NBA Betting – Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Written by:
Phil Simon
Published on:

After sleepwalking through the series opener and nearly all of their seeding games, the Los Angeles Lakers just might be ready to show why they earned the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. Ending the longest postseason drought in franchise history the Lakers were timid in their Game 1 loss. They leveled the series and showed the Portland Trail Blazers who’s the boss on Thursday. Now comes the always pivotal Game 3 on Saturday with one team getting the upper hand. It looks like the Blazers will have Damian Lillard in the lineup after he sent a scare to the Portland faithful with a finger injury on Thursday. Lillard said he will play, keeping Portland’s best player on the court, but how effective he’ll be remains to be seen.  Bookmaker is offering a generous welcome bonus (max bonus $1600 limited time only).

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Los Angeles Lakers vs. Portland Trail Blazers 

Date and Time: Saturday, August 22, 2020, 8:30 p.m. ET 

Location: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Lake Buena Vista, FL 

Opening NBA Odds: Lakers -7 / OU Check Back Later 

Lakers vs. Trail Blazers TV Coverage: ABC 

Odds Analysis 

Several books opened with LA a 7-point favorite. Oddly enough that’s the same line we had in Game 2 when the Lakers easily covered in their 111-88 smackdown. And Game 1 wasn’t much different with LA a 6.5-point favorite. That’s what we’re going to get with teams playing in a sanitized environment with no home court advantage. Unless Lillard doesn’t play or Anthony Davis falls down a set of stairs before tipoff, the lines are going to be similar the entire series. We have witnessed the defensive intensity pick up during the playoffs and especially in this series. The teams cashed the over in all three regular season games with the losing club scoring at least 113 each time. Points have been harder to come by with the under going 2-0 in this series. 

Los Angeles Lakers 

The Lakers have waited a long time to get back in the postseason. Playing their first playoff game since 2013, the Lakers laid an egg in Game 1, falling 100-93. That could have been a carryover from some lackluster play during the seeding games. Once they clinched the top seed, the Lakers put it on cruise control going 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS in five outings after wrapping up the top spot. 

While the team celebrated its return to the postseason so did LeBron James, who has never lost an opening playoff series. Missing out last season for the first time in his career, LeBron posted impressive numbers in the Game 1 loss. He finished with 23 points, 17 rebounds and a playoff career-high 16 assists. Still, the Lakers lost because accuracy was an issue. They made just 35.1 percent of their shots and were an abysmal 15.6 percent on three-pointers.  

Proving they can win when James doesn’t contribute, the Lakers pulled even in Game 2 despite his playoff-low 10 points. It helps to have Anthony Davis on your side. Picking up the slack for James, AD went off for 31 points on 13 of 21 shooting with 11 rebounds. It was the defense, however, that led to the win. The Lakers held Portland to a season-low 88 points, 38 points below their bubble average. 

Portland Trail Blazers 

The obvious concern for the Blazers is the health of Lillard, who left Game 3 with a dislocated finger and didn’t return. The MVP of the bubble, Lillard almost singlehandedly led them to the playoffs. Portland trailed Memphis by 3.5-games when the season resumed and caught the Griz by going 6-2. They then knocked off Memphis in the play-in game to earn a date with the Lakers. 

Lillard averaged 36.9 points during the seeding games with a finishing stretch that saw him score 51, 61 and 42 points in the final three games. He then tossed in 31 to send the Griz home. Portland didn’t have the luxury of coasting in the bubble; they needed a bunch of wins and got them. “Every game since we’ve been here has been a playoff game,” Lillard said. 

Lillard is a big reason why the Blazers were scorching hot in the bubble. They averaged 126 points in the seeding games and were hot before the season was stopped. In their last six games before the shutdown they averaged 120.2 points per game. They will need to figure out LA’s defense to come out ahead. Their 88 points in Game 2 was season-low and for the first time all season they tallied 100 points or less in consecutive games. 

Bet Lakers vs. Rockets at BookMaker.eu 

Playing defense isn’t flashy in today’s NBA but the Lakers do it as well as any team. AD does a remarkable job clogging the middle and they rotate to the ball forcing bad shots. “The care factor on the defensive side of the ball is where it should be for the playoffs, to win in the playoffs,” Frank Vogel said. The duo of James and AD is one of if not the best in the league, and the Lakers proved they can win in the playoffs when LeBron isn’t a factor.  

NBA Score Prediction: Lakers 114, Trail Blazers 103 

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