NBA Western Conference Betting Preview: Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder

Wesley-Matthews-blazersPortland at Oklahoma City
Time: 8 PM ET, Jan 21, 2014
Spread: OKC -6.5
M/L: OKC -280; POR +240
Total: 215

Betting odds courtesy of 5dimes

The 31-10 Oklahoma City Thunder are still without point guard Russell Westbrook until after the All-Star break, but it hasn’t made much of a difference with the team still on pace to win 60 games this season riding the hot hand of small forward Kevin Durant. Durant is posting the nicest line of his career without his playmaker, averaging 30.6 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.1 assists this season.

The MVP chatter has begun, and the Thunder are rolling, but can the team be slowed by the Portland Trail Blazers? Portland is 31-10 on the season, too, and a very good 15-6 on the road. Despite this, NBA oddsmakers at 5dimes favor the Thunder by 6.5 points on its homecourt, where the team is 16-4 this season.

Portland lost 126-113 to Houston last night (Monday) despite 27 points and 20 rebounds from All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge is averaging 24 points and 11.5 rebounds per game this season in forming one of the NBA’s best guard-big man tandems with second-year guard Damian Lillard. Lillard, the winner of last year’s Rookie of the Year award, earned the high praise of Kobe Bryant who said Lillard should be starting in the All-Star game, and encouraged his fans not to vote for him.

Lillard is averaging 21.4 points and 5.8 assists per game. The Blazers get good contributions from its good shooting wings of Wes Matthews and Nicolas Batum, too. For all the talk about this team not being able to contend, it’s right there at the midway point of the season now. Flukes don’t usually last that long.

Portland Trends: 0-4 ATS in last 4 after allowing 125 points or more in previous game; 1-9 ATS in last 10 Tuesday games; 8-1 ATS in last 9 when starting five combines for more than 160 minutes on previous day.

OKC Trends: UNDER 4-0 in last 4 on 1 days rest; 4-0 ATS in last 4 home games; 6-1 ATS in last 7 vs teams with road winning percentages greater than .600.

Head-to-head: UNDER 5-1 in last 6 meetings; UNDER 19-5-2 in last 26 in Oklahoma City; Trail Blazers 2-6-1 ATS in last 9 meetings.

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