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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets – Round 1 2014 NBA Playoffs – Betting Preview and Prediction

Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets – Round 1 2014 NBA Playoffs – Betting Preview and Prediction

The no. 4 Houston Rockets and no. 5 Portland Trail Blazers have much in common. Both teams can light it up, especially from beyond the arc, and both teams can also give up a ton of points on the other end. But with momentum on their side, can the Blazers gain the early advantage in what could be one of the more entertaining series in the first round?

Get set for the playoffs by setting up an account that will help you bet your way through an amazing couple months of NBA playoff action and read on for everything you need to know about the first round’s most exciting match up.

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Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets Round 1, Game 1 Betting Preview

Series Lines & Schedule

Game 1 – April 20, 9:30PM ET, Portland (+5.5) at Houston (-5.5); total 215.0 – view all NBA lines

Game 2 – April 23, 9:30PM ET, Portland at Houston

Game 3 – April 25, 10:30PM ET, Houston at Portland

Game 4 – April 27, 9:30PM ET, Houston at Portland

Game 5 (if necessary) – April 30, Portland at Houston

Game 6 (if necessary) – May 2, Houston at Portland

Game 7 (if necessary) – May 4, Portland at Houston

Betting on the Portland Trail Blazers

[sc:NBA240banner ]The Portland Trail Blazers will enter the playoffs as the hottest team in the NBA. Portland ended the season 9-1 SU, which not-so-surprisingly coincided with LaMarcus Aldridge’s return from injury. Aldridge (27 PPG, 15.5 RPG vs. Houston this season) has been a matchup nightmare for the Rockets, who have no one with the size to effectively defend him.

Surrounding Aldridge in the perimeter will be an array of long-range assassins. Damian Lillard (20.7 PPG, 39% 3PFG%), Wesley Matthews (16 PPG, 39% 3PFG% and Nicolas Batum (13 PPG, 36% 3PFG%) can all make it rain from downtown, which should stretch an already suspect Rockets defense.

Conversely, the Blazers defense, despite being a middling 16th in Defensive Rating, is one of the best at preventing three-point shots made and attempted, which could nullify a Rockets offense heavily reliant on the three-pointer.

The Blazers have had their problems on the road versus the Rockets, but they will go into Game 1 in Houston 4-0 SU/ATS in their last 4 road games.

Betting on the Houston Rockets

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The key for the Rockets heading into their opening round series will be health. Houston lost both Dwight Howard (ankle) and Patrick Beverley (knee) for eight games late in the season, although both did play in the final three games.

Howard and Beverley are the two best defenders on a defense that isn’t that good to begin with (16th in Defensive Rating), and any slippage from either could prove catastrophic for Houston.

But of course, the Rockets rely on their free throw- and three-pointer-heavy offense led by James Harden to win most games. Harden was amazing in April, as he somehow kept scoring (27.6 PPG) while becoming the team’s main playmaker (8.7 assists) with Howard and Beverley gone.

Both Harden (30 PPG, 7 RPG, 5 APG) and Howard (25.5 PPG, 13.5 RPG) have been close to unstoppable versus Portland in four games this year.

Similarly, Houston has had its way over nearly all its opponents in their own building. The Rockets are 18-2 SU in their last 20 home games, and a remarkable 17-3 SU against Portland at the Toyota Center.

Writer’s Prediction

It’s no surprise that the last seven meetings between these two high-scoring teams has gone over. In the previous two meetings this year, the total even went beyond 230. The line of 215 is still not high enough; take the over.

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Brad
Written by Brad

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