NBA Player Props: Key Matchups To Bet in Warriors-Blazers Showdown

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
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Two of the NBA’s hottest offenses square off this Friday night as Steph Curry’s Golden State Warriors host Damian Lillard and his Portland Trail Blazers. This would be the first of three meetings between the western rivals, and Golden State is favored on the NBA betting lines.

Portland has won four of their last five meetings, though the Conference Finals sweep in 2019 is still fresh in the minds of the Blazers. Whenever these two prolific teams meet, we’re guaranteed a classic. Here’s a breakdown of key matchups and the best player prop bets.

Betting on Warriors-Blazers Player Props

The Warriors have a sizable lead in the standings over the Blazers. But Portland matches up well against Golden State, hence their recent string of wins against them. Here are three pivotal matchups plus some key stats to bet on:

The Superstars: Curry vs Lillard

Steph Curry (GSW): The 33-year-old is not slowing down and is a frontrunner to win his third MVP according to the NBA odds. Curry is averaging 27.9 points at home while shooting 66.3% via true shooting percentage (TS%). Most notably, Curry has obliterated Portland in recent meetings, which included a career-high 62-point explosion last season. 

That game became the Warriors’ last win against Portland. If they are to beat Portland, Curry will need to have another big game. He won’t need 62 points but scoring 31 should not be a problem. 

Pick: Steph Curry (GSW) Total Points – Over 30½ Points (-115) 

Damian Lillard (POR): Curry’s counterpart to this is Lillard. He doesn’t have the same accolades as Curry, but he is right behind him when it comes to the ability to score. Lillard had a rough start to the season, shooting-wise — but in his last five games, he’s put up 28.4 points on 46.2% shooting. 

He averaged 29.3 points against Golden State last season so he can go mano-a-mano with Curry. If his shot is also not falling, Lillard can get the offense going with his playmaking. He averages 8.1 assists this season and has had six double-doubles for the season.  

Pick: Damian Lillard (POR) Total Points+Assists – Over 34½ (-110) 

The Defense: Green vs Nurkic

Draymond Green (GSW): While Curry is shredding opponents with his scoring, Green is holding down the fort with his defensive leadership. As Curry is in line to win MVP, Green could bring home his second Defensive Player of the Year award with his defensive rating of 98 — even better than the 99 he posted when he won the award.

His presence helps the Warriors play better defense even if it does not reflect on the stat sheet as he is averaging just 1.9 combined steals and blocks so it’s best to bet conservatively on the NBA lines

Pick: Draymond Green (GSW) Total Steals+Blocks – Under 1½ (+160)

Jusuf Nurkic (POR): As bad as Portland is on defense, they would be historically bad if Nurkic did not play. The big man improves the team’s defense by 8.5 points and his 104 defensive rating leads the team. His shot-blocking and rebounding (10.3 in road games) will be critical here. 

Nurkic needs to assert control over the middle. Limiting the Warriors’ inside scoring will go a long way while gaining an advantage in second-chance scoring could be the deciding factor of this game. 

Pick: Jusuf Nurkic (POR) Total Rebounds – Over 10½ (Ev)

The X-Factors: Poole vs McCollum

Jordan Poole (GSW): Poole has emerged as the third player in the Warriors ‘Big Three’ with Klay Thompson out. The third-year pro is averaging a career-high everywhere: 18.3 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.3 assists on a 54.4% effective field goal rate. 

His emergence has helped ease some load off of Curry while his improving defense has made him a solid two-way player. He can do a little bit of everything and against Portland, he’ll need to continue scoring while helping Green rebound.  

Pick: Jordan Poole (GSW) Total Points+Rebounds+Assists – Over 26½ (-110) 

CJ McCollum (POR): Portland has managed to stay afloat despite Lillard’s shooting woes because of McCollum. The 2015-16 Most Improved Player is right behind Lillard in scoring at 20.6 points though he’s cooled off after a hot start. McCollum will need to have a hot shooting night in the event Lillard goes cold. 

However, McCollum has not been as formidable on the road as he has at home. He is averaging just 18.7 points with a TS% of 47.4%. Going against the NBA’s defense, McCollum may just struggle again. 

Pick: CJ McCollum (POR) Total Points – Under 20½ (-110)

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