New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers Prediction: Take Advantage of Tankers

New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers prediction and pick for Thursday night's game. Handicapper Jonathan Macri breaks down the New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers, plus Hornets vs Magic, in his best picks for Thursday's NBA slate.
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New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers Prediction: Take Advantage of Tankers

  • When: 8:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: League Pass

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New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers Line Movement

New Orleans Pelicans vs Portland Trail Blazers Prediction

Looking at the injured list for the Portland Trail Blazers these days is truly a sight to behold. There are no less than eight legitimate NBA players who are out for the season. It has gotten to the point where surprising undrafted rookie Trendon Watford - the ninth man listed as out for this game - is sidelined, perhaps because Portland didn't want to put its tank in any further jeopardy.

And boy has that effort been working. The Blazers have lost 18 of their last 20 games. Once a team fighting for a play-in spot has plummeted to sixth in the lottery standings. There is still a chance of both moving up to fifth or moving down to seventh, so the tanking effort needs to stay on in full force. Judging from how they out-tanked the Thunder in their last game, there's little doubt they have it in them.

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Their task will be that much easier against the Pelicans, who are just a game ahead of the Spurs and are fighting to get home court in the 9/10 game in the West. New Orleans has won seven of 10 and this game is at home. The Blazers have dropped seven of eight against the spread as well, so even though the Pels have alternated covers and drops over their last seven, you can feel good about taking them here, even with the big number.

Pelicans vs. Trail Blazers Pick

Charlotte Hornets vs Orlando Magic Prediction

  • When: 7:00 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: League Pass

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Charlotte Hornets vs Orlando Magic Line Movement

Charlotte Hornets vs Orlando Magic Prediction

This one is a little trickier. The Magic, even though it may have cost them a guaranteed top-five pick, just won a game over the Cavs to move one up on the last place Rockets for the worst record in the league.

That's what they get for continuing to run out a rotation with actual NBA players. A poor job of tanking, indeed. And to think they had been doing so well. Prior to that win, the Magic had lost six straight, five of which they dropped ATS as well. How much stock should we put in their last game? Hold that thought.

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Making matters more complicated, the Hornets are coming off back-to-back blowouts in which they gave up 144 points, losing in Philly and in Miami by a combined 59 points. Not exactly a reassuring sign heading into their likely play-in matchup with the high-flying Hawks.

This game is at home though, and the Hornets have to be feeling a bit of urgency, especially with the location of that 9/10 game still up in the air. Trust that tanking will win the day. Give the points at home.

Hornets vs. Magic Pick

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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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