NBA Predictions: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Indiana Pacers Picks
Free NBA Picks - Tuesday April 27
It feels like every day in the NBA now, we get a couple of games that have massive playoff implications for both teams involved. Tuesday night’s slate is no exception.
On April 3, just a little more than three weeks ago, the Portland Trail Blazers were sitting pretty. They had a record of 30-19, recent winners of four straight, and just a game back of the Lakers for 4th place in the brutal Western Conference.
Since then, the Blazers are in a free fall, having lost nine of their last 11 games. They’re starting to fall away from the pack in the top six, and are only clear of the bottom three seeds in the play-in by a few games.
Worst of all, they can’t even blame this on an injury to Damian Lillard, who has only missed three of these games, with the Blazers winning one of them. He’s been way off, shooting just 35 percent from the field in his last nine games, and thanks to that futility, Portland has a negative 4.7 net rating in their last 11 games – good for 24th in the league over that stretch.
In comes Indiana, who has been consistently inconsistent all year long. They’re 12-12 since the break with a negative 1.1 net rating and a slightly under-.500 record against the spread in that time. Their All-Star, Domantas Sabonis, will also be sidelined for this one, his fourth straight game out with an injury to his back.
Neither of these teams imbue much confidence right now, but that just means this game should be close. Take the team getting the points, especially when it’s a few too many.
The Pick: Indiana +4 - Click To Bet
Since the All-Star break, the Dallas Mavericks are the 8th best team in the NBA by net rating. Luka is being Luka, and thanks to Portland’s struggles, they went into last night seeming like a decent bet to hold onto the 6th seed, thus avoiding potential play-in pitfalls.
One of those pitfalls could be a date with Steph Curry and the Warriors. In April, Curry is averaging over 38 points per game, which is by far the best in the league for the month. He’s shooting 53 percent from the field, 47 percent from deep, and 90 percent from the line. He’s by far the biggest reason why Golden State is 8-5 this month, and still has a puncher’s chance of climbing up into the 7/8 part of the play-in bracket.
They may have reason to believe a climb is possible. The Mavs lost last night to the Kings, and now will face Steph on full rest. The Mavs simply don’t have enough depth to withstand any losses, which they had last night and may have again tonight in the form of Kristaps Porzingis and Josh Richardson. Maxi Kleber also left early due to the bad back that’s been bothering him.
The Warriors may not wind up catching Dallas in the standings, but they’re catching them at the right time here.
The Pick: Dallas -1 - Click To Bet
Expert NBA Picks
The Celtics will be without Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker, but the Thunder haven’t won a game in nearly a month and are by far the worst team by point differential since the break. Boston gets it done.
Both teams will be rested, but only one is healthy, as Charlotte is still missing its big guns. Take the Bucks on the road.
Durant is back. Take the Nets until he goes down again, especially against teams not trying to win games, like the Raps have seemingly not been doing for a while now.
There are bad teams and then there are bad teams. For as much as the Wolves season hasn’t gone according to plan, they’re 5-4 in their last eight games, including two straight wins over Utah. While their net rating in that time raises some cause for concern, the Rockets negative 12.3 figure (not to mention their 1-7 record) is far worse.
Dean of Knicks Film School, host: KFS Pod, co-host: Pick N Pod. There isn't much about Knicks basketball that Jonathan doesn't know and he's here to break down the big games each and every week.