Houston Rockets at Portland Trail Blazers Free NBA Picks & Odds
by Josh Schonwald - 4/24/2014
Friday, April 25, 10:30 PM on ESPN, KGW, CSNH
Moda Center at the Rose Quarter, Portland, Oregon
For Updated Odds on This Game Click Here
The Rockets had to feel pretty good going into their first round playoff matchup with Portland, considering that they had beaten the Trailblazers 3 out of 4 times in the season. What happened in the first two games though could only be considered a buzzsaw, namely the LaMarcus Aldridge, who has 89 points in two Trailblazer upset victories. Portland hasn't snuck home court away, they've walked through the front door and stole it outright.
Houston is left looking for answers, and the two losses can't necessarily be pinned on their superstars as Dwight Howard went for 27 and 15 in game 1 and 32 and 14 in game 2. James Harden has scored 45 in the 2 games but poor second half shooting has let Portland overcome deficits late in both games. The fact may be that Portland's 1-2 punch of Aldridge and Damian Lillard are just set for a monumental postseason run and could be too much to overcome.
Game 1 was an overtime thriller that Portland won 122-120 as +7.5 point road dogs. Aldridge grabbed 18 boards to go with his 46 points and Lillard tossed in 31. Houston shot a woeful 26-40 (65%) from the FT line as Portland employed the Hack-A-Howard strategy (9-17). The high scoring affair also led the huge total of 215.5 to go over.
In Game 2 Portland changed their strategy and kept Howard off the line (6 for 7), mainly because the Rockets poor shooting was doing all their dirty work. James Harden was only 6 for 19 from the field and the team shot just 3 for 16 from the three point line. Portland won this time as +6.5 underdogs and paid out +264 for those who bet on the outright win.
Houston is 18-23-0 ATS on the road this season
Houston is 22-19-0 against the over/under on the road this season
Portland is 19-22-0 ATS at home this season
Portland is 22-18-1 against the over/under at home this season
Injuries to Watch
02/20/14 G Ronnie Brewer Ankle out indefinitely
01/25/14 F Greg Smith Knee out indefinitely
No injuries to report at this time
Josh's Pick: Take Portland
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