4-0-1 in Thunder last 5 games following a straight up loss.
Under is 5-0-1 in Thunder last 6 games following a ATS loss.
Under is 4-0 in Thunder last 4 Conference Quarterfinals games.
Under is 5-1 in Thunder last 6 vs. Western Conference.
Over is 4-1-1 in Thunder last 6 Friday games.
Under is 6-2 in Thunder last 8 vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
Under is 18-7-1 in Thunder last 26 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
Under is 36-15-1 in Thunder last 52 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Under is 7-3 in Thunder last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.
Under is 9-4 in Thunder last 13 home games.
Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings.
Under is 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.
Under is 25-10-2 in the last 37 meetings in Oklahoma City.