The New Orleans Pelicans have won four in a row and might have salvaged their season in the past week. Now, they’re up to .500 at 37-37 and more importantly in eighth in the Western Conference. They were in danger of falling out of the play-in tournament, but now they have a game and a half clearance between themselves and the Dallas Mavericks for 11th in the standings.
The Portland Trail Blazers were one of those teams in the mix for the play-in for much of the year, but they’ve since fallen out of the mix and are buried in 13th in the West. One of Damian Lillard’s best seasons has gone to waste and it might be over with two weeks left before the postseason begins.
Let’s get into the odds for this one as the Pelicans cling to a spot in the postseason picture.
Pelicans vs. Trail Blazers odds, spread and total
Pelicans vs. Trail Blazers prediction and pick
It took a while, but now Portland’s intentions are clear. Reports have come out that the Trail Blazers will likely be shutting down Lillard for the remainder of the season in order to improve their position in the draft. The bottom three of the NBA is out of reach and that would give them the best odds for the first overall pick, but they’ll be firmly in the mix for the fourth or fifth worst record, 12.5% or 10.5% of the ping pong balls in the lottery.
The Blazers played just yesterday, a 118-112 loss to OKC and their starting lineup might not have made the Final Four in March Madness this year. They had former March Madness star with Villanova, Ryan Arcidiacono at point guard, Shaedon Sharpe, who notably didn’t play at all during his year at Kentucky, Drew Eubanks, Trendon Watford and Matisse Thybulle. Portland will not be satisfied unless they lose every game the rest of the way.
That includes this one against the Pelicans who are 4-0 against the spread in their last four games. They just beat the Clippers, 131-110 on Saturday behind 32 points from Brandon Ingram and another 32 from Trey Murphy III. They don’t have their superstar either, it feels like Zion Williamson honestly might never play again, but Murphy is emerging as a star in their front court and gives them a nice one-two punch with Ingram. I like the direction of the Pelicans even in a disappointing season and I know the direction for the Blazers; down.
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