2014 Portland Trail Blazers Predictions and NBA Futures Odds
by George Monroy - 10/7/2014
The Portland Trail Blazers suffered a heartbreaking and humiliating defeat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs during the second round of the last year's playoffs that sent the team back home licking its wounds yet hoping to grow from the experience. Portland opened the playoffs by upsetting the Houston Rockets in six games and began riding a wave of momentum and confidence heading into San Antonio. The young core of LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard had signaled its arrival with superstar performances throughout the first round. The Blazers seemed to be ready to seize the moment and insert themselves into the title picture.
Unfortunately, the NBA Playoffs are not kind to Cinderella stories, and the young Blazers were slapped back into their place by an experienced and battle-tested Spurs team. The upcoming season could be the breakout year Portland needs in order to set itself near the top of the Western Conference and become a legitimate title threat. Let's take a closer look at the Trail Blazers 2014 futures odds with predictions and analysis. All odds come from Sportsbook.ag.
2014 Portland Trail Blazers Betting Story Lines
Portland did not make much noise during a busy offseason that featured LeBron James returning to Cleveland and the subsequent Kevin Love trade, which dominated the headlines over the summer. The team, however, does not need to make many changes from last year's 54-win squad. Portland has a young core of talented players and only needs to nurture its roster with experience before it becomes a Western Conference powerhouse.
The Trail Blazers seem to be in the same position as the Oklahoma City Thunder were a few seasons ago when they pushed the then-defending champion Los Angeles Lakers with a tough six-game, first-round playoff series but ultimately fell short of advancing. The Thunder cemented themselves as NBA powerhouses the next season and never looked back. Portland is now sitting in the same boat, and if the team can continue its success it should be a major player in the West for years to come.
2014 Portland Trail Blazers Additions and Departures
Key Additions: Steve Blake, Chris Kaman
Key Losses: Mo Williams
Portland lost point guard Williams during free agency but was able to sign Blake and Kaman to help strengthen its bench and add stability at the backup guard and center positions-two of the squads glaring weakness. Expect Portland to stick with its current roster for the season and not make any big moves before the trade deadline. The team's biggest need is to continue building chemistry and trust between its players.
2014 Portland Trail Blazers Futures Odds
NBA Title Odds: +5000
Western Conference Odds: +2000
Division Odds: +300
Win Totals: O/U 49.5
MVP Odds: LaMarcus Aldridge +4000 (10th best)
MVP Odds: Damian Lillard +10000 (19th best)
Portland is closer to the top of the Western Conference than it is to the bottom, which means its futures odds are live bets even though they are still long shots. The Western Conference is jam packed with contenders, and while Portland is talented--and a team of the future--the squad is still not as good or experienced as the three or four teams that sit ahead of them in the playoff pecking order.
The strongest futures wager on the board is taking the "over" on its win total of 49.5. Portland won 54 games last season, and there is no reason to suspect that the squad will take a step back this year, outside of injury of course. Expect Aldridge to continue to establish himself as one of the best big men in the league-he averaged 23 points and 11 rebounds last season-while Lillard also inserts himself in the best-point-guard-in-the-league conversation.
2014 Portland Trail Blazers Predictions and Future Odds Picks
Playoffs: second-round playoff appearance
Division: Second Place
There is a lot to like about Portland heading into the new season, and if a bettor were to wager on a few of its futures odds I could not disagree with them. The Trail Blazers are on the short list of legitimate title threats. Last season they managed to produce a 44-38 ATS record while going 25-16 ATS on the road. Portland should continue to be an underrated squad and not get much attention from the betting community, which will be a sure fire way to find value and make a profit on its spreads. Expect Portland to be a team of consequence but not make a deep playoff run.
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