Celtics vs. Trailblazers Line at Boston -5

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Celtics vs. Trailblazers Line

The Celtics vs. Trailblazers line for Thursday night’s NBA game was at Boston -5 with a total of 183 at Sportsbook.com

The Boston Celtics come into their Thursday battle with the Portland Trail Blazers feeling much more complete having their physical center Kendrick Perkins back. Perkins, who adds a defensive presence that can’t be categorized, had seven points and six rebounds in his first game back Tuesday in a 112-95 win over the Cavaliers. The return of Perkins comes at an ideal time with Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal both still out. To help out the recent thin frontcourt of the Celtics, Luke Harangody chipped in eight points and some much needed energy off the bench Tuesday. Boston has been terrific at TD Garden this year (22-3 SU), but beatable on the road (12-7 SU, 11-8 ATS). Ray Allen who is averaging 17.3 PPG this year, needs to play better this time around against the Blazers. The last meeting on Dec. 1, Allen went 3-for-12, scoring nine points and the C’s were minus-10 when he was on the court. Despite Allen’s poor shooting and a 15-0 run in the fourth by Portland, the Celtics held on and won 99-95.

It is hard to remember a team plagued with so many unfortunate injures as the Blazers have suffered this year. They’ve already lost Greg Oden for the season, and star guard Brandon Roy has not seen the court yet this calendar year. To add fuel to the fire, Marcus Camby has been out with a knee injury and LaMarcus Aldridge recently went for an MRI on his right hip. Luckily there was no cartilage damage to Aldridge’s hip and he will be available for Thursday’s contest. With Aldridge not 100 percent and Oden and Camby out, Portland desperately needs help from Joel Przybilla, who has scored a total of 10 points as a starter in the past three games. He didn’t attempt a field goal in 23 minutes in Monday’s embarrassing 96-81 loss to the Kings. Through all the injuries this year, the Blazers have been very solid at home this year (16-6 SU, 12-9 ATS). Portland has found scoring from the terrific second year player Wesley Matthews, who is averaging 22.7 PPG in his past three games. Matthews also scored 23 points, including 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range in the Dec. 1 matchup against the Celtics.

Boston has owned this series recently, going 10-1 SU and 8-3 ATS in the past 11 meetings with Portland. The C’s have outscored the Blazers by 7.8 PPG in the past five meetings at the Rose Garden, with all four wins coming by at least six points, which is greater than Thursday’s spread. Having a healthy Perkins against a banged-up Aldridge may be the downfall for the Blazers. Portland, who has heavily relied on LaMarcus Aldridge (21.1 PPG) this year, needs to find another way to score and the tough defense of Boston (91.8 PPG allowed, second-best in NBA) won’t make that easy. The defending Eastern Conference champions should be able to handle the tough home crowd of Portland and take the victory against the spread.

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