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NBA Basketball Betting: Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trailblazers

Added October 29, 2014 by Levi Watkins

NBA basketball is underway and in this preview we’ll take a look at a Western Conference matchup between the Kevin Durant-less Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trailblazers from the Moda Center (aka the Rose Garden) on the banks of the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.

This is the first game of the season for both teams which makes it tough to handicap–especially OKC who will be making their regular season debut minus Durant. The Thunder obviously can’t replace a scoring machine like Durant with just one (or two) guys. It’ll be a team effort to keep things under control while he’s out but that’ll be made much easier with Russell Westbrook who is arguably the best point guard in the Western Conference (though if I had a choice I’d take the Blazers’ Damian Lillard).

Portland didn’t do much in the offseason which means their going to be dangerous this year. They improved their bench (Steve Blake, Chris Kamen) and already have one of the best starting five lineups in the NBA. LaMarcus Aldridge is the best pure power forward in the league, Damian Lillard is just going to get better and this Portland team is going to be a tough matchup for anyone.

Obviously we’re big on the Blazers but not in this game. A couple of things at work here that you see frequently in the early going. Simply put, these teams are priced based on last year. The Blazers are laying an inflated price due to their strong play a season ago. The problem with this is that nothing came easily for the Blazers last year and they scrapped to countless wins in the final minute of the game–especially at home. Oklahoma City, meanwhile is being penalized too severely for the absence of Durant. Durant is one of the best in the business, but the Thunder look like a very competent team without him. OKC has won 6 of their last 8 against Portland going 5-1-1 ATS including 3-1 SU/2-1-1 ATS in Rip City. Bottom line–this price is too high to be laying against a team with OKC’s talent and experience. The Blazers are going to be a good team this year but look to be overvalued here.

BET OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER +9 OVER PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS

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