Two of the more exciting Western Conference teams battle it out on the hardcourt this Friday as the Trail Blazers head to LA.
Portland is hoping to bounce back after three consecutive defeats, but the Lakers are in more trouble. They have dropped three on the bounce, so desperation could set in for both teams on Friday.
Trail Blazers vs Lakers Betting Analysis
Lakers Hoping To Regain Mojo
It’s rare for the Lakers to go on a losing streak and a loss to Washington adds insult to injury.
The Los Angeles Lakers has lost four of their last five games, including losses to Denver, Brooklyn, Miami and Washington. The overtime loss to Washington wasn’t a good outing for the Lakers, as they had the game in the bag.
There hasn’t been an obvious reason why the Lakers haven’t been able to close out their recent games. They didn’t come up with a clutch shot in either loss to Miami or Washington, but the games shouldn’t have come down to the final shot.
It’s a team that doesn’t need to work on combinations, so that’s not an excuse. Therefore, it could just be a mid-season slump that won’t mean anything at the end of the season.
However, it gives Portland a chance to pounce on a Lakers team lacking confidence.
Portland’s Winning Run Comes To An Abrupt End
The Portland Trail Blazers rattled off six consecutive wins, including victories over Philadelphia, Dallas and New Orleans. However, three recent losses have set them back.
Portland were upset by the Washington Wizards at home last Saturday before losing subsequent games to Phoenix and Denver. The loss to Phoenix came by 32 points, so it was a dour outing for this talented NBA team.
Damian Lillard has been shooting lights out for the Blazers. He scored 43 in the win over New Orleans and 35 in the loss to Washington. His output has dipped over the last two games, but he’s not to blame.
Better output from CJ McCollum wouldn’t be the worst thing for Portland, so look for the guard to fire up in the coming weeks.
Lakers Have Advantage On Defensive End
There is a nine-point advantage to the Lakers on the defensive side of the ball and that’s where they have the edge on Friday.
The Trail Blazers are good enough offensively to match the Lakers. They average 114.8 points per game compared to the 112.2 points for the Lakers, but there is a big discrepancy in the defensive numbers.
It’s bad news when a team gives up more points than it scores. That’s the case for Portland, which should consider itself lucky to be at 18-13 given that statistic.
Los Angeles averages six points more on offense and bettors should have more trust in its ability to play lockdown defense when it counts.
What Happened Last Time They Met?
Portland got the better of the Lakers when the teams met last December. It was a long time ago, but Damian Lillard dropped 31 points on 10/16 shooting.
LeBron James had 29 points and the Lakers shot at a better percentage, but they committed 15 turnovers.
Los Angeles held an eight-point advantage at quarter time before Portland took a four-point lead at the half. After the Lakers took a narrow advantage with a quarter to go, Lillard and Gary Trent Jr took over in the fourth.
Trail Blazers vs Lakers Game Pick
Despite suffering a three-game losing streak, we’re picking the Lakers to get the better of Portland this time around.
The Lakers scored only 107 points when they last met with Portland, but don’t expect a dip in offensive production on Friday. That game came early in the season, but with a healthy James and Davis, the production levels should increase.
Los Angeles has a better defense and that could be the deciding factor.
Pick: Lakers 117 Trail Blazers 111