Four losses in their previous five games and a matchup against the NBA bubble MVP was not a good mix for the Los Angeles Lakers heading into their first playoff series since 2013. Things did not go well in the opener for the top-seeded team in the Western Conference as it suffered a 100-93 loss and was unable to contain Damian Lillard, who sank six shots from beyond the arc en route to a 34-point performance. The Lakers hope to regain their form and neutralize Lillard when they take on the eighth-seeded Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 on Thursday.
Tip-off in this 2020 NBA Playoffs matchup at AdventHealth Arena in Orlando, Fla. is set for 9 p.m. ET. William Hill lists Los Angeles as a 6.5-point favorite, while the over-under is 230.5 in the latest Blazers vs. Lakers odds. Before making any Lakers vs. Blazers picks, see the NBA predictions from SportsLine's advanced computer model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, and it's already returned well over $4,700 in profit on its top-rated NBA picks this season. It entered the week on a blistering 58-32 run on top-rated NBA spread picks, returning almost $2,300 on those picks alone. Amazingly, it hasn't missed a single top-rated pick (5-0) since the NBA's restart in July. Anybody who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Lakers vs. Blazers spread: Lakers -6.5
- Lakers vs. Blazers over-under: 230.5 points
- Lakers vs. Blazers money line: Lakers -290, Blazers +245
- POR: The Blazers were held under 101 points in Game 1 for the time in 16 contests
- LAL: The Lakers are 0-6 ATS in their last six games
Why the Blazers can cover
Lillard has been one of the main reasons Portland has thrived in the bubble. The 30-year-old point guard has scored at least 30 points in seven of the Trail Blazers' 10 games since the season resumed, pouring in an astounding total of 219 over his last five contests (43.8 average). Lillard has been dangerous from long distance of late, sinking at least five 3-pointers in six of his last nine games.
Portland's regular-season leader in points (30) and assists (eight), Lillard has raised his game when facing the Lakers as he's averaged 35.5 points in four overall meetings in 2019-20. The Trail Blazers, who at 35-39 were one of three teams to qualify for this postseason with a sub-.500 record, went 13-for-34 overall from beyond the arc in Monday's 100-93 triumph. Jusuf Nurkic, who made his season debut in the bubble after breaking his leg late last campaign, has recorded three straight double-doubles after notching 16 points and 15 rebounds in the series opener.
Why the Lakers can cover
LeBron James' first playoff performance with Los Angeles was a strong one as he recorded his 24th career postseason triple-double with 23 points, 17 rebounds and 16 assists. The 35-year-old superstar is looking to reach the NBA Finals for the 10th time in his career with his third team and win his fourth championship, and he knows his time to do that is running out. James has one of the best wingmen he's ever had in Anthony Davis, who led Los Angeles in Game 1 with 28 points and topped the team during the regular season in scoring (26.1 points), rebounds (9.3), steals (1.5) and blocks (2.3).
Davis also is hungry for success as he reached the postseason only twice in seven seasons with New Orleans, winning just one series. The Lakers must receive more production elsewhere, and they may get it from veteran shooting guard Danny Green. The 33-year-old reached double digits in points (10) on Tuesday for the third time in four contests after amassing only 23 over his first four games in the bubble and hit two of Los Angeles' five 3-pointers in the loss.
How to make Lakers vs. Blazers picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total with Lillard and Kyle Kuzma among the players who fall short of their season-long scoring averages in the simulations. It also says one side of the spread has the all the value. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Blazers vs. Lakers? And which side of the spread has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Lakers vs. Blazers spread to jump on, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,700 on its top-rated NBA picks this season, and find out.