Oddsmakers have set the Lakers as just +2 point home underdogs when they host the Portland Trail Blazers in the 3/5 NBA free pick. That might seem like a low number considering Portland has the third best record in the Western Conference and have won six games in a row. Los Angeles isn’t playing bad however, posting a five game winning streak of their own. Plus the Lakers have the advantage of returning to the Staples Center after seven of their last eight games have been on the road. With all those wins coming on the road, could the Lakers be in danger of a home court disadvantage tonight?
Portland Riding a Strong Defense to Their Success
Portland has emerged as a legitimate contender in the Western Conference thanks to a suddenly stifling defense that has held five straight opponents to under 105 points scored. The Trail Blazers are 6th in the NBA in points allowed and 5th in opponents field goal percentage. The Blazers have allowed 98.1 points per 100 possessions during their six game winning streak, which is the best in the league over that span. The streak includes wins over Golden State, OKC, and Minnesota which means the numbers are not a fluke. Portland could be up for a tough test in the 3/5 NBA free pick against a Lakers team that is hot on offense.
Of course the Trail Blazers are pretty consistent on offense themselves. Damian Lillard has averaged 33 points per game over the last six games to lead the charge. Together with CJ McCollum, the Blazers have one of the best backcourt combos in the league. McCollum has three 25+ point games in his last six and should have another big night against the Lakers 27th ranked scoring defense.
Lakers Rolling On Offense
Los Angeles is averaging 120 points per game in their five game win streak, four contests of which were on the road. The Lakers have posted wins in San Antonio and in Miami in back-to-back games heading into the 3/5 NBA free pick. LA also has wins in 9 straight home games including victories over the Celtics, Thunder, and Spurs. The Lakers are 9-0 ATS in those home games and they’ve also gone 5-1 ATS in their last six against teams with a winning record. That being said the road team has gone 5-0 ATS in the last five head to head meetings between the Lakers and Trail Blazers.
The Lakers are 0-2 against Portland this season. This includes a 110-113 loss in Portland on November 2nd (as +6.5 ‘dogs) and a 92-95 home loss on December 23rd as -3 favorites. Damian Lillard missed the most recent contest but had 32 points in the series opener this season. Of course the Lakers look a bit different in the third matchup of the year and the acquisition of Isaiah Thomas should provide some scoring to offset a big night by Lillard. The Lakers will be at a bit of a disadvantage with Brandon Ingram missing his second straight game with a hip flexor.
3/5 NBA Free Pick Betting
The line has stayed firm at Portland -2 with 60% of the public liking the Trail Blazers and the points in tonight’s game. The Blazers have had some success at Staples Center going 22-8 in the last 30 meetings in Los Angeles. There is a new buzz around this Lakers team however and they have the front line talent as well as the bench depth to get their 10th straight home win tonight.
Free Pick: Los Angeles Lakers +2