The Portland Trail Blazers face a must-win game on Thursday night when they meet the playoff-bound Brooklyn Nets in the teams’ final seeding game at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando, Fla. The Blazers (34-39) enter Thursday as the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference but are only half a game ahead of Memphis (33-39), Phoenix (33-39) and San Antonio (32-38). They would clinch a spot in a play-in tournament with a win but could fall entirely out of the playoff picture with a loss.
Meanwhile the Nets (35-36) are locked into the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference. Tip-off is at 9 p.m. ET. William Hill lists Portland as a nine-point favorite while the over-under, or total number of points William Hill thinks will be scored, is 236.5 in the latest Blazers vs. Nets odds. Before making any Nets vs. Blazers picks, see the NBA predictions from SportsLine’s advanced computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it’s already returned well over $ 4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 58-32 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $ 2,300 on those picks alone. Amazingly, it hasn’t missed a single top-rated pick (5-0) since the NBA’s restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Blazers vs. Nets spread: Portland -9
- Blazers vs. Nets over-under: 236.5 points
- Blazers vs. Nets money line: Portland -430, Brooklyn +350
- POR: Hassan Whiteside leads NBA in blocks per game (2.9)
- BKN: Jarrett Allen ranks third in NBA in field-goal percentage (65.0)
Why the Blazers can cover
Damian Lillard is on fire. The Blazers leading man is coming off a career-high-tying 61-point performance in a win over Dallas. That followed a 51-point effort against Philadelphia. In the seven games since the NBA restarted, Lillard is averaging 37.0 points per game, which leads all players in the bubble.
In addition Portland will be the much more motivated team on Thursday. The Blazers can clinch a spot in the play-in tournament with a win over the Nets. Meanwhile Brooklyn already is locked into the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and a first-round matchup with Toronto.
Why the Nets can cover
Brooklyn will be close to full strength on Thursday. Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen all missed Tuesday’s win over Orlando but should be back against Portland. The three combine to average 43.7 points per game.
In addition, the Nets already have proven they can beat Portland and a red-hot Lillard. In the teams’ previous matchup on Nov. 8, Lillard burned Brooklyn for 60 points, but the Nets won 119-115 in overtime. Brooklyn did a good job containing CJ McCollum, who scored only eight points on 4-of-19 shooting.
How to make Blazers vs. Nets picks
SportsLine’s model is leaning under the total, with Lillard held under 30 points and only one Brooklyn player going over 20 points in the simulations. The model also says one side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Blazers vs. Nets? And which side of the spread hits in over 50 percent of simulations? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Nets vs. Blazers spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $ 4,700 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.