The Portland Trail Blazers look to live another day when they face the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series in Orlando on Wednesday. The Blazers have lost the last three games in the series and they will be without Damian Lillard in this game. Meanwhile, the Lakers are on a roll with three straight wins, all by double-digit winning margins. LeBron James is coming off back to back 30-point games and Los Angeles looks to book a spot in the second round with a win here.
Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers have cooled off after a torrid run that saw them make the playoffs after being just 12th before the start of the bubble tournament. Damian Lillard was red hot heading to this series but injuries have caught up with Portland’s star. Dame scored just 11 points in Game 4 after he left the game with a knee injury.
With three straight losses, Portland finds itself on the brink of elimination. What makes matters worse for the Blazers is that Lillard has been ruled out of this game. CJ McCollum has been playing through a back injury and with their top two scorers either compromised or out, the Blazers are in a lot of trouble here.
Jusuf Nurkic scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in Game 4. He will have to continue to score big if the Blazers want a chance here. McCollum added 18 points in 32 minutes while Carmelo Anthony continues to provide help with 16 points. Gary Trent Jr. also scored 13 points and he is likely to take over Lillard’s spot in the starting unit.
Portland is averaging only 102.8 points per game in the series while shooting 41.4% from the field. They are allowing the Lakers to put up an average of 113.8 points per game on 46.9% shooting. The Blazers are shooting 37.6% from deep and 78.8% from the foul line.
Odds from BetOnline as of 8/26/20
Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers have silenced their doubters after their surprise Game 1 loss. Los Angeles has recovered from a slow start and now they have taken a 3-1 lead in the series. The Lakers will have an opportunity to close out the show on Wednesday and with Damian Lillard not playing for the Blazers, things look bright for the Purple and Gold.
LeBron James has put up back to back 30-point double-doubles and he has looked locked in right now. Anthony Davis is listed as probable with back spasms but there is a chance that the Brow will play so they can finish the series and get some rest. Rajon Rondo has been cleared to play but he hasn’t been called to action yet. This could be a good game to give him reps in preparation for the next round.
Kyle Kuzma scored 18 points off the bench in Game 4 while Danny Green had 14 points. Dwight Howard also had a solid outing with 13 points and 8 rebounds and the Lakers shot 56.3% from the field and made 17 out of 39 three-pointers. If James gets the same support from his cast, the Lakers should be good in this game.
The Lakers are scoring an average of 120.67 points per game in their last three games played. Los Angeles is also shooting 51.36% from the field during that period. They have made 41 three-pointers in their last three assignments, nine more than the Blazers. The Lakers have also pulled down 8 more rebounds per game than Portland.
Portland is 6-4 SU in their last 10 games played. The Blazers are 4-1 SU in their last five games played on the road. Los Angeles is 4-2 SU in their last six games played. The Lakers are 3-2 SU in their last five games played on the road. Head to head, the Lakers are 7-3 SU in their last 10 games played against the Blazers, including the last three.
After losing the first game of the series, the Lakers have dominated the Blazers with three straight double-digit wins. In their last game, the Blazers lost Damian Lillard to a knee injury and the Lakers won by 20 points. LeBron and company were hitting their shots and the Lakers led by more than 30 points in the third quarter.
Lillard won’t be playing in this game, as confirmed by the Blazers staff so that is going to be a huge disadvantage for Portland. Sure, they still have CJ McCollum but remember that he is also dealing with a back injury. Carmelo Anthony can still make buckets while Nurkic can also put up points. However, the Blazers aren’t the same team without Lillard’s scoring and passing.
Credit Portland for making it to the playoffs. It was a great run for them. Unfortunately, they won’t be going anywhere without Dame. Lillard is such a big part of their game and without him, they are an inferior team. The Lakers have all the momentum and they have a chance to finish the series and get extra days of rest. Give me the Lakers to advance to the next round with a win here.
Prediction: Los Angeles Lakers
Other Bets To Make
Portland is 1-5 ATS in their last six games played. The Blazers are 3-2 ATS in their last five games played on the road, and 1-4 ATS in their last five games played against the Western Conference. Los Angeles is 4-6 ATS in their last ten games played. The Lakers are 3-2 ATS in their last five games played on the road. Head to head, Los Angeles is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games played against the Blazers.
Spread Odds: Lakers
Spread Odds: Blazers
Odds from BetOnline as of 8/26/20
The spread line has ballooned to 14 points since it was announced that Lillard will not be playing in this game due to a knee injury. The Lakers have beaten the Blazers by at least 12 points in each of their three wins in the series. When you factor in that Lillard won’t be suiting up here, 14 points should be an easy cover for the Lakers. L.A. is 29-20-1 ATS against Western Conference teams this season. I don’t like big chalks, especially in the playoffs. But unless McCollum is dropping 50 against the Lakers, I’ll take my chances with the Lakers.
Prediction: Lakers -14
The total has gone over in seven out of the last 10 games played by the Blazers. Portland has seen the total go over in three out of their last five games played on the road. The over is also 9-4 in their last 13 games played against the Pacific Division. The total has gone under in 10 out of the last 15 games played by the Lakers. The over is also 3-2 in their last five games played on the road, and the under is 9-3 in the Lakers’ last 12 games played on a Wednesday. Head to head, the under is 3-1 in the last four meetings between these two teams.
Odds from BetOnline as of 8/26/20
These teams have combined to score an average of 223.33 points per game in their last three meetings. However, Portland will be without Lillard in Game 5 and that could be a problem for the total. Lillard is averaging 30.0 points per game in Orlando. Sure, we saw these teams combine for 250 points in Game 4 with Lillard scoring only 11 points. But that was a special night. I don’t expect the Lakers to keep up with that kind of shooting These teams have combined to score an average of 205.33 points per game in the first three games of this series. The Lakers don’t need to score big to beat the Lillard-less Blazers.
Prediction: Under 222