Portland Trail Blazers vs Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction: Fade the Blazers

NBA Expert, Jonathan Macri shares his picks for Trail Blazers vs Timberwolves and Lakers vs Magic as well.
Jonathan Macri |
Sun, December 12, 12:10 PM EST | 4 min read
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Portland Trail Blazers vs Minnesota Timberwolves Prediction: Fade the Blazers

Click Here for Timberwolves vs Blazers Odds

Prior to their 10-point loss in Golden State in a game that saw the Warriors coast to the finish line without ever really breaking a sweat, the Blazers had dropped five of six against the spread. Now it seems like the score of that most recent game has oddsmakers a bit confused heading into Sunday’s showdown with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The Trail Blazers, as a reminder, are still without their starting backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The team they’re facing here is struggling mightily, having just lost three straight games at home in embarrassing fashion, but those games came against the Hawks, Jazz, and Cavs, who sport the 9th, 2nd and 4th best net ratings in the league, respectively. The Blazers rank 25th in that category.

Without either backcourt starter on the floor, their net rating goes all the way down to negative 7.6, which is more than twice as bad as their usual number. In other words, the Wolves are about to get a break, even if the game is on the road.

This is the get well game that Minnesota sorely needs, and the fact that they’re getting points from a team so depleted with key injuries is a gift.

Portland Trail Blazers vs Minnesota Timberwolves Pick

  • Timberwolves +1.5 (-110)

Los Angeles Lakers vs Orlando Magic

Click Here For Magic vs Lakers Odds

11 of 12 losses, going against the team with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, on the road and barely a double digit spread.

This would have seemed like a golden opportunity to take the Lakers before the season started, but we know better now. LA has certainly had its fair share of good performances, most recently beating the Thunder on the road by 21 and beating the Celtics by 15 at home two games before that.

But they have also been the most inconsistent and frustrating team in the league, as shown by recent losses to the Ja-less Grizzlies and the Clippers at home. They have a negative net rating on the year, which in no way profiles as someone who should ever be getting more than 10 points, regardless of the opponent.

The Magic, meanwhile, continue to be feisty. They’ve covered four of their last six games, with the only drops coming in Golden State and Sacramento, the latter of which they missed beating the spread by a single point. They are bad, but they fight, and their schedule has been positively brutal.

And then there is this: in the 21 games Cole Anthony has played this season, Orlando is getting outscored by just 1.7 points per 100 possessions when he is on the court. That’s not far off from LA’s yearlong number, and while they struggle immensely when he doesn’t play, that’s a chance worth taking against the Lakers. Take the points on the road.

Los Angeles Lakers vs Orlando Magic Pick

Jonathan Macri
@JCMacriNBA

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.

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